In the world of winemaking, every year brings its own set of challenges and surprises. It’s a dance with Mother Nature, where she leads, and we must follow. This year, we’d like to take you on a journey through our vineyards, sharing the story of triumph over adversity, loss, and the promise of what’s to come.
Unfortunately, our Estate Chardonnay fell victim to mildew this year. The vines, aging and compromised, struggled to mount a defense against the relentless humidity and mildew pressure. It was a tough loss, but we found solace in our Sage Chardonnay, which stepped up to fill the void left by its Estate sibling. Our Syrah made up for it, looking bold & juicy as ever! Looking ahead, we’ve decided to remove the old Chardonnay vines and replace them with robust Cabernet Franc, a decision that promises a bright future for our Estate.
San Ignacio surprised us this year with its best crop ever. Thanks to the blessings of rain, our Merlot harvest was a true success story already. We harvested those grapes last week & plan on harvesting the rest this week! The cool ripening season worked its magic, gifting us with grapes boasting balanced acidity and phenological ripeness. It’s all about flavors, aromas, and tannins developed naturally, rather than the sweetness derived from prematurely raisined grapes. This year, the vineyard is adorned with native Doveweed, lending an aromatic herbal note that defines San Ignacio’s unique terroir.
Sage Vineyard also shone brightly this season. Despite some challenges with late rains affecting Petite Sirah in the valley, Sage offered a clean, bountiful harvest of this variety. Our Sangiovese, Barbera, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc are thriving, promising exciting options for our 2023 Vineyard Designates. Nestled in higher elevation foothills, both Sage and San Ignacio were spared from the unusually high mildew pressure experienced this year.
Early signs indicate a promising year for La Cresta, especially for our Designate Cabs. Cab Sauv, known for its resilience, weathered the late rains well, unlike thinner-skinned varieties. Although La Cresta had its share of challenges, including misty rains during flowering, which affected pollination, the silver lining is the production of looser clusters with improved airflow and sunlight exposure. Thicker skins on these berries will translate into fuller-bodied, robust Cabs from La Cresta. What we might lose in quantity, we’ll undoubtedly gain in quality.
As winemakers, every year teaches us valuable lessons. It reminds us of the delicate balance we must maintain with nature, as well as the resilience and potential of our vineyards. This year, from loss to triumph, our vineyards have shown their character and resilience. We eagerly anticipate the promise that these grapes hold for the future, as they embark on their journey from vine to bottle. Cheers to another year of crafting exceptional wines for you to enjoy!
Wiens Production Team
When you take a sip of wine, have you ever stopped to ponder the complexity of flavors dancing on your palate? If so, you’ve likely realized that wine is a symphony of tastes, and at the heart of this orchestra are grape varieties. Each grape variety contributes its unique notes, creating a rich and diverse world of wine. In this journey, we will explore the intriguing and varied grape varieties that shape the character of our wines at Wiens Cellars.
Grape varieties are the building blocks of wine. They determine the fundamental flavors, aromas, and characteristics of the final product. From the lush green vineyards to the bottle on your table, the grape variety plays a crucial role at every stage of the winemaking process. Join us as we delve into the history, characteristics, and contributions of various grape varieties that make our wines stand out in the world of viticulture.
To truly understand grape varieties, we must journey back in time to the origins of grape cultivation. Grapes have been cultivated for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and Mesopotamians. The history of wine is intertwined with the history of grape varieties, as different grapes found their way into vineyards across the globe.
Grapes are among the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The history of viticulture can be traced back to around 6,000 BC in the regions of modern-day Georgia and Iran. Early winemaking pioneers recognized the potential of these small, juicy orbs and began cultivating them for their sweet, fermented nectar. Over centuries, grape cultivation spread through trade routes and explorations, finding its way to Europe, Asia, and eventually, the New World.
Grapes are globetrotters. They have traveled from their places of origin to virtually every winemaking region on Earth. Varieties that once thrived in one corner of the world are now cherished in vineyards halfway across the globe. We’ll explore how these grapes adapted to new terroirs and climates, creating distinctive wines along the way.
