The world of wine is an intricate tapestry woven with tradition, innovation, and the profound influence of geography and culture. In exploring the dichotomy between Old World and New World wines, we embark on a journey through time and terroir. These terms extend beyond mere categorization; they encapsulate a philosophy, a history, and a cultural legacy.
Our winemaker, Brian Marquez, explains, “As a winemaker, I find the elegance and tradition of Old World wines fascinating. Each sip is like a journey through centuries of winemaking mastery, where the terroir whispers stories of the land. However, the innovation in New World winemaking is equally enthralling, pushing boundaries and embracing the freedom to explore new expressions.” Let’s unravel the nuances and stories that define Old World and New World wines, celebrating the richness each brings to our glasses.
Despite being seemingly technical, the terms “Old World” and “New World” carry profound historical and cultural weight. Historically, Old World regions have been at the epicenter of winemaking for centuries, where the craft evolved alongside civilizations. This longevity births a unique cultural identity in each bottle.
Conversely, the New World represents a departure, a rebirth. The term denotes regions that came into winemaking prominence more recently. Here, the culture of winemaking is dynamic, shaped by a spirit of exploration, innovation, and a willingness to break from tradition.
Understanding Old World and New World wines is more than a matter of geography; it’s an exploration of heritage, philosophy, and the ever-evolving narrative of a liquid art form.
In the glass, the dichotomy is clear – Old World wines whisper tales of centuries past, while New World wines shout the promise of innovation and the boundless future.
The vineyards, whether nestled in the hills of Bordeaux or basking in the Californian sun, embody the philosophy of their winemakers. Old World vineyards are like libraries of tradition, each row a chapter in a story written over centuries. In the New World, vineyards are canvases of experimentation, where each grapevine paints a vibrant stroke in the evolving narrative of winemaking.
As grapes transform into wine, the divergence in techniques and philosophies becomes evident. The Old World’s reverence for tradition and terroir contrasts with the New World’s embrace of innovation and individuality. Each approach, whether rooted in centuries of history or shaped by contemporary ambition, contributes to the rich tapestry of global winemaking.
Old World wines, steeped in tradition and regional identity, adhere to stringent labeling laws and appellation systems. These regulations are designed to preserve the authenticity of wines and communicate crucial information to consumers.
In the New World, where innovation and individuality thrive, labeling practices prioritize transparency and accessibility, often emphasizing grape varieties over regional origin.
In the world of wine, the label is a story in itself. Old World labels narrate the tale of centuries-old traditions and terroir, while New World labels showcase the diversity of grape varieties and the spirit of innovation. Understanding these labeling and regulatory approaches enhances the appreciation of wines from both worlds.
The ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences shapes the dynamics of the wine market, with discerning tastes driving trends and influencing the choices of both Old World and New World wines.
In the age of information, wine critics and ratings wield significant influence, guiding consumers in their wine selections and contributing to the perceived value of a bottle.
Understanding the symbiotic relationship between market trends, critic evaluations, and consumer preferences provides valuable insights into the diverse and dynamic world of wine. Whether drawn to the time-honored traditions of the Old World or the bold innovations of the New World, consumers navigate a rich tapestry of options, each bottle telling its unique story.
Old World and New World wines each bring distinct characteristics to the table, influencing traditional and modern philosophies of food pairing.
Old World Pairings
New World Pairings
Pairing Old World and New World wines with food is an art that embraces both tradition and innovation. These examples showcase the versatility of both styles, inviting wine enthusiasts to explore a world of culinary possibilities that enhance the dining experience.
As the global wine landscape evolves, there is a noticeable convergence of Old World and New World philosophies, creating a dynamic and interconnected future for winemaking.
The wine world is witnessing the emergence of exciting new regions and the rise of trends that redefine the boundaries of traditional winemaking.
The future of Old World and New World wines is characterized by a dynamic interplay of traditions, innovations, and the exploration of new frontiers. This evolving landscape promises exciting developments, ensuring that wine enthusiasts will continue to be delighted by a rich tapestry of flavors and styles in the years to come.
In the exploration of Old World and New World wines, one discovers not just distinct flavors and aromas but also a rich tapestry of history, culture, and winemaking philosophy. Embracing both styles allows wine enthusiasts to embark on a journey that transcends geographical boundaries, experiencing the heritage and innovation that each brings to the glass. The appreciation of both Old World traditions and New World innovations fosters a holistic understanding of the nuanced artistry behind every bottle.
The global wine community stands united by a shared passion for winemaking, transcending the dichotomy of Old World and New World distinctions. This shared devotion to the craft creates a collaborative environment where knowledge, techniques, and experiences are exchanged. As we celebrate the diversity in wine styles and the unique narratives woven by each region, it becomes evident that the global wine community is bound together by a love for the vine, a commitment to excellence, and an enduring enthusiasm for the ever-evolving world of wine.
In the nexus of tradition and innovation, heritage and exploration, the conclusion is not a resolution but an invitation—a call to savor the richness of both worlds, celebrate the shared journey of winemaking, and anticipate the unfolding chapters in this captivating story of wine. Our owner, David Steinhafel, also explains, “In the world of wine, we appreciate the timeless artistry of Old World classics and celebrate the daring spirit of New World creations. It’s not about choosing one over the other; it’s about savoring the diversity they bring to our glasses. At our vineyard, we honor tradition while embracing the evolution of winemaking, offering a taste that bridges continents and cultures.” Cheers to the timeless allure and perpetual evolution of the wine universe.
In the vast and nuanced world of winemaking, the art of blending stands as a testament to the creativity and skill of the vintner. Beyond the individual character of varietals, the symphony of flavors, aromas, and textures that emerges from the marriage of different wines is a captivating journey. This exploration delves into the heart of wine blending—a practice with deep historical roots and an ever-evolving present. From the chemistry behind the blend to the artistic choices made by winemakers, we embark on a journey to understand the delicate balance that transforms grape varietals into harmonious and exquisite expressions in the glass. Welcome to the enchanting realm of wine blending, where science meets art, and every sip tells a story.
Wine blending, an age-old craft, is an art form that involves combining different wines to achieve a final product with unique characteristics. This practice has deep historical roots, dating back centuries to winemaking traditions that sought to enhance flavors, aromas, and overall quality. As we delve into the world of blending, we uncover the fascinating journey of how this technique has evolved and become an integral part of winemaking.
Beyond historical context, understanding why winemakers blend is crucial. Blending is not merely a practical necessity; it’s a deliberate choice made with specific objectives in mind. From balancing flavors to enhancing complexity, winemakers strategically blend different varietals to craft wines that transcend the sum of their parts. This exploration aims to unravel the objectives that drive winemakers to embark on the artful journey of blending and how it shapes the final character of the wine.
