With a nod to National Rosé Day on June 12th, read my varietal article from the April 2021 issue of Napa Valley Life! Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers! Christopher
“Pink sunshine” and “freshness in a glass” are catchy phrases Robert Sinskey winemaker Jeff Virnig uses to describe the winery’s latest release of the 2020 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, a complex pink wine with bright, fruity flavors, crisp acidity, and long dry finish. With a brilliant pale salmon hue, this signature style has become the benchmark for where classy pink wines have come over the past thirty years and one of the many reasons wine lovers flock to Napa Valley in the springtime to get their hands on these energetic young wines before they sell out.
The road to rosé’s popularity in Napa Valley did not happen overnight.
When Virnig started making rosé in1991, his goal was to create a fun, quaffable, food-friendly wine that added instant excitement to gatherings any time it was served. But at the time, the impression pink wines were making on American consumers was swayed by the sugary imports like Mateus and Lancers, which flooded the marketplace in the late 1960s. When Sutter Home Family Vineyards winemaker Bob Trinchero released their White Zinfandel in 1975, people went crazy for it, but it was still snubbed by serious wine drinkers.
As a result, the first
few vintages of the Robert Sinskey Vin Gris were sold to wine buyers and
sommeliers in New York City, who catered to world travelers that were
already familiar with the drier styles of rosé produced in France,
Italy, Spain and German. As the years passed, this learning curve gave
Virnig and other adventurous winemakers of Napa Valley time to develop
special techniques now being used to create various expressions of rosé
On April 13th of this year, my father-in-law, Gerald Haslam’s pen came to final rest. Over a fifty-year career, he wrote deeply authentic stories depicting California’s Central Valley, its diversity of people, places, and rural culture. He excelled at yarns from his South Valley Okie and oil patch upbringing. LISTEN HERE to “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey and Tulare County agrarian advocate Trudy Wischemann celebrate the life and times, most certainly the words of a singular Valley author.
The idyllic Dollarhide Vineyard at St. Supéry Estate is a perfect view to lead into warmer weather, home to their stunning Sauvignon Blanc: It is one of many white wines discussed in this article written recently by Katie Sweeney, where she follows my lead on many recommendations. To share a selfie quote “Dry white wines stand out because they pair so well with such a wide range of fine culinary cuisine, as well as comfort foods.”
Back in November 2020, my Cabernet Sauvignon varietal article appeared in Napa Valley Life. Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers! Christopher
A Perfect Match
The Napa Valley has been cultivating grapes since the 1700s, but
Cabernet Sauvignon was not introduced to the area until the late 1800s
around the time when industry icon, Charles Krug opened the first
commercial winery. A decade or so later, Beringer and Inglenook followed suit.
At the time, America was captivated with Bordeaux wines, and in
1889, Inglenook gained worldwide notoriety with their Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Rutherford, which won the Gold Medal at the
prestigious Paris World Fair. This accolade ultimately drove attention
to the Napa Valley and set the stage for the region’s potential to
produce premier Bordeaux-style wines.
Celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2020, the Rutherford- based Beaulieu Vineyard has become a benchmark of Napa Valley style: An iconic winery responsible for the success of world-class wines made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes planted before prohibition and after the modern boom of large- scale plantings, which began when Robert Mondavi opened his winery in Oakville in 1966 . . .
Perfect timing with many places reopened to outdoor dining, or continuing with take-out & delivery. Whatever suits your preference this Sonoma County Restaurant Week 2021, which starts February 19, keeps going until February 28th! You have plenty of time so get some good #SOCO eats and support a local biz!
While not on the list this year, just a few examples to help whet the palate (all from delicious menus at Gravenstein Grill)!
David Wilson, host of Grape Encounters Radio, takes some time to virtually visit Italy with Piero Pavone, founder of Vinum Hadrianum, a winery on the eastern central coast of Italy that is breathing new life into an ancient Roman form of winemaking.
He then rejoins the U.S. with ME to discuss the pandemic effects on the wine and food industry and pontification of what the future might look like! LISTEN UP!
In between all my comings and goings there is a wee space to satiate my journalistic beginnings. In addition to my occasional Sawyer Somm blog posts, take a minute to peruse some industry magazines either in print or online. The 2020 February/March issue of The SOMM Journal is a great place to start with my two published pieces!