Grapes Still Stomped by Foot at Pax Wines in Sebastopol, CA

Contributed by Keira Fernandes – Have you ever felt the soft squishy feel of grapes underneath your bare feet?  Well, this is the way they still make some of the wine at Pax Winery in Sebastopol, California. That’s because owners Pax and Pam Mahle believe in making wine the old-fashioned way. Not only do they stomp their wine grapes by foot, but they refrain from using chemicals or any unnatural additions to their wines. Pax Winery also leaves the skins on the grape for as long as possible to allow for natural fermentation as well as getting maximum flavor.

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Pax Wine Tasting at Sonoma State University Winesense Club

The result is very delicious tasting wines that are fermented by natural yeast, and have achieved high scores from wine critics. They are best known for their red Syrah wine, achieving a perfect 100-point score from Vinous Antonio Galloni for their 2016 vintage.

Falling in Love with Syrah

Owners Pax and Pam fell in love with the Syrah grape after taking a trip through the California wine regions. They especially enjoy cool climate Syrahs, which have higher acidity and complex inky blackberry and anise notes. Therefore, Pax chose vineyards in the cooler climates of Sonoma County and Mendocino. While Syrah is what Pax is known for, they also produce other varietals including Gamey, Chenin Blanc and Carignane.

Visiting Pax Tasting Room in Sebastopol or Online

The Pax tasting room is located in downtown Sebastopol, and is open to walk-ins. They even offer wine on tap! Their welcoming and knowledgeable staff are sure to be able to answer any questions you may have, and you can take home some delicious bottles of Pax wine, or shop online at their wine store.

SSU WineSense Club Announces Fall 2016 Schedule

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Vineyards on Foothills of Sonoma Mountain

(August 2016) It was a sunny evening in August when the newly elected SSU Winesense Board of Directors met for the annual planning meeting at BBQ dinner to brainstorm about possible wineries to invite to campus for educational tastings. Living in the heart of California Wine Country with over 900 wineries to choose from between Napa and Sonoma valleys, we are truly blessed.

After some appetizers and a glass of wine, the team developed their tentative meeting schedule, listed below. Then it was time for tri-tip and sausages, just before the fog wafted in over the Petaluma Gap to blanket Sonoma Mountain in its cooling breeze. Great for the grapes, but requiring coats and sweaters for everyone gathered around the table.

Tentative Fall 2016 Schedule

All meetings are reserved for SSU students aged 21 and over. Sessions are designed to provide basic wine education for club members, featuring the wine brands of invited wineries. Meetings start at 7pm and are held in the Bennett Valley Room in the Student Union Building. Dues can be paid in full or in installments.  For additional information, please contact SSU Winesense Club President.

September 8th – Kenwood Winery

September 22nd – Benziger  Winery

October 7th – TBA (1st field trip)

October 20th – Larsen Winery, Halloween Theme

November 3rd – Languedoc Roussillon Regional Wine Tasting

November 17th – Kivelstadt Winery

December 2nd – Korbel (2nd field trip)

New SSU Winesense Board of Directors for Fall 2016/Spring 2017

Swimming Pools and a Wine Wonderland – A Delightful Tasting with Francis Ford Coppola Winery

(Contributed by Itze Monserrat Peña-Andrade) This week’s SSU WineSense Club meeting was quite thrilling in that we welcomed Francis Ford Coppola Winery for the very first time. The meeting and educational tasting was led by Kevin Patterson and Kaila Medina, both Hospitality Professionals working in tasting room operations. They provided information about the history, products, and special amenities at the winery.

Swimming Pool at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

The Unique Attributes of Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma County

Nestled on what was formerly Chateau Souverain Winery in Geyserville, California, Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a winery that is not to be missed.  When the winery was being renovated, Francis had a vision that it:

“Should be like a resort, basically a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life!”

Today his vision is a reality, and the Coppola Winery is truly a Wine Wonderland!  Influenced by Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the winery offers many delights for the visitors of all ages. With swimming pools, bocce courts, restaurants, event rooms, multiple tasting bars, and a Hollywood movie museum, the winery over delivers with fun activities to while away an afternoon and evening.