Blending is an intricate art that involves marrying different grape varieties to achieve a wine that transcends individual characteristics. Winemakers strategically choose specific types of wines to craft blends with distinct profiles. Here are some common types used in blends:
Understanding the characteristics of these wines allows winemakers to play with a broad palette, creating blends that showcase the best attributes of each varietal. The result is a harmonious fusion that delights the palate with complexity and balance.
To blend successfully, a winemaker must be a maestro, intimately acquainted with the characteristics of each varietal. Merlot, known for its softness, might add a velvety texture, while Cabernet Sauvignon contributes structure and boldness. Chardonnay’s buttery richness contrasts with the vibrant acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Understanding these nuances is akin to knowing the instruments in an ensemble, allowing the winemaker to craft a perfectly balanced and harmonious blend.
The blending process is a delicate dance where various wine components come together to create a harmonious final product. Here are the key steps involved:
The winemaker’s expertise is paramount in crafting a successful blend. Their role involves a combination of artistry, technical knowledge, and a keen understanding of the desired wine style. Here’s a closer look at the winemaker’s contributions:
In essence, the winemaker serves as both artist and scientist, orchestrating a symphony of flavors to create a blend that captivates the palate and reflects the essence of the winery’s identity.
The science of blending delves into the intricate chemistry behind how different grape varietals interact when combined. Each grape variety brings a unique chemical composition to the blend, and understanding these interactions is key to crafting a well-balanced wine. Here are the chemical aspects involved:
Blending has a profound impact on the sensory characteristics of wine, influencing its flavor, aroma, and color. Here’s a breakdown of the effects:
Understanding these chemical dynamics empowers winemakers to make informed decisions during the blending process. It’s a delicate balance of art and science, where the chemical intricacies of each grape variety contribute to the overall masterpiece in the glass.
The art of blending in winemaking involves a meticulous balance of key elements that define a wine’s character. Winemakers artfully navigate the following components to craft a well-rounded and harmonious blend:
Beyond achieving balance, winemakers have the opportunity to express their creativity through blending. Our winemaker, Brian Marquez, best explains it, “As a winemaker, blending is the ultimate expression of creativity and craftsmanship. It’s the orchestration of flavors, the harmonizing of elements, and the pursuit of a wine that transcends individual varietals. Each blend tells a unique story, and in crafting them, we aim to create an experience that lingers on the palate and in the memory of our discerning patrons.” Here are the creative choices that contribute to the complexity of the final blend:
The artistry in blending lies in the synergy of science and intuition, where winemakers harness their expertise to create wines that are not only technically sound but also captivatingly complex. Each creative choice adds a brushstroke to the canvas, resulting in a wine that tells a rich and nuanced story.
Bordeaux blends originate from the Bordeaux wine region in France, known for producing some of the world’s most esteemed and sought-after wines. These blends typically feature a combination of the following grape varieties:
Example: Château Margaux (Bordeaux, France)
Château Margaux, a renowned Bordeaux estate, exemplifies the artistry of Bordeaux blends. Their Grand Vin combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, showcasing elegance, complexity, and the ability to age gracefully.
Rhône blends hail from the Rhône Valley in France, and they can be broadly categorized into two styles: Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône.
Example: Côte-Rôtie (Northern Rhône, France)
Côte-Rôtie blends Syrah with a small percentage of Viognier, creating wines with intense aromatics, structure, and a unique aromatic profile.
Example: Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Southern Rhône, France)
Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, among others, resulting in robust wines with a rich tapestry of flavors, including dark fruits, herbs, and spices.
Super Tuscans emerged in Italy as a departure from traditional Chianti blends, often incorporating non-indigenous grape varieties. These blends showcase innovation and a departure from strict appellation regulations.
Example: Sassicaia (Tuscany, Italy)
Sassicaia, a pioneering Super Tuscan, blends Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This iconic wine broke conventions, highlighting the potential of Bordeaux varieties in the Tuscan terroir.
These famous blends illustrate the diverse approaches to winemaking, showcasing the influence of grape varieties, terroir, and the winemaker’s vision on the final composition. Each blend tells a unique story, reflecting the character and identity of its origin.
Blending plays a crucial role in ensuring a winery maintains a consistent style and quality across different vintages. Winemakers strive to create a recognizable and dependable flavor profile that consumers can associate with the brand, building trust and loyalty.
Example: Opus One (Napa Valley, USA)
Opus One, a renowned winery in Napa Valley, produces Bordeaux-style blends with a commitment to consistency. By carefully selecting grapes from their estate vineyards and employing meticulous blending techniques, Opus One achieves a harmonious and recognizable style in each vintage.
Blending is a powerful tool for winemakers to address challenges or enhance desirable traits in specific batches of wine. It allows them to fine-tune the final product, ensuring it meets the winery’s quality standards and aligns with the intended style.
Example: Penfolds Grange (South Australia)
Penfolds Grange, an iconic Australian wine, is known for its consistent quality achieved through meticulous blending. The winemaking team carefully selects and blends Shiraz grapes from various vineyards to create a wine that reflects the house style while addressing the nuances of each vintage.
Blending for consistency and refinement is both an art and a science, allowing winemakers to showcase the best qualities of each vintage while maintaining a cohesive identity for their brand.
These case studies highlight the diversity of approaches to blending, from the meticulous regional expressions of Château Palmer to the global expertise of consultants like Michel Rolland and Alberto Antonini. Each winemaker brings a unique philosophy and approach to the art of blending, contributing to the rich tapestry of the wine world.
Appreciating blended wines involves engaging multiple senses and understanding the harmony of diverse components. Here’s a guide on how to taste and savor these complex creations:
Describing blended wines requires a nuanced vocabulary to capture the intricacies of the composition. Our owner, David Steinhafel, loves the intricacies exhibited in blending & encourages those that visit to remember: “Blending is an art that marries tradition with innovation, and at our winery, it’s at the heart of what we do. Our commitment to producing exceptional blends reflects not only our passion for winemaking but also our dedication to offering our customers a diverse and exciting range of wines. In every bottle, you’ll find a piece of our journey, a testament to the enduring legacy of blending in the world of wine.” Here are terms commonly used to articulate the characteristics of blended wines:
As you explore and describe blended wines, feel free to experiment with your own language and sensory interpretations. The appreciation of blends is a subjective experience, and expressing your personal impressions contributes to the rich tapestry of wine dialogue.
In essence, the future of blending in the winemaking industry holds a promise of diversity, innovation, and sustainability. As winemakers continue to blend tradition with modernity, the world of wine will witness a kaleidoscope of flavors, inviting enthusiasts on a perpetual journey of discovery. Whether exploring classic Bordeaux blends or avant-garde creations, the art of blending will remain a dynamic force, shaping the ever-evolving narrative of wine. Cheers to the exciting future that awaits the world of blended wines!
