Winery: The Hendry family began cultivating their vineyards in Napa, California since 1939. Today the family “ranch” is comprised of 203 acres of vineyards located in the hills of northwest Napa. They grow 11 different varietals, with all of their wines being produced with only estate grown grapes.
Winemaking: Produced using the saignée method, which is the process of “allowing the sweet, free-run juice to run out of the tank and into a smaller tank for fermentation”. George Hendry delightfully describes the resulting Rosé as a “screen porch wine, made for warm weather drinking”.
Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with vibrant aromas of fresh strawberry and rain-washed slate. Clean, light, berry flavours culminate in a crisp, dry finish. Straightforward with a food friendly acidity, this is a fantastic match with summer dishes.
“Blend of varieties changes every year, typically a Zinfandel-focused wine, with the addition of Primitivo and Bordeaux varieties.”
Produced and Bottled by Hendry Ranch
$16 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2017
Estate: Domaine du Bel Air is a family estate located in Bourgeuil, Loire Valley in central France. The family has been making wine at the estate for over 5 generations, however it wasn’t until 1979, under the direction of Pierre Gauthier that they began selling their wines. Today Pierre still heads the estate, along with his wife and son Rodolphe. The 18 hectares of vineyards are located in a region famous for its caves and clay/limestone soil. In fact, the Gauthiers’ cellars are located in one of the caves, with the vineyards [with vines up to 80 years in age] on the surface above. The estate is renowned for crating expressive, “deep, age-worthy Cabernet Francs”.
Winemaking: The estate has been certified organic since 2000. ‘Jouf de Soif’ [Day of Thirst] is the estate’s entry level Cabernet Franc. Grapes are hand harvested from 20 year old vines. Fermented with only native yeasts in stainless steel tanks, then aged in stainless steel tanks and bottled un-filtered.
Tasting Notes: Deep red violet in colour with engaging aromas of peppery spice, dark fruit and smoked herbs. Vibrant raspberry, blackberry, hints of sour cherry and roasted, earthy herbs are complimented by layers of spice, chocolate and espresso on the lengthy finish. A confident, well composed glass that keeps you reaching for more, as its surprisingly light on its feet even tho its remarkably spicy.
100% Cabernet Franc
Produced and Bottled by Gaec Gauthier Pierre & Randolphe
Enjoy now thru 2023
Villa Maria ‘Bubbly’ Sauvignon Blanc debuting at The New Zealand Wine Fair in NYC, accompanied by George the Sheep.
Estate: One of my favorite New Zealand wineries, Villa Maria was founded in 1961 when George Fistonich leased 5 acres in Marlborough from his father. Today the family estate has more than 250 employees, exports wine to over 50 countries and is New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Practicing sustainable farming and possessing a long term view of both the environment and the wine business, Villa Maria believes that “sustainability is not an end point but a journey and therefore we are always finding ways to embed sustainable principles into the culture of the organization”.
Winemaking: “Fruit for this wine was sourced from a selection of vineyards throughout New Zealand spanning a range of different climates and soil types. Cool, slow fermentation in stainless steel tanks”, bottled soon after fermentation to capture its freshness. This is a brand new offering from the estate. Made in the style of an Italian frizzante [lightly sparkling].
Tasting Notes: Cheerful and sunny, with melon and citrus buoyed by small, fizzy bubbles. Good acidity compliments fresh juicy flavours; the clean, zippy finish keeps you reaching for more. Fantastic for summer sipping!
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$15 [average price]
Media event hosted by New Zealand Winegrowers
Estate: Founded in the late 1700’s, Pecchenino is a family estate that has been handed down from father to son for generations. It is currently headed by brothers Orlando and Attilio Pecchenino and comprises 25 hectares.
Winemaking: With Orlando’s belief that “the quality of his wine is strictly related to the natural health of his vineyard, there is a focus of growing grapes with the lowest possible impact on nature. They practice sustainable farming without the use of any chemicals, and only native, natural yeasts are used in order to preserve the characteristics and personality of the grapes. Aged in stainless steel tanks for one year.
Tasting Notes: Dark red-violet in colour with inviting aromas of blackberry, black cherry and honeyed spice. Straightforward with wild berries framed by lively acidity along with spice and earth notes. Flinty minerals linger on the pleasantly bitter finish. A fantastic companion with everyday dishes.
Estate Bottled by Pecchenino
Enjoy now thru 2017
Estate: Ettore Seghesio founded the winery in 1964. Located in Monforte region of Piedmont, northwestern Italy, the 9.5 hectare estate is today headed by Ettore’s son Aldo, along with his sons Sandro and Marco, and his daughter, Michela. The winery is known for its excellent value, “deep, concentrated and bursting with fruit” Dolcetto and Barbera.
Winemaking: The family strives to preserve the “natural resources in rural areas through agricultural and environmental measures”. Sustainable and integrated methods are used in both the vineyards and cellar. Chemicals are not used, only sulfur and copper-based products when necessary. Very low amounts of sulphur are added during winemaking. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with tuff and clay soils.
Tasting Notes: Deep ruby-red in colour with aromas of fresh berries, baking spice and a hint of licorice. Tart fruits [think cranberry, red currant and blackberry] join silky tannins and soft spice. Clean sour cherry notes linger refreshingly between each sip. A simple, fruity glass fantastic with everyday dishes.
Estate Bottled by Azienda Vitivinicola di Seghesio Aldo e Riccardo