Some of the unique features include several of Coppola’s Oscar statues, along with memorabilia from his movies, such as Vito Corleone’s desk from The Godfather and a restored 1948 Tucker Sedan as was used in Tucker: The Man and His Dream. 

Restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Kevin Leads Wine Tasting at SSU

Kevin and Kaila led the members of WineSense club through a tasting that featured a diverse selection of five Coppola wines:

  • 2014 Directors Cut Russian River Valley Chardonnay
  • 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Directors Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
  • 2014 Directors Cut Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2012 Directors Cut Cinema Blend

They explained the special characteristics of each wine we tasted, and provided background information on the labels and unique packaging. These five delicious wines were but a glimpse of the many wines that Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers, and we were invited to visit the tasting room in the future.

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Favorites Wines of the Evening

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Millennial participants were asked to vote for their two favorite wines of the evening. The winners were:

2012 Directors Cut Cinema ($39) – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, this wine exudes blackberries, violets, spice and vanilla.

2013 Directors Cut Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($27).  Red zinfandel with notes of mixed berries, cherries and licorice, plus a hint of nutmeg.

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SSU WineSense Executive Board at Francis Ford Coppola Eduational Tasting

 

Duckhorn Winery Explains Waterfowl Theme to SSU Millennials

(Contributed by Itze Monserrat Peña-Andrade) The story of Duckhorn Winery and how it has expanded on its waterfowl theme over the years was the topic of our most recent SSU WineSense Club meeting. Led by winemaker, Michael Accurso, he captivated the audience with both words and a tasting of four delectable wines.

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Michael Accurso with SSU Winesense Board Members 

A Little Bit of Duckhorn History

Duckhorn Vineyards was founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976. Throughout the forty years it has been in operation, Duckhorn Vineyards has established itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues to this day.

Duckhorn Winery in Napa Valley

As time passed on, Duckhorn added more brands to its winery, making sure to keep to the waterfowl theme. This was not only because Dan and Margaret had a last name of “Duckhorn,” but because they have always enjoyed birds, especially waterfowl. Therefore, the first brand they added was Paradox in 1994, followed by Golden Eye, Migration, and Decoy and Canvas Back in the ensuring years. Today several of these brands have their own winery with tasting rooms open to the public.

Michael Leads Wine Tasting at SSU

Michael led the members of WineSense club through a tasting that featured four of the brands offered by Duckhorn.  These included:

  • 2013 Migration Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley
  • 2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley
  • 2012 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot from the Napa Valley
  • 2012 Paradoxx Red Blend from the Napa Valley

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The Favorite Wine of the Evening

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Millennial students in attendance were asked to vote for their favorite wine of the evening. Each participant could vote once and the favorite of the evening was the 2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir.

It was an enriching night, the educational tasting that Michael provided kept everyone entertained and laughing. We can’t thank him enough for joining us in leading us all through this fantastic experience!

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Favorite Wine of the Evening — Golden Eye 2012 Pinot Noir

 

SSU Millennials Wowed by the Flash and Fun of Buena Vista Wines

FullSizeRender (2)Contributed by Itze Monserrat Peña-Andrade) A huge crowded gathered at the recent SSU WineSense tasting, lured by the “flash” of the flamboyant Buena Vista Winery, and the “fun” of tasting its newly released wines. The meeting was led by Hospitality and Tasting Room Associate, Amber Lesniewski, who wowed the audience with stories about the winery’s amazing history, as well as the products they offer.

Buena Vista Winery – The Oldest Premium Winery in California

The history of Buena Vista Winery is quite interesting to say the least. Self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” Agoston Haraszthy, a vivacious immigrant from Hungary and lover of grapes, founded Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma County in 1857. This makes Buena Vista the oldest premium commercial winery in California.