Oak barrels are an essential tool in the winemaker’s arsenal, a vessel that has been used for centuries to shape and enhance the flavors and aromas of wine. From imparting subtle vanilla notes to adding complexity and texture, oak barrels play a pivotal role in the art of winemaking.
The history of oak in winemaking dates back to ancient times. The Greeks and Romans were among the first to recognize the benefits of oak barrels, using them to transport and age their wines. Over the centuries, winemakers refined the use of oak, and today, it remains an integral part of the winemaking tradition.
The choice of oak in winemaking isn’t a random decision; it’s a deliberate one driven by an understanding of the unique properties that oak brings to the table. At Wiens Cellars, this understanding is woven into the very fabric of their winemaking philosophy.
Brian Marquez, the winemaker at Wiens Cellars, underscores the significance of oak, saying, “Oak isn’t just a tool; it’s an essential component in crafting wines with character and depth. It adds complexity, structure, and a touch of artistry to the winemaking process.”
The magic of oak lies in its ability to transform a simple grape juice into a complex and nuanced wine. Here’s how it impacts wine flavor, texture, and longevity:
David Steinhafel, owner of Wiens Cellars, emphasizes the role of oak in crafting their signature wines, saying, “Oak is our silent partner in the cellar. It’s the bridge that connects the fruit from our vineyards to the final bottle. Its influence is undeniable and vital.”
The choice of oak isn’t limited to a single variety; winemakers must decide between European oak, American oak, and other variations, each imparting its unique character to the wine.
The region where oak is grown also influences its properties. French oak from the Allier forest, for instance, is prized for its fine grain and tight grain structure. Wines aged in Allier oak tend to exhibit delicate flavors and smoother tannins. In contrast, oak from the Tronçais forest, also in France, offers a coarser grain, resulting in a more pronounced oak influence.
Brian Marquez, the winemaker at Wiens Cellars, elaborates, “Selecting the right oak variety and region is a crucial decision. It’s about finding that perfect match between the grape variety, terroir, and the oak’s unique characteristics. At Wiens Cellars, we approach this selection with the utmost care and consideration.”
In conclusion, oak barrels aren’t just containers; they’re the silent architects of wine. They transform grapes into extraordinary experiences, and at Wiens Cellars, this transformation is a craft, an art, and a testament to the enduring partnership between oak and winemaking.
Cooperage is the craft of creating oak barrels, a process that requires skill and precision. Experienced coopers select oak logs, age the staves, and carefully shape them into barrels. Traditional methods ensure the highest quality, as the craftsmanship is passed down through generations.
Toasting levels refer to the process of charring the inside of the oak barrel. This step can significantly impact the wine’s flavor. Light toasting provides subtle notes of vanilla, while heavy toasting imparts smoky, caramelized flavors. Winemakers carefully choose the toasting level to align with their wine’s desired profile.
Wiens Cellars, nestled in the picturesque Temecula Valley of California, boasts a rich tradition of winemaking that harmoniously blends innovation with respect for the region’s terroir. At the heart of their winemaking journey lies a critical element: oak barrels. The choice of oak barrels at Wiens Cellars plays a pivotal role in crafting wines that are not only a testament to the art of winemaking but also a celebration of the unique character of the Temecula terroir.
The winemaking team at Wiens Cellars recognizes that the type of oak used in barrels profoundly influences the flavor profile, texture, and overall quality of their wines. They employ a careful selection process, focusing primarily on French and American oak. French oak barrels, renowned for their elegance, impart a subtle finesse to the wines. These barrels, often sourced from the forests of Allier and Tronçais, lend delicate notes of vanilla, baking spices, and a refined structure to the wines. American oak, on the other hand, contributes robust flavors of caramel, coconut, and dill, imparting a bold and distinctive character to the final product.
Brian Marquez, the passionate winemaker at Wiens Cellars, emphasizes, “Our oak barrels are chosen with the utmost care, ensuring they align perfectly with the grape varieties we cultivate. This meticulous selection process is the cornerstone of our winemaking philosophy, ensuring that each wine showcases the ideal balance of oak influence, fruit expression, and regional character.”
David Steinhafel, owner of Wiens Cellars, adds, “We view the use of oak as an art form. It’s about understanding how oak interacts with our wines, bringing out the best in each varietal while preserving the distinct identity of Temecula Valley.”
The use of oak barrels at Wiens Cellars extends beyond mere aging; it’s a partnership between tradition and innovation, where each barrel contributes its unique story to the wine. Oak is not just a vessel; it’s an instrument in the symphony of flavors that define Wiens Cellars’ exceptional wines.
Understanding how oak influences wine is akin to unraveling the secrets of a complex symphony. Oak barrels impart a myriad of characteristics, ranging from subtle nuances to bold, defining notes. Here’s a deeper dive into how the interaction between oak and wine shapes the final product:
Oak is not just a passive vessel but a dynamic partner in the winemaking process. It adds layers of complexity, contributing to the wine’s overall character. As David Steinhafel, owner of Wiens Cellars, aptly puts it, “The art of using oak in winemaking lies in understanding when to let it shine and when to let the grapes express their natural beauty. It’s about elevating the wine without overpowering it.”
In the world of winemaking, oak barrels are akin to the artist’s brush, adding depth, texture, and character to the canvas of wine. The journey of a grape from vine to barrel is a journey of transformation, guided by the expertise of our winemakers and the embrace of oak’s influence.
As you savor a glass of Wiens Cellars wine, take a moment to appreciate the legacy of oak that lingers in every sip. It’s a testament to the timeless tradition of winemaking and the artistry that defines our craft.
In our next exploration, we’ll delve into the intriguing world of terroir, uncovering the secrets of how the land itself shapes the character of our wines.
In a world where sustainability is becoming increasingly vital, the wine industry is no exception. As stewards of the land, winemakers are acutely aware of the environmental impact of their craft. Wiens Cellars, our small, family-owned winery in Temecula, California, stands as a shining example of the commitment to sustainable winemaking practices. Our owner, David Steinhafel explains it best when he says, “Our dream as winery owners is to not only craft exceptional wines but to do so with a deep commitment to environmental stewardship. We believe in leaving a legacy of sustainability for future generations.”
In this comprehensive exploration, we delve deep into the realm of sustainable winemaking and explore the eco-conscious initiatives that make Wiens Cellars a beacon of environmental responsibility and social awareness in the world of wine.
Sustainable winemaking is not just a buzzword; it’s a holistic approach to winemaking that focuses on the long-term well-being of the environment, the economic viability of the winery, and the equitable treatment of the community. It’s a commitment to balance, often summarized in the three pillars of sustainability: environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and social equity.
Together, these three pillars create a balanced and holistic approach to sustainability in winemaking, ensuring that the industry not only produces exceptional wines but also operates in a manner that respects the environment, supports economic growth, and promotes social well-being.