Grape varieties, like intrepid explorers, embarked on journeys across continents. The grapevine, a hardy and versatile plant, could adapt to different soil types, climates, and altitudes. As trade routes expanded, so did the reach of grape varieties. They ventured from their ancestral homes to new lands, carried by sailors, merchants, and settlers.
In the Old World, Europe became a melting pot of grape varieties. The Romans, who had an insatiable thirst for wine, played a significant role in propagating grape cultivation throughout their vast empire. Vineyards flourished in regions like Italy, France, Spain, and Germany, each region giving birth to distinctive wine styles.
In the New World, grapevines were among the cargo of early explorers and colonists. They were planted in the fertile soils of the Americas, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. These new environments offered exciting opportunities for grape varieties to evolve and express themselves in unique ways.
White grape varieties bring a sense of elegance and freshness to the world of wine. From the zesty brightness of Sauvignon Blanc to the creamy richness of Chardonnay, each white grape variety imparts its signature characteristics to the wines they produce.
White grape varieties are known for their diversity. They range from the vibrant and crisp to the opulent and buttery, offering a wide spectrum of flavors and aromas. While many wine enthusiasts may associate white wines with light and refreshing options, these grapes can create a surprising array of styles.
Let’s embark on a journey through some of the most popular white grape varieties and the wines they produce. These grapes have become household names in the world of wine, loved for their versatility and distinct personalities.
These white grape varieties represent just a fraction of the diversity found in the world of wine. As you explore wines made from these grapes, you’ll notice how each variety brings its unique charm to the glass.
Red grape varieties are the heroes behind robust, full-bodied wines. They offer a spectrum of flavors, from the dark fruit intensity of Cabernet Sauvignon to the silky elegance of Pinot Noir. These grapes have a special place in the hearts of wine connoisseurs.
Red grape varieties are known for their depth and complexity. They can produce wines that range from deeply colored and tannic to light and fruity. These grapes are the key players in crafting wines that are cherished for their ability to age and evolve gracefully over time.
Let’s delve into the characteristics and wine profiles of renowned red grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Learn about the magic that unfolds in the glass when these grapes are transformed into wine.
These red grape varieties are the pillars of our winemaking philosophy at Wiens Cellars. Their distinct personalities shine through in every bottle, offering wine lovers a diverse range of choices to explore and savor.
While certain grape varieties bask in the limelight, there’s a world of lesser-known grapes waiting to be discovered. These hidden gems may not be as famous, but they bring their unique and fascinating attributes to the wine scene.
Join us in uncovering lesser-known grape varieties like Malbec, Tempranillo, and Gewürztraminer. These grapes may not always be in the spotlight, but they contribute distinctive nuances to the world of wine.
These lesser-known grape varieties are a testament to the diversity and resilience of the grapevine. While they may not always make headlines, they certainly leave a lasting impression on those who explore their flavors.
At Wiens Cellars, grape varieties are our paintbrushes, and the vineyards are our canvas. We’ll provide an overview of the grape varieties lovingly cultivated in our estate vineyards. These grapes are the essence of our winemaking
the unique character and quality of our wines.
Our winemaker, Brian Marquez, understands the profound impact of grape varieties on the final wine. He shares his perspective on our grape selection and winemaking process: “Every grape variety has its own voice. It’s my job to ensure that each one speaks clearly in the wines we produce at Wiens Cellars. Our diverse portfolio, from bold reds to crisp whites, showcases the beauty of these varieties and the terroir of the Temecula Valley.”
Owner David Steinhafel also emphasizes the importance of grape varieties in shaping Wiens Cellars’ identity: “Our vineyards are an expression of our commitment to producing high-quality wines. We’ve carefully chosen grape varieties that thrive in our terroir, and this selection reflects our dedication to excellence. Our wines are a reflection of the land, the climate, and the grape varieties that make Wiens Cellars unique.”
In this exploration of grape varieties, we’ve ventured through the history, diversity, and characteristics that define the wines at Wiens Cellars. From the classic elegance of Chardonnay to the bold intensity of Cabernet Sauvignon, each grape variety contributes its distinct flavors and aromas to our portfolio.