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Renovated Wine Caves at Buena Vista

The Count first settled in Wisconsin, where he planted both hops for beer-making. This made him one of the founding fathers of the American beer industry, as well as wine. But the harsh winters in Wisconsin weren’t ideal for planting grapes, so he decided to move to San Diego, California. Here he became the first sheriff, and then marshal, of San Diego. Eventually he made his way north to San Francisco in 1852, and then to Sonoma in 1856, where he acquired 800 acres and set the foundation for the successful Buena Vista Winery.

Buena Vista Today – Renovated by Jean-Charles Boisset

Fast forward to the present, where the winery sits on its original property and is currently owned by Boisset Family Estates, led by Jean-Charles Boisset, who purchased the winery and the historic property in May 2011. Since that time, Jean-Charles had made many improvements, including renovating the old caves, adding a museum, updating the tasting room, and creating the famous “White Room,” filled with priceless antiques and chandeliers.

The original hand-dug caves are still on site and after reconstruction; they have been re-opened to visitors for tours. The visitor center, located inside the old wine press house, provides access to the original champagne cellar as well as many other amenities. Boisset continues to make the winery the best it can be, and the efforts he has brought forth have surely been noticed.

A Tasting of Three Famous Buena Vista Wines

FullSizeRenderrAmber led the members of WineSense club through a tasting that featured three Buena Vista wines. The included a 2014 Buena Vista Chardonnay, a 2012 Buena Vista Pinot Noir, both from Carneros, and a 2013 Sheriff. The latter was a powerful wine brimming with personality and a bold combination of Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Grenache. Amber walked the students through the characteristics of each wine tasted, and then encouraged them to visit the winery to taste many of their other special varietals.

Favorite Wine of the Evening – A Bow to the 2013 Sheriff

At the conclusion of the meeting, club members were asked to vote for their favorite wine of the evening. Each participant could vote once and with a unanimous vote, the 2013 Buena Vista Sheriff was clearly not only the favorite, but the winner of the evening. It was an enriching night and a wondeful educational tasting that students will not forget any time soon.

 

SSU Wine Sense Club Welcomes Korbel – The Oldest California Champagne Cellar Dating from 1882

IMG_5379(Contributed by Itze Monserrat Pena) The SSU WineSense Club kicked off the Spring 2016 semester with a delicious tasting of sparkling wine and port to celebrate the romantic month of February. Obviously Korbel Champagne Cellars was a “natural” choice to invite to campus for an educational and fun tasting.

A Little Bit of Korbel History

Korbel & Bros. Inc. has an interesting tale that dates back to 1862 where believe it or not, the three Korbel brothers: Francis, Anton and Joseph founded Korbel to make cigar boxes in San Francisco, California. It was an immediate success, which led them to become involved in the export of hardwood and timber. That attracted the brothers to the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Over time, they began to plant vineyards on the Russian River property.

By 1882, the brothers were producing up to 30,000 gallons of wine. Due to their success, they decided to devote all their attention to their vineyards. In 1884, they invited Frank Hasek, a champagne master, to assist with production. Hasek brought forth the Methode Champenoise approach to make sparkling wine, and spent the next decade blending the results of different grape harvests to produce the distinctive Korbel style.

Why California Champagne on Label?

Today Korbel is the fourth largest Champagne producer in the United States, and reserves the right to use the term “California Champagne” on its labels. This is because in 2005, the EU and US agreed that the US would no longer use European wine region names, such as Champagne, Sherry, Chablis, etc. on its labels, unless it was a producer that had been doing it for a long time. Korbel fell under these grandfathered rules.  For more info, read.

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A Tasting of Four Korbel Wines

Justin Shushek, a part-time hospitality rep at Korbel and full-time SSU Wine Biz major, led the tasting. The more than 40 people who showed up for SSU’s Wine Sense Club meeting enjoyed a selection of 4 delicious Korbel wines:

  1. 2012 Korbel Natural from the Russian River Valley,
  2. Korbel Brut Rose Romance, a limited edition
  3. Korbel Sec
  4. Korbel Port

Justin walked the students through the characteristics of each wine we tasted and explained that the level of sweetness in a sparkling wine is determined by the dosage, which is added after the wine finishes second fermentation in the bottle.