Sustainable practices in the vineyard encompass a range of eco-conscious techniques aimed at minimizing environmental impact and promoting long-term soil and grapevine health. These practices often involve organic farming methods, water conservation measures, and biodiversity-enhancing initiatives, ensuring that vineyards thrive while respecting the delicate balance of nature.
Organic Farming Practices
Water Conservation and Management
Biodiversity and Habitat Preservation
The commitment to sustainability extends from the vineyards into the winery at Wiens Cellars. The winery’s eco-conscious initiatives within its walls are as integral to the sustainability journey as the practices in the vineyards.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Waste Management and Recycling
Sustainable Packaging Options
Our winery also encourages consumers to embrace sustainability by offering refillable and reusable wine bags. These initiatives reduce the environmental impact of packaging and promote responsible consumer choices.
Sustainable winemaking isn’t just a feel-good practice; it yields a trove of tangible benefits. These benefits extend far beyond the vineyard and winery, encompassing environmental, economic, and social advantages. It leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, responsible resource management, cost savings through efficient practices, and contributes positively to local communities, fostering a more eco-conscious and socially equitable wine industry.
Wiens Cellars is a shining example of sustainable winemaking in action. As passionately put by our Winemaker, Brian Marquez, “We continually strive to capture the essence of the land in every bottle, respecting the delicate balance of nature with each winemaking decision.” The winery’s commitment to water conservation, biodiversity, and eco-conscious practices in the winery reflects a deep dedication to environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and social equity.
Sustainable Practices at Wiens Cellars:
Sustainability isn’t just a noble ideal at Wiens Cellars; it’s a fundamental aspect of the winemaking process that directly influences the wines produced. The consistent goal of sustainability results in grapes that express the true character of the vineyard and the Temecula terroir. Water conservation ensures that the vines receive just the right amount of hydration, contributing to the concentration and balance of flavors in the grapes. Biodiversity in the vineyards creates a harmonious ecosystem where grapevines thrive naturally.
In the winery, energy-efficient practices and renewable energy sources minimize the winery’s environmental impact and help maintain the integrity of the grapes during production. Waste management programs reduce unnecessary waste and reinforce the winery’s eco-conscious values. Sustainable packaging options reflect the commitment to sustainability from vine to bottle.
As we raise our glasses to toast the wines of Wiens Cellars, let us also raise our awareness of the importance of sustainable winemaking. By choosing wines from wineries like Wiens Cellars that prioritize sustainability, we not only savor exceptional wines but also support practices that safeguard the environment, bolster local economies, and promote social equity. It’s a commitment to a more sustainable and harmonious future, one bottle at a time. Cheers to the eco-conscious journey of sustainable winemaking!
In every sip of Wiens Cellars’ wine, we taste the fruits of responsible stewardship and a commitment to preserving the delicate balance of our planet. So, the next time you uncork a bottle of Wiens Cellars wine, remember that you’re not just enjoying a superb wine; you’re partaking in a sustainable journey that enriches both your palate and the world around you.
In the rolling hills of Temecula Valley, a remarkable transformation takes place every year – the journey of a grape from the vine to the wineglass. This journey is not merely a scientific process; it’s a symphony of nature’s finest and human craftsmanship, a fusion that culminates in the creation of a delightful elixir we know as wine… & right now, we’re at the peak of it!
In this article, we will delve into the intricate journey that a grape undertakes, guided by the passionate hands of Wiens Cellars. Our family-owned winery in Temecula, CA, has perfected the art of turning grapes into liquid poetry, and we’re here to unveil the stages of this journey that lead to each exquisite bottle we produce.
Every great journey begins with a single step, or in this case, a single seed. The life cycle of a grapevine spans across various stages, each essential in its own right. From bud break to flowering, fruit set to veraison, the vineyard’s rhythm is a dance between the elements and the nurturing hands of the vintners. These stages are the prelude to the grape’s transformation, setting the stage for the grand symphony of flavors that will be played in each bottle.
Then, it happens all over again! Each stage in the grape’s journey is a chapter in a story of resilience, growth, and transformation. From the delicate emergence of buds, to the vibrant culmination of grape harvest, the vine’s narrative unfolds with precision and purpose, offering winemakers the raw material to craft wines that encapsulate the journey of both grape and grapevine.
Like characters in a story, different grape varieties play distinct roles in the winemaking process. Wiens Cellars boasts a diverse array of over 30 varietals, from the bold Bordeaux classics to the enchanting Italian gems. Each variety brings its own personality to the mix, contributing unique aromas, flavors, and textures to the final blend. The vintners at Wiens Cellars understand these varieties intimately, crafting wines that showcase the best of each grape’s character.
Let’s dive deeper into 6 of our more well-known varieties:
The turning point in a grape’s journey is the harvest. Timing is of the essence, as the decision of when to pick influences the wine’s balance, acidity, and sweetness. At Wiens Cellars, this moment is carefully chosen, respecting the grape’s natural rhythm. As our Head Winemaker, Brian Marquez puts it, “Wine is born in the vineyard, but it’s during the harvest that we set its course.” The harvesting process is a labor of love, where each bunch is handpicked to ensure only the finest grapes make their way to the press.
The art of harvesting grapes involves a crucial decision influenced by a delicate equilibrium of factors. Winemakers assess the grapes’ sugar levels, measured in degrees Brix, to gauge their ripeness. Concurrently, they consider the grapes’ acidity, pH levels, and the development of phenolic compounds like tannins and color pigments. The goal is to strike the perfect balance between ripe fruit flavors and the retention of sufficient acidity, as this balance shapes the wine’s potential for complexity and aging.
Harvesting grapes is a meticulous endeavor that demands the deft hands of skilled pickers. While mechanical harvesters are used for efficiency, handpicking remains a hallmark of quality for premium wines. Hand harvesters selectively choose clusters, ensuring only the healthiest and ripest grape bunches are collected. Once gathered, the grapes are swiftly transported to the winery to prevent oxidation and maintain their freshness.
Harvesting techniques wield a profound influence on a wine’s character and quality. Early harvesting may result in wines with higher acidity and fresher fruit flavors, suitable for crisp whites or sparkling wines. Delayed harvesting yields grapes with elevated sugar levels, leading to richer, more opulent wines. Additionally, the choice between handpicking and mechanical harvesting can impact grape integrity; handpicking allows for careful selection, preserving grape quality, while mechanical methods enhance efficiency but may be less selective. The chosen technique, combined with the precise moment of harvest, shapes the flavor profile, structure, and aging potential of the resulting wine.
With the grapes harvested, the transformation from fruit to nectar begins. The delicate process of crushing and pressing extracts the precious juice that carries the essence of the vineyard. Fermentation, the magical conversion of sugars to alcohol, is a pivotal step. At Wiens Cellars, fermentation is more than a chemical reaction; it’s an art form guided by the hands of skilled winemakers who orchestrate the process to perfection.