As you enjoy a glass of Wiens Cellars wine, take a moment to appreciate the journey of these grape varieties. They’ve traveled through time and across continents to reach your glass, bringing with them the essence of our vineyards and winemaking philosophy.
Whether you’re savoring the vibrant notes of Sauvignon Blanc or the velvety embrace of Merlot, remember that these grape varieties are the stars of the show. They’re the reason behind the smiles, the toasts, and the unforgettable moments that wine brings to our lives.
In the words of winemaker Brian Marquez, “Grape varieties are the storytellers of our wines. Each one narrates a unique tale, and together, they create a beautiful anthology. It’s an honor to craft wines that capture the essence of these varieties and the spirit of Wiens Cellars.”
So, raise your glass and celebrate the diversity of grape varieties, the essence of wine itself, and the unforgettable experiences they bring to your life.
Appellation: Temecula Valley
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Oak: Not Oaked
13% Pinot Grigio
Tasting Notes: Our 2021 Albariño has aromas of Honeysuckle, and Jasmine, with Green Apple and Nectarine on the palate, and Bright Acidity on the finish.
Winemaker’s Notes: This Iberian variety is very well suited for our Mediterranean climate, which makes it an obvious choice for us to utilize. Albariño tends to get richly honeyed if over ripe, so we harvest ours a little earlier. We also blended in some crisp Pinot Grigio to further lighten the wine. While the floral, honey notes are still present and appreciated, they are balanced nicely with grassy, herbal notes, and a light, crisp finish.
Food Pairing Ideas: Grilled Salmon, Cioppino, or light salads with chicken breast
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Composition: 59% Viognier, 41% Chardonnay
Fresh breezes of lychee, white peach and limestone rise from the glass in our 2021 Solace, broadened on the palate with a hint of honey and pear with ample crisp acidity to assure a refreshingly clean finish.
Our 2021 Solace is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier The Chardonnay adds notes of citrus and cream, balanced perfectly with tropical and stone fruit notes from the Viognier. This wine is unoaked, keeping it crisp, clean, and refreshing.
Food Pairing Ideas:
Grilled Fish Tacos, Margarita Pizza, Buttered Popcorn
Restaurant wine lists can be… extensive, to say the least. The last thing you want is to stress over something as minuscule as a drink choice when out for a meal meant for leisure. Or is that just me? Regardless, all those options often put us in that position anyways. In all reality, you don’t need to be an expert to order your wine, but it helps for your own enjoyment to feel as if you played at least a small role in your decision, don’t you think? After all, this blog is focused on those wanting to know more about wine. So, here’s a few tips next time you’re out & want to order wine!
1. Do your research (if you can).
This goes for both wine as a whole, as well as the specific restaurant you plan to dine at. It can help calm the nerves when you know a little more information, prior to being surprised with countless possibilities when you arrive. Most restaurants have a wine list online that you can view before dining, especially now with COVID introducing more QR-code menus than ever before. Take a look at it, see what they can offer you. The varietals, the regions, the flavor profiles—all of them should be on there for your viewing. This doesn’t mean you have to choose your wine before you even sit down, just do yourself a favor & see what you can even choose from first. If they don’t have a menu, do your general wine research. Try to understand a few of those vocabulary words we put out a few weeks ago (i.e., tannins, acidity, crisp, bold, etc.). These will help make talking to the wait staff &/or sommelier (a trained & knowledgeable wine professional) much smoother, & if it still doesn’t, so what! You’re a beginner, you tried & that’s what they’re there for anyways… but we’ll get into that in a bit.
2. Don’t panic.
This one is mostly for all the anxious folk, like me. If you’re presented with a wine list that feels like it takes 3-courses just to read through, remember why you’re there: To enjoy yourself! Chances are, you already know what you’re in the mood for, so just go with it. Picked out your meal first? Great, now choose a yummy wine to go with it. Oh, you chose your wine first? Cool, now what sounds good to eat with it? & Even if it takes you until the bottom of the bread basket to choose either one, order some champagne to sip on while you decide—it’ll do the calming down for you, believe me.
