There’s a LOT of California wine out there… At last count, 17 million gallons per year (2017)! Everything from the mass produced to the conventional but romantic… Then there are the niche producers of artisanal, natural, indie wine – those winemakers that have gone out of their way to source organic/sustainable fruit not just because it’s cool but because it’s the right thing to do. These same wineries have gone one step further by fermenting these grapes via native yeasts and opted to not put any junk in their must/wine besides a minute amount of sulphur at bottling, if at all. Here are a handful of our country’s finest, truly natural suspects.
PURITY COMETS BLUFF ZINFANDEL MCCLONE VINEYARD EL DORADO, CA 2016
BROC CELLARS TROUSSEAU GRIS (ROSE/ORANGE) RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CA 2018
From one of Cali’s best natural wine makers comes this gem of a rosé/orange wine made from the Trousseau Gris grape. Trousseau Gris is similar to Pinot Grigio in that the skins are actually pinkish/greyish when fully ripe (TRUTH! Pinot Grigio IS NOT WHITE! WHOA!). Thus, when the grapes come into the cellar and a maceration takes place (juice mingling with grape skins just like a red wine), the juice/wine actually turns a pinkish/orangish color. This wine has spent six months on the skins giving it much beautiful texture and richness of flavor – perfect for roasted/braised proteins including beef. The aromas are strikingly beautiful: carnations, dried black cherries, wet earth, fresh plantains and squash; an autumnal wine par excellence.
ARNOT ROBERTS GAMAY EL DORADO, CA 2018
Originally aired Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 on the Morning Show with Emily Reese
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