Fermentation is the alchemical process that transforms grape juice into wine, embodying the heart of winemaking. It begins with the introduction of yeast into the juice, where these microorganisms feast upon the sugars, converting them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. As fermentation progresses, the juice undergoes a symphony of chemical reactions, releasing a spectrum of aromas and flavors locked within the grapes. Beyond alcohol, yeast produce secondary metabolites that contribute to the wine’s complexity, including aromatic compounds and compounds that influence texture and mouthfeel. Fermentation not only bestows the wine with its alcoholic content but also shapes its character, making it a pivotal step in crafting wines that are diverse, expressive, and captivating.
As the wine evolves, the aging process imparts depth and complexity. Oak barrels, carefully selected by the winemakers, add layers of flavor that harmonize with the wine’s characteristics. Time becomes an ally as the wine matures gracefully. Bottling is the crescendo of this phase, capturing the culmination of years of hard work and anticipation. We’ll break it down for you really quick:
Aging wine is a patient endeavor that allows the wine to mature and evolve, transforming its flavors, aromas, and texture over time. During this phase, the wine rests in controlled environments, often in barrels or tanks, where it interacts with the compounds extracted during the fermentation process. Through oxidation and slow chemical reactions, the wine’s harsh edges soften, tannins integrate, and flavors harmonize, resulting in a more balanced and complex profile.
Oak barrels play a pivotal role in the aging process, imparting unique characteristics to the wine. As wine interacts with the wood, compounds like vanillin and lignin are extracted from the barrel, lending flavors of vanilla, spice, and toast. Additionally, the porous nature of oak allows for controlled oxygen exchange, contributing to the wine’s development and enhancing its texture. The choice of oak, whether French, American, or other, influences the final flavor profile and structure of the wine.
Bottling marks the culmination of the aging journey, as the matured wine is carefully prepared for its final presentation. The wine is first removed from its aging vessel and filtered to remove any sediment or solids that may have developed during the aging process. It’s then bottled under controlled conditions to maintain its integrity. The wine bottles are typically sealed with corks or other closures, protecting the wine from oxidation while allowing for a gradual aging process in the bottle. Once bottled, the wine is labeled, and each bottle becomes a vessel of the journey it has undertaken, ready to be enjoyed by connoisseurs seeking to savor the culmination of the winemaking art.
Wiens Cellars’ commitment to quality resonates throughout the grape’s journey. The legacy of the Wiens family, passed into the hands of the Steinhafel family, is a testament to the enduring values of family, quality, and integrity. Our owner, David Steinhafel explains, “In every cluster of grapes, there’s the potential for an exceptional bottle – it’s our job to uncover that potential.” Our hands-on approach, from the meticulous grape selection to the aging process, ensures that each bottle reflects the essence of the Temecula Valley terroir.
At Wiens Cellars, the journey of a grape is an intimate symphony of care, dedication, and craftsmanship. It commences with the meticulous cultivation of vineyards that are sustainably managed and nurtured throughout the grape’s life cycle. The grapes are harvested by skilled hands, ensuring that only the finest clusters are selected. Once gathered, the grapes embark on a transformative path where they are delicately crushed, and their precious juice is extracted, bearing the imprint of Temecula Valley’s terroir. Under the guidance of experienced winemakers, fermentation takes place, bringing the grapes one step closer to their final incarnation as wine. The aging process unfolds in carefully chosen oak barrels, where the wine matures, absorbing nuanced flavors and textures that harmonize with its origin. Finally, the wine is bottled right here at the winery, capturing the essence of the grape’s journey from vine to glass, ready to be enjoyed by enthusiasts who appreciate the artistry that Wiens Cellars’ commitment infuses into each bottle.
Wiens Cellars’ commitment to the journey of a grape resonates profoundly in the final wine. With hands-on involvement from vineyard management to bottling, we ensure that each grape is treated with the utmost care, fostering a depth of character that is uniquely expressive of our California terroir. Our focus on small-batch, artisanal wine production allows for meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that only the finest grapes contribute to our wines. The result is a portfolio of wines that carry the hallmark of Wiens Cellars’ philosophy – wines that encapsulate the grape’s journey from its birth in the vineyard to its transformation in the cellar, culminating in bottles that tell a story of family heritage, passion, and a profound respect for the art of winemaking.
With every bottle uncorked at Wiens and around the world, the story unfolds—a narrative of growth, transformation, and family heritage. Through meticulous vineyard care, delicate harvesting, and the art of crushing and pressing, the essence of the land’s terroir is captured and transformed into wines of distinction. This journey continues as wines age in oak barrels, shaped by Wiens Cellars’ commitment to quality and integrity. The next time you are wine tasting, we invite you to savor not just the wine, but the intricate journey each grape undertook, an ode to the grape, the land, and the artistry of winemaking that culminates in each exquisite glass.
Welcome to a journey that uncorks the hidden magic within every sip of wine – the enchanting concept of terroir. Terroir isn’t just a French word; it’s an invitation to explore the intricate dance between nature and craftsmanship that results in the wines we treasure. It’s a term that encapsulates the unique fingerprint of a vineyard – the soil, climate, and soul of a place that breathe life into each grape.
We welcome you to the enchanting world we’ve created at Wiens Cellars, where the magic of terroir unfolds in every sip of our handcrafted wines. Our story is one of passion, dedication, and the harmonious interplay between soil and climate. As we embark on this journey through the impact of soil and climate on wine flavor, we invite you to join us in exploring the essence of terroir that shapes each bottle we proudly produce.
In this exploration, we’ll dive into the heart of terroir, peeling back the layers to reveal how the partnership of soil and climate shapes the very essence of wine. By the end, we hope to inspire the idea that terroir isn’t just a concept; it’s the spirit of the earth captured in liquid form, waiting to be savored.
Understanding terroir is like unraveling the intricate DNA of a wine’s character. It encapsulates the unique synergy between soil, climate, topography and human touch, that shape the flavors and aromas of each bottle. Terroir is the invisible conductor of a symphony played by nature and craftsmanship, giving wines a distinct identity and an immersive sense of place. In short, it is the essence of a specific vineyard site, a composition of elements that shape the grapes and, subsequently, the wines themselves.
In this intricate dance of soil, climate, topography, and human touch, terroir emerges – a tapestry woven with a vineyard’s history and geography. Understanding terroir is a glimpse into the soul of a wine, a journey that reveals the profound connection between the land and the glass.
From the vineyard soil to the glass, the journey of wine is a symphony composed by nature and nurtured by human craftsmanship. Amidst this orchestration, the soil beneath the vines plays a pivotal role in shaping the wine’s character. Each soil type brings unique hues and textures to the final canvas of flavors and aromas found in wine. In this exploration of the interplay between soil texture and wine, we delve into the different types of soil and their remarkable influence on the wines we savor.