Favorites Wines of the Evening

FullSizeRenderAt the conclusion of our first meeting, the club members were asked to vote for their favorite wines of the evening.  Each participant could vote once with many going back and forth over their two favorites but in the end, the winner of the evening with not too many votes behind was:

  • SelectorBottles_Natural2012 Korbel Natural from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma

It was a wonderful night and a great way to kick of the start of our Spring 2016 WineSense club with old members and new. The educational tasting is one that students will not forget any time soon and we can’t thank Justin enough for leading us all through the first meeting!

 

Keller Estate and Muscardini Cellars Join SSU in Ugly Holiday Sweater Wine Tasting

Contributed by Sophia Fish – SSU Wine Sense Club ended the semester with a bang, hosting Keller Estate and Muscardini Cellars for an Ugly Holiday Sweater Wine Club meeting! 

Ugly Holiday Sweater Wine Tasting at SSU

Ugly Holiday Sweater Wine Tasting at SSU

 

 

About Keller Estate – A 25-Year Love Affair

The development of Keller Estate has been a 25-year love affair of Arturo and Deborah Keller. The two first fell in love with the estate while driving through Sonoma County. They soon decided to make it the site for a world-class vineyard, as well as their home.

The La Cruz vineyard took root in 1989 when the first chardonnay vines were planted. The first vintage produced by these grapes were sold to Rombauer Vineyards, who quickly saw the amazing potential of the land. In 2000 Keller Estate officially began its own label, and the construction of the winery began.

The Terroir of Keller Estate – The Petaluma Gap!

The Keller Estate is technically located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, but the winery’s terroir is characterized by the Petaluma Gap. If you are a Sonoma County local, you may know a little about a petition recently submitted to establish the Petaluma Gap as a formally recognized AVA.

Keller Estate in the Petaluma Gap

Keller Estate in the Petaluma Gap

The Petaluma Gap is influenced by the San Pablo Bay to the south and the opening in the coastal hills to the northwest (the gap), which allows fog from the Pacific to flow through the Petaluma Valley. These two unique influences generate a lengthy, cool growing season for the vineyards, which is perfect for pinot noir and chardonnay to thrive.

Six Petaluma Gap Wines from Keller Estate 

We tasted six amazing wines from Keller Estate.

  1. 2014 Rose of Syrah: Salmon in color, with aromas of dried cherries, strawberries, citrus and green apple.
  2. 2011 La Cruz Chardonnay: A bright, crisp chardonnay with a touch of acidity and minerality.
  3. 2011 Oro De Plata Chardonnay: Flavors of honeydew and green apple, with a crisp yet creamy finish.
  4. 2012 La Cruz Pinot Noir: Aromas of ripe cherry, spice, orange peel and earth.
  5. 2011 El Coro Pinot Noir: Aromas of raspberry, plum and vanilla. Accented with notes of spice and pine.
  6. 2011 Rotie: A syrah and viognier blend. Flavors of dark berries, earth, spice with leather and tobacco notes.
Keller Estate Wines

Keller Estate Wines

The two favorites from Keller Estate:  2011 El Coro Pinot Noir and 2014 Rose of Syrah

About Muscardini – Italian Heritage

It all starts with Emilio Alchera, born in the village of Calliano in Northern Italy. Emilio came to Ellis Island in New York in 1909. He then settled in San Francisco and saved enough money to buy and run a small grocery store. There he sold bulk wine and when he had time, he made a red table wine for his family. This business eventually developed into the St. Helena Napa Valley Wine Company.

Muscardini Tasting Room

Muscardini Tasting Room

A New Generation of Winemaking

Now Emilio’s grandson, Michael Muscardini, has returned to the family’s winemaking roots. The first sangiovese vines were planted in May of 2000. While the vines grew Michael began studying winemaking. He did this by picking the brains local winemakers. He also took courses at UC Davis and Sonoma State. Now, many years and vintages later, Michael has produced award-winning wines which we are sure Emilio would be very proud of.