3. Stick to your budget.
Depending on what city you’re in, what genre of food you’re eating, or even the number of people at the table, wine can jack up that check total real quick. On special occasions, price may not be an obstacle, but when going out for just a regular date night, it can be a major factor in your decision. Not only that, but especially when ordering for other people, sometimes sticking to a budget can be uncomfortable. Don’t be pressured into purchasing more than you’re willing to pay for, either. If it’s on their menu, they’re willing to associate their name with it, so it can’t be all that bad. I know that doesn’t sound very convincing, but remember, more expensive doesn’t always necessarily mean better wine.
A small tip if you are embarrassed talking about price with the other dinner guests: When in doubt, point. Tell the waiter or sommelier you’d like a wine “similar to this one” & point to a price on the menu. You can even be more specific & tell them the wine type, variety or meal choice you made to pair it with.
4. Talk to your sommelier.
I feel there are very few things as intimidating as speaking to a professional in their field without having any to little knowledge of the topic yourself. Fun fact, though: You don’t need to know it all—that is NOT a requirement for ordering wine. Actually, that is the whole reason your waiter or sommelier is there in the first place: To help you! & If you think it makes you look inexperienced to do this, you’re wrong. Having a proper conversation with them, telling them what you like & don’t like, & asking for their opinion, will not only get you a wine you’ll love, but enhance your wine knowledge as well. Most high-end restaurants will have a sommelier on staff, but not all dining experiences will. Either way, do not be afraid to ask questions. Especially if there is a sommelier; Their entire job revolves around their wine expertise.
5. Ask for a taste.
If you still aren’t sure even with the recommendations from your waiter or sommelier, ask for a taste. Be brave! Very rarely will they say no, & if they do, that’s literally the worst scenario. Remember though, when they pop open that bottle right in front of you, pour it out & don’t leave until you try it—You don’t have to like it. That’s the whole point, after all. Be considerate, but honest! Make sure you like what you’re paying for; It’s not cheap, remember?
6. Try something new!
This is kind of a bonus tip, but one I feel is very important. You’re not going to learn more about wine by only drinking Cabernet Sauvignon for the rest of your life. Try one you normally wouldn’t try! If that intimidates you, let your waiter or sommelier pick for you. More likely than not, there are hundreds of varieties you’ve never even heard of before. & Who knows, one of those unknowns could possibly be your new favorite. You’ll never know until you try.
The cheat-sheet version of this list basically reassures you that you can’t order wine wrong. You just have to be brave with it. Be confident in not knowing a lot! & No, that’s not an oxymoron; It’s good advice for someone learning about wine. Keeping an open mind is the only thing that will take you to that next level. If you don’t care about getting there, that’s fine, too. If anything, these tips will at least lead you to some yummy wine, & who wouldn’t want that?
Bailey Morris, Marketing/ Gift Shop
Crazy about Wiens wine? Here’s a list of restaurants we serve our wine in! *
1909 – 28656 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590
Barrel 33 – 40754 Village Dr., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Bluewater Grill – 26700 Ynez Ct, Temecula, CA 92591
Pechanga Resort and Casino – 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592
Reading Cinema – 41090 California Oaks Rd, Murrieta, CA 92562
Francesca’s Italian Kitchen – 31165 Temecula Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592
Spicy Noodle – 25395 Madison Ave #111, Murrieta, CA 92562
Coin-Op Game Room – 28588 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590
EscoGelato – 122 S Kalmia St, Escondido, CA 92025
Goat and Vine – 41923 2nd Street #102, Temecula, CA 92590
Grazing Theory – 32127 Temecula Pkwy Unit C, Temecula, CA 92592
Embassy Suites – 29345 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591
Oscar’s Brewing Company – 29375 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591
Backyard Bottle Shop & Taproom – 39400 Murrieta Hot Springs Rd STE 123A, Murrieta, CA
Ferro – 25840 Cedar St, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549
Grapes & Grains – 28061 Jefferson Ave #5, Temecula, CA 92590
127 West Social – 127 W Elder St, Fallbrook, CA 92028
Toast – 31093 Temecula Pkwy d6, Temecula, CA 92592
*This list has been gathered as of 8/24/21 & is subject to change at any time. Should you dine at any of these establishments, please understand quantities are limited & may not be available at time of visit.