Soil’s influence on wine style transcends mere physical support. It’s a flavor architect, endowing grapes with distinct attributes. Sandy soils, for instance, promote drainage, leading to lighter, elegant wines, while clay imparts depth and robustness. Minerals absorbed by roots infuse flavors, yielding wines with subtle earthiness or vibrant minerality. Let’s give you three examples:
Soil isn’t just a canvas; it’s a palette of flavors that artists, in the form of winemakers, deftly paint upon. From Bordeaux’s gravel-kissed Cabernets to Burgundy’s limestone-infused Chardonnays, each wine is a testament to soil’s profound influence, etching its legacy sip by sip. To dive deeper, we’ll explain this with three of our most popular varietals:
In the ever-evolving tale of wine, climate stands as both artist and alchemist, sculpting the very essence of flavor. As we journey deeper, we uncover the exquisite dance between cool and warm climates, each producing wines that tell their own story. Cool climate wines, like a delicate sonata, often exhibit elegance and higher acidity. On the other hand, warm climate wines boast boldness, characterized by ripe fruits and full-bodied expressions.
Imagine grapevines as weathered interpreters, translating the climate’s tale into the fruit they bear. The sun-drenched days of warm climates expedite the ripening process, infusing grapes with higher sugar content and intensity. Cool climates, however, bestow a longer, gentler journey, nurturing grapes with balanced sugars and acids, resulting in a final product that sings harmoniously.
From the frost-kissed hills of Germany’s Mosel region come Rieslings that are alive with vibrant acidity and delicate aromas – the hallmark of a cool climate. In the sun-soaked valleys of Temecula, Cabernet Sauvignons exude richness and opulence, crafted by the warm embrace of the Californian sun. Here are a few more you might be familiar with:
As you uncork these wines, the climate becomes your companion, a silent narrator that whispers its secrets through each sip. Through the prism of climate change, we grasp the intricate dialogue between nature and nurture, understanding how this intangible force molds flavors and defines the very identity of wines.
In this symphony of wine we continually mention, there exists a duet that captivates the senses: the interplay between soil and climate. As we delve deeper into this harmony, we unveil a mesmerizing collaboration that shapes the very essence of flavor. Soil, the storyteller of terroir, teams up with climate, the conductor of growth, to compose wines that echo the land’s secrets. The mineral richness of soil meets the nurturing embrace of climate, and their union is a transformative alchemy.
Microclimates are the intricate climatic variations that occur within a larger geographical area, often due to factors like topography, altitude, proximity to water bodies, and local weather patterns. In wine production, the impact of microclimates is profound, as they can create diverse and nuanced growing conditions even within a single vineyard. These microclimates act as natural filters, determining which grape varieties will thrive and how they will express themselves.
Spanish wine regions, for example, showcase diverse microclimates, such as the Mediterranean coastal influence in Penedès for sparkling wines, the Atlantic impact in Rías Baixas enhancing Albariño’s character, and the continental conditions of Ribera del Duero nurturing intense Tempranillo-based reds. Many factors contribute to these varied outcomes. For instance, a south-facing slope might receive more sunlight and warmth, resulting in riper grapes and fuller-bodied wines, while a cooler north-facing slope might produce wine grapes with higher acidity and more delicate flavors.
Winemakers keenly study and harness these microclimates to tailor their viticultural practices. By strategically planting grape varieties and managing vines based on these subtle variations, winemakers can enhance grape quality and flavor consistency. Microclimates also play a vital role in terroir expression, as they add yet another layer of uniqueness to a wine’s character. Consequently, wines originating from a specific vineyard might exhibit remarkable diversity in flavors, textures, and aromas, all thanks to the intricate interplay of microclimates within the broader regional climate.
Nestled amid the scenic beauty of Temecula Valley, our winery Wiens Cellars, emerges as a beacon of the terroir that defines our high-quality wines. The rolling hills and sun-drenched vineyards create a landscape that tells a tale of soil and climate, each element nurturing the grapes that paint our viticultural masterpieces. The soil, a patchwork of sandy loam and gravelly textures, whispers the history of the land’s ancient geology, while the warm Mediterranean climate infuses vitality into every grape that flourishes.
Porous and well-draining, our region’s type of soil grants the vines a unique stress that yields concentrated flavors. Meanwhile, the region’s warm days and cool nights coax the grapes into a slow, balanced ripening process, crafting wines with depth and character. The interplay between soil and climate in this instance is Wiens’ palette, and each varietal is a brushstroke of this remarkable collaboration. Wiens Cellars stands as a testament to the power of terroir – a reminder that beyond the winery’s walls, the land itself is a vital partner in the winemaking process.
As we raise a final glass to our exploration, the significance of terroir in the world of winemaking shines brilliantly. From the embrace of soil to the caress of climate, we’ve journeyed through the very elements that orchestrate the symphony of flavors within each bottle. Soil imparts identity, while climate conducts growth – together, they weave the narrative that distinguishes wines from various corners of the globe.
So, as you indulge in your next glass, take a moment to savor not just the wine, but the tale of terroir it encapsulates. Allow your senses to wander through the vineyards, to feel the soil beneath your feet and the sun’s warmth on your skin. Explore the nuances that terroir offers, whether it’s the mineral embrace of limestone or the crisp air of a cool climate. Let each sip be a journey, an ode to the partnership between nature and craftsmanship!
Introducing our ultimate wine pairing guide, with specific recommendations from our award-winning wines at Wiens Cellars. Let us take you on a culinary journey that transcends mere consumption. This guide delves into the intricate dance between flavors, aromas, and textures, revealing how the harmonious union of wine and food can transform a meal into an unforgettable sensory experience.
Understanding the importance of pairing wine with food goes beyond mere tradition; it’s a pursuit that bridges the gap between culture, science, and creativity. In this comprehensive guide, we will embark on a journey through the essentials of wine and food pairings. We’ll unravel the key principles that govern successful pairings, considering factors such as acidity, sweetness, body, and intensity. Beyond the basics, we’ll delve into the nuances of pairing regional cuisines with wines, understanding the impact of seasonality, and even experimenting with unconventional matches.
For the curious novice or the seasoned sommelier, our guide promises to demystify the art of pairing, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to curate exquisite dining experiences that tantalize the senses and create lasting memories. So, let’s raise our glasses to the adventure that awaits – a journey of flavors, discoveries, and the delightful marriage of wine and food.