Five Delicious  Wines from Muscardini 

Muscardini presented us with five delightful wines:

  1. 2014 Rosato di Sangiovese Alpicella Vineyard: Bright floral notes with red berries and apple.
  2. 2012 Sangiovese Alpicella Vineyard: Dark aromas of blackberries, plum, strawberries, earth and spice.
  3. 2011 Tesoro: Enriching aromas of black cherries, plums, cherries, cacao and spice.
  4. 2013 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyards: Aromas of dried cherries, licorice, plum and roasted walnuts.
  5. 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon B Wise Vineyards: Enticing flavors of ripe berries, sage, tobacco and leather.
Wines from Muscardini

Wines from Muscardini

The two favorites from Muscardini: 2013 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyards & 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon B Wise Vineyards

A Glimpse into the Life of Bordeaux Buff Dewey Markham

Dewey Markham

Dewey Markham

Contributed by Itze Pena-Andrade – This past Thursday, the WineSense club was very fortunate in that Dewey Markham Jr., an author and wine scholar, lead the club through a wine tasting of fine Bordeaux wines. It was an enriching and educational experience!

Dewey Markham’s Wine Journey

Dewey was born and raised in New York City where he attended and graduated from New York University, with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Cinema. During his late twenties, Dewey’s professional direction turned to cuisine. After having worked as a cook for some time, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America.

From 1986 to 1989 Dewey lived in Paris, where he was a director of the French cooking school L’Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne and while there, he introduced a wine studies program to the curriculum. This led to his next journey in his life, from cuisine to wine and the passion he has for it.

Upon his return to the US, he worked in two of New York’s leading wine shops and in addition to this; he worked as an Associate Director of the Swiss Wine Information Council. During this time, he was invited back to the Culinary Institute to teach a series of wine courses where he wrote his book Wine Basics.

Now and since 1993, Dewey has lived and worked in Bordeaux. He hosts private wine tours and serves as an ambassador for many amazing Bordeaux wines held all over the world.

Tasting of Five Bordeaux Wines

IMG_0933Dewey presented five different red blends for the attendees to taste:

  • 2012 Château Lilian Ladouys
  • 2012 Château Haut-Bages Liberal
  • 2012 Château Bellevue De Tayac
  • 2012 Château Bernadotte
  • 2012 Château De Panigon

Favorite Wines of the Evening

Of the wines presented, the favorites of the night were:

2012 Château Bellevue de Tayac is a blend consisting of 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 70% Merlot and 10% Petite Verdot, from the Margaux appellation.

2012 Château Haut-Bages Liberal is a blend consisting of  70 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, from the Pauillac appellation.

We cannot thank Dewey enough for his educational presentation, the selection of wines, and lastly for this once in a lifetime tasting experience!

SSU WineSense Club with Dewey Markham

SSU WineSense Club with Dewey Markham

A Tasting With Boutique Wineries Three Sticks and Hamel Family Vineyards


Contributed by Sophia Fish
– The SSU Wine Sense Club was honored to host two unique boutique wineries this week – Three Sticks and Hamel Family Vineyards, both located in Sonoma Valley.

20151105_191655Even better was the fact that both wineries have hired SSU wine business students. Katie Boyer now works at Three Sticks Winery and our Wine Sense President, Rachel Minor, works as an intern at Hamel Family Wines.

Overview of Three Sticks Winery

Three Sticks is a winery that succeeds with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Bill Price purchased Durell Vineyard in 1998, and went on to found Three Sticks Winery in 2002. The winery began producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from it’s 111 acres.

Source of the Name: The name Three Sticks came from “Billy Three Sticks,” a nickname given to Price by surfing friends who teased him about his formal name, William S. Price III.

Winemaking: Three Sticks winemaker is Don Van Staaveren, a former winemaker for Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood. Its winemaking team has recently grown this year with the addition of Bob Cabral as the label’s director of winemaking. Cabral is a gifted winemaker who previously spent 16 years as winemaker at Williams Selyem.