Wine and food pairing principles involve matching intensity and flavors, balancing acidity, sweetness, and textures, and considering the wine’s characteristics in relation to the dish’s components, such as protein, sauce, and cooking method, to create a harmonious and enhanced culinary experience. To further explain, let’s break it down:
Of course, before you can pair wine with food, you need a basic understanding of what you’re even pairing them with. Grasping wine characteristics entails deciphering the intricate tapestry of aromas, flavors, and textures, that make each bottle unique. The best way to do that? Wine tasting. Practice your palate frequently! In the meantime, we’ll walk you through the basics:
Understanding food characteristics involves recognizing the intricate interplay of proteins, cooking methods, sauces, and spices to create harmonious and flavorful dining experiences. It is a journey into the realm of harmonious flavors, where a few key points can transform your dining experience:
Before diving into your pairings head-first, consider the weight and intensity of both the dish and the wine, ensuring that one doesn’t overpower the other. Balance acidity – opt for wines with relatively high acidity to cut through rich or fatty foods. Think about the wine’s sweetness level, matching it with the dish’s sweetness or spice. The cooking method matters too, as grilled or roasted dishes often complement wines with smoky or earthy undertones, while steamed or raw options shine with lighter and fresher wines. Lastly, don’t underestimate the influence of sauces and spices, which can harmonize or contrast with the wine’s flavor profile. We’ll give you some recommendations from our menu, to start:
There may be “rules,” but don’t be afraid to color outside the lines with your wine pairings! Experimenting opens up a realm of discovery, allowing you to uncover unexpected harmonies and contrasts that enhance both the wine and the food. By venturing beyond traditional matches, you can create unique and delightful dining experiences that stimulate your palate and ignite your culinary creativity. You may surprise yourself with even the strangest ideas, like these ones we’ve tried:
As we bring this culinary expedition to a close, let’s not forget that the true joy lies in the exploration. From understanding the nuances of wine characteristics to grasping the intricacies of various cuisines, we’ve delved into the art of finding that perfect wine pairing. Remember, the weight and intensity of both the wine and the dish, the interplay of acidity, sweetness, and textures, and the magic of experimenting with unexpected combinations are all keys to a successful pairing.
The world of food and wine pairings is boundless and open to interpretation, inviting you to venture beyond the familiar and discover the endless possibilities that await. Whether you’re embarking on an elegant dinner party or enjoying a cozy evening at home, let your senses guide you as you craft experiences that delight the palate and create lasting memories. So, raise your glass to the art of pairing, and may your culinary journeys be filled with moments of pure gastronomic delight.
Cheers to exploring, experimenting, and relishing the magic of perfect pairings!
At Wiens Cellars, we’re regularly asked to explain wine basics to our tasting room visitors… As a California winery, this happens pretty often. So, in an attempt to properly educate those who are curious, we thought we’d give you a beginner’s guide into the world of wine tasting—an artful exploration that invites you to engage your senses and embark on a captivating journey through flavors, aromas, and experiences. Whether you’re a curious newcomer or a seasoned wine enthusiast, learning how to properly taste wine can enhance your appreciation and deepen your connection with this ancient and complex beverage. As you read through this blog post, we’ll give you a beginner’s guide through the steps of wine tasting, from observing wines like Cabernet Sauvignon to Chardonnay, all while highlighting the subjective and personal nature of this delightful pursuit. So, raise your glass and prepare to unravel the secrets that each bottle of wine holds, as we embark on a sensory adventure like no other!
Although it may seem simple from afar, there is both an art and a science to wine tasting; And what better way to experiment than with a glass of your favorite beverage? Simply put, wine tasting is the process of evaluating and appreciating wine by using sight, smell, and taste. It involves observing the wine’s color and clarity, identifying aromas through smell, and analyzing flavors, texture, and overall characteristics while sipping.
Of course, practice makes for the best education in the world of wine, so you must taste often! Bummer, right? But it’s true! Wine tasting allows you to engage multiple senses and decode the intricate layers that contribute to a wine’s character. By systematically observing the wine’s appearance, inhaling its aromas, savoring its flavors, and considering its finish, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the wine’s composition and complexity. Ultimately, wine tasting equips you with the tools to discern and articulate your preferences, transforming wine consumption from a simple beverage into a rich and rewarding sensory experience.
For all types of wine, understanding the visual aspects is a crucial step in tasting, as the color and clarity provide initial clues about its age, grape varieties, and potential flavors. In addition, the “legs” or “tears” in wine, observed as droplets that form and run down the inside of the glass after swirling, provide information about its alcohol content and viscosity. Simple observations such as the hue and intensity observed in the glass offer valuable insights into the wine’s character before even taking the first sip.
When visually interpreting wine, it’s important to grasp the wine glass by its stem to avoid heating the wine with your hand, which could affect its temperature and aromas. Additionally, comparing the following components in all red wines, rosé wines, white wines and sparkling wines are best viewed against a lighter background:
Why do we swirl wine?
Swirling wine is a common practice in tasting because it enhances the wine-tasting experience by releasing its aromas and oxygenating the wine. Swirling also helps to soften the wine, particularly red wines with tannins, as they can interact with oxygen, mellowing the wine and making it more approachable on the palate.
The act of smelling wine, also known as “nosing,” allows us to identify a wide range of scents that contribute to the overall sensory experience. The aromas in wine are derived from various compounds present in the grapes, the fermentation process, and sometimes from aging in oak barrels. To properly smell wine and fully appreciate its aromas, try these steps:
Remember that smelling wine is a subjective experience, and everyone’s sense of smell is unique. Don’t hesitate to trust your own perceptions and interpretations of the aromas.
Now comes the part that everyone is familiar with: Tasting. While it may seem as if you have this part down pat, consider the following steps the next time you taste:
By following these steps, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the wine’s taste structure, flavors, and how it evolves on your palate from the initial sip to the concluding finish.
Once you taste, it’s important to pause and reflect on what you have savored. Try to focus on these aspects:
Considering these elements as you reflect on the wine’s balance, complexity, and finish will provide deeper insights into its character and help you form a more complete impression of the wine’s overall quality and personality.
Of course, discussion is inevitable when analyzing the diverse world of wine. It can be intimidating, but rest assured, it’s a lot scarier than it may seem. To start you off, here are 10 common wine tasting terms that will help you navigate the world of wine with confidence:
For more wine terms, click here to read our blog post titled: Wine Speak.
When it’s all said & done, preparation will be your biggest support when embarking on your wine tasting adventure. Here are some tips to ensure you have a successful and enjoyable experience:
*Bonus Tip: Do NOT be afraid to ask your Wine Specialist or Sommelier for advice. They’re there to help!
Remember, the wine tasting experience is a journey of discovery, and everyone’s palate is unique. Don’t worry if you’re new to it—practice makes perfect, and with time, your tasting skills will become more attuned to the subtleties of each wine. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned enthusiast, the adventure of exploring different wines can be both educational and delightful. So, gather your friends, visit our winery, or simply open a bottle at home—immerse yourself and any other wine lover in your life in the experience. Savor each sip, and let the world of wine unfold before you in all its nuanced beauty!
Hey there newbies! It’s getting to be that time of year again where parties fill up your weekends & you see your family more than the average amount. You know what that means: Alcohol! Plus, you don’t want to walk in empty-handed, right? Good thing we have a variety of options on our menu right now. Let me walk you through 8 different holiday wines you’re sure to impress with! Don’t worry, I’ll give you the run-down on each one so you don’t walk in empty-headed either!
An annual holiday favorite, our 2020 Merrytage pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes. This vintage is exceptionally yummy with a fuller body, smooth tannins, & notes of holiday spices, cranberry, with a silky finish. Being that it’s a more complex wine, it will allude to your wine intelligence, but also allow for easy drinking (Score!). It has many characteristics that present themselves as you continue to drink, making it a great conversation starter, as well. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
Winemaker’s Notes: We create this special blend annually with the goal of appealing to a broad range of wine palates. Medium bodied, fruity, and pleasantly textured, our 2020 Merrytage will pair nicely with a wide variety of dishes at your holiday table.
Our 2018 Refugio Malbec is another beautiful red to put on your holiday table this year. Again, with velvety tannins, this wine will showcase a lot of depth while still being approachable. Nonetheless, a beautiful wine for both beginning & seasoned wine drinkers. Beginning with notes reminiscent of a freshly baked blackberry pie, this wine opens up to reveal notes of cedar & pine, while also offering notes of brown spice & chocolate covered strawberries, with supple tannins. It pairs best with hearty beef dishes & rich sauces. If you’ve got a red wine lover in the group, bring it!
Winemaker’s Notes: While our 2018 Refugio Malbec isn’t as intensely tannic as some vintages, it shines with alluring complexity. With the body, and tannin restrained, the nuances of spice and forest from the oak get more of the spotlight. Our Elk Grove and Montfort Malbec provide the support for this vintage, which is enhanced with Waxman Malbec, adding more blue fruit and black pepper notes.
There’s a reason Pinot Noir is a crowd favorite: It has something for everybody. This red wine is a favorite for even the white wine drinker. Bring it to the next function if you don’t believe me. Truly, the perfect Thanksgiving wine— Of course, it can pair with other holiday dishes, as well. Pinot Noir is often thought of as a lighter wine, & compared to our bolder reds that may be true, however this vintage presents complexity in its own way, while still promising easy drinking. Offering notes of red cherry, fig, & cinnamon bark, this Pinot Noir will have everyone doing the happy dance!
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2019 Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir making this a unique vintage that show cases the true typicity of the varietal. This wine is soft and elegant with simplicity, a delicate tannin structure highlighting the red fruit and spice from a partial stem included in fermentation.
*Also, offered in a holiday pack with our Pinot Grigio starting Nov. 16!
Buttery & delicious—Just like that turkey you’ll be having next week. This oaked chardonnay screams holiday with its elegant characteristics & authentic flavors. Even red wine drinkers will enjoy this one for its subtle complexity. Aged for 6 months in French Oak, this wine offers notes of vanilla amongst crisp apple, honey & pear. The balance of flavors pairs wonderfully with salmon, chicken marsala, & fettucine carbonara—A beautiful wine to bring to the party.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Chardonnay is unique in that we age on oak, while suppressing the secondary fermentation. This allows us to accentuate the natural flavors in the wine with oak, rather than the buttery notes present in a “ML” chardonnay. The French oak used lends some creamy vanilla notes, that balance nicely against crisp, green apple notes, making our Chardonnay a little lighter bodied than most California Chardonnays, while retaining good typicity.
A white with a bit of a bite… Of minerality that is. Our 2020 Pinot Grigio is a wine with a variety of characteristics. Notes of lemongrass, nectarine, & pear explode on your tastebuds, with a crisp acidity on the finish. This wine gives you a great wine to pair with your appetizers! Adding charcuterie boards, white fish & shellfish, will make you the savior of cocktail hour. Naturally, it can pair well with the main course, as well. Regardless of when you drink it, rest assured: Your palate will thank you.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Pinot Grigio is crafted as an homage to its home country, Italy. We harvest early, when there is still plenty of acidity in the grape, to produce a wine with lower alcohol, and crisp acidity. We ferment in stainless steel at low temperatures to bring out the delicate fruit, and mineral notes. Finally, we bottle soon after fermentation to make sure we capture those flavors and aromas before they “flash off”.
*Also, offered in a holiday pack with our Pinot Noir starting Nov. 16!
Floral on the nose & strawberry on the palate— Another wine that pairs well with your meal before the meal. A lighter choice to begin with, but that’s how it should be anyways, right? Barbera is the perfect fruit to make a rosé with because of its bright acidity, making this crisp wine a great pairing with margherita pizza or light seafood. Bringing this to the pre-party will make both a wine drinker & a wine hater happy—Trust.
Winemaker’s Notes: Barbera makes an excellent candidate for rosé, as it retains its acidity better than any other red variety in our warm Temecula climate. This gives the finished rose a crisp, refreshing finish that pairs nicely with our warmer days.
Could it BE any more obvious? I don’t really need to convince you, do I? The perfect sparkling wine for any occasion, but especially the holidays. The beauty of this wine is its ability to pair with any time of day. Have it with appetizers, the main course, or even after with dessert! Either way, your fellow guests will love you for it.
Winemaker’s Notes: Amour De L’Orange Sparkling Wine is an ambrosial delight for those of you who enjoy Champagne with a fun twist. Starting with the finest Chardonnay cuvee loaded with fruity aromas including pear, coconut, and pineapple, our winemaker added just a hint of natural orange flavoring. If you love mimosas, our Amour De L’Orange is sure to be a hit at your party, wedding, or Sunday brunch!
Alright, I know I put two in one here, but choosing one of these really has everything to do with your desserts, so it’s unlikely you’ll bring both. Each are excellent choices at the end of the night. White Port pairs well with desserts like apple pie & cheesecake, & our Ruby Port complements rich chocolate dishes. Sounds delicious, right? It is! If you haven’t tried a port before, be warned: It is a distilled wine with much more alcohol than your typical table wine. Nevertheless, exploding with flavor & a great addition to any dessert. Highly recommend.
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2020 batch of White Port brings back an old familiar classic. Blending classic and aromatic varietals aged in light toast barrels for a wine that is a pleasant night cap.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Ruby Port is a blend of vintages, aged to allow the fresh red fruit notes to be tempered by nutty, caramel flavors and aromas brought forth by extended aging. Enjoy our Ruby Port with any rich chocolate desserts or as a decadent stand-alone digestif.
So, there they are! A variety of choices for your next dinner party this holiday season, straight off our tasting menu. I know I said you can’t go wrong with the Merrytage (still true), but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Each one would bring a little something special to your holiday evening in their own unique way, guaranteed. That’s the beauty of wine! It can be a drink, a conversation, a memory, the start to a friendship—& Especially during the holidays.
Let’s raise a glass to what it can create this season! Cheers!
Bailey Morris, Marketing/Gift Shop