Three Sticks wines are made in very small quantities and are available by allocation only – but don’t fret. If you would like to taste these exclusive wines you are welcome to visit Three Sticks tasting room called the Adobe. The winery recently restored the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe in downtown Sonoma, used for private tastings daily by appointment.

We tasted four wines from Three Sticks:

  • 2013 Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay: Aromas of ginger, citrus, roasted almonds, sandalwood, with a creamy complex finish.
  • 2013 Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley ORGIN Chardonnay: Notes of lemon blossom, fresh fig, citrus and summer peach.
  • 2013: Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir: Essence of blackberries, mushrooms, soft leather, dark cherries and earth.
  • 2013 Gaps Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir: Aromas of raspberry, cranberry and black cherry, with a wonderful balance of spice and fruit.

Hamel Family Wines – A Family Affair

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Hamel Family at Winery

Hamel Family Wines was founded in 2006, when George Hamel Jr. and his wife, Pamela, looked to Wine Country as a place to escape the summers in San Francisco. It all started when the Hamels purchased a home on the Tres Palmas Vineyard in Kenwood. After that it quickly became a family affair, with John Hamel II as the winemaker and George Hamel III as the managing director.

The Lowdown on the Logo:You may be wondering about the unique label chosen for the brand. There are many reasons why this logo was chosen, but the most significant is the family’s three generations of University of Wisconsin graduates; George, George Jr. and John Hamel II. The schools mascot is a badger. Go Badgers!

The Winemaking: One thing that is special about Hamel Family Wines is that everything is grown on its estate, meaning it has full control over the quality of wine produced. The winery’s land is certified organic, and it expects to its biodynamic certificate in two to four years. It originally produced 290 cases, and increased to 4,500 this year. These wines are sold exclusively at its Sonoma Valley tasting room, as well as some upscale restaurants such as The French Laundry and The Girl & The Fig.

We tasted three wines from Hamel Family:

  • 2014 Sonoma Valley Estate Rose: Aromas of white peach, red berries, orange zest, and ginger.
  • 2012 Sonoma Valley Isthmus: Notes of tobacco, dark fruit, earth and cassis.
  • 2013 Sonoma Valley Estate Old Vine Zinfandel: Aromas of strawberries, apricots, dark berries and cocoa

Favorite Wines of the Evening

IMG_0612 (1)IMG_0613After voting for the two top favorite wines, the winners were:

  • 2013 Gaps Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Armor Plate Estate Zinfandel

Raving about Rare Cat Wines at SSU WineSense Meeting

coins(1)Contributed by Sophia Fish – The name of Rare Cat Winery was inspired by an ancient Carthaginian coin dating back to 320 BC, with a beautiful picture of a majestic lion on one side and the Goddess Tanit on the other side. Since the goal of the winery was to make “exquisite wines, something truly beautiful and a little hard to come by: in short something of a ‘rare cat’” this was a perfect symbol and name.

Rare Cat Wines – The love of wine began in Bordeaux

Sharon Harris is the owner and director of winemaking, and her passion for wine started over 30 years ago. She spent her junior year abroad in France where Sharon studied at the Universite de Bordeaux. Years later, armed with a remarkable Bordeaux experience, she returned to the states to Napa Valley and founded Rare Cat Wines.

“Creating wine is so much more than cultivating and bottling great fruit. It really is a passion. It’s a passion that drives us to create something rare and exquisite, something elusive, but something that once discovered remains with you forever,”  says Sharon Harris.

Tasting of Two Rare Cat Wines

Rare CatWe were honored to taste these two wines from Rare Cat Winery:

  •  2010 Russian River Valley R.Cat Chardonnay: Ginger root, spicy pear, pineapple, lemon curd backed by hint of minerality with a creamy yet lively texture. 
  • 2011 Napa Valley R.Cat Cabernet Sauvignon: Soft yet powerful tannins with characteristics of blackberries, mint, leather and wet stone.

Most everyone agreed that their favorite was the Rare Cat Cabernet Sauvignon.