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Discover Effingham Manor and Winery in VA

Effingham Manor and Winery tasting room

Effingham Manor and Winery, located in Nokesville, Virginia offers visitors a lovely experience. The winery and tasting room are located on the grounds of historic property that includes a large manor house.

The winery is taking special care and following protocols to help protect visitors and workers from he current COVID-19 pandemic. They have updated their policy for visitors and are at the current time no longer requiring reservations to visit.  Visitors can make reservations for special table reservations. Traditional wine tastings are not available yet, although wine is now available in flights and by the bottle. The winery is open seven days a week. Seating is only available outside; when rain occurs covered areas are available.

Effingham Merlot

Effingham Manor and Winery is continuing to follow all protocols for sanitation. The winery is asking everyone to maintain six feet distance between groups as well as keeping pets and children home.

Special Barrel Tasting Events

Reservations are required for the Barrel Tastings scheduled for August 1, August 2, and August 9. 

According to the winery website, “Get unique insight to the winemaking process, learn some tricks, and find your favorites among what is turning out to be a special Virginia vintage. The white wines are available now, with the reds being bottled in December (just in time for Christmas). To ensure safety and social distance, the event will have two groups of 10 visiting different stations on the property to sample the wines.

“At the conclusion of the tasting you will be able to purchase at our special pricing ($22.00 to $30.00). Whites can be taken home now, reds will be available after their December bottling.”

Other anticipated events to watch for include:

  • Wine Club Weekend – September 12/13
  • Wine Festival – September 26/27
  • Hallo’wine’ Party – October 24
  • Sip and Shop – December 6
  • Wine Club Weekend and Holiday Party – December 13/14

When you are looking for more information about Effingham Manor & Winery, check out Wine Trail Traveler about Effingham Manor & Winery article.

Cheers!
Kathy

Third National Prosecco Week!

In 2020, 13 Prosecco producers are participating in National Prosecco Week join the United States. It was interesting to note that the focus of the the Prosecco DOC Consortium is on millennials and women.

Mionetto from ProseccoDOC

This week, July 20 to July 26, is the third annual celebration of National Prosecco Week. As Terry mentioned yesterday’s blog, on Tuesday the Prosecco DOC Consortium hosted a virtual Prosecco tasting and info session using Zoom. The host of the Zoom session was Brooke Sabel, Wine Director at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. 

In the last ten years, the Consortium has played a large role on the increased quality of Prosecco. Also, a large increase in Prosecco production has occurred since 2009. Back in 2009, 120 million bottles of Prosecco were produced. By 2019 the number of bottles had increased to 486 million bottles.

Much of the Prosecco DOCs are exported to the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France. About 22 percent of production stays in Italy.

Among the data provided during the virtual tasting, participants learned a bit about the history of the development of Prosecco. The first production of Prosecco was in 1754. In 1970 the IGT accepted the name Prosecco. In 2009 Prosecco became Prosecco DOC.

The Prosecco DOC is located in northern Italy near Venice. The region is in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.

To be designated Prosecco, the sparkling wine must  have 85% Glera grapes. The other 15% of the grapes can be from particular varieties including:  Chardonnay, Pinots and some native grapes. The wines are produced using the Martinotti (Charmat) method for secondary fermentation.

Why and when should you drink Prosecco? Prosecco is delightful anytime. The serving temperature should be at 42° to 46° Fahrenheit.  It was suggested that Prosecco is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

How to Identify Prosecco and avoid fraudulently labeled Prosecco?

  • Prosecco DOCs have a special label at the top of the bottle over the cage and capsule. 
  • Have a serial number
  • Have Ministry of on bottle
  • Prosecco is not found in cans
  • Prosecco is never served on tap

One of the last questions of the Zoom session was, “What to do with leftover Prosecco?” Answers included cocktails, fish, and use for a big family. For me, I’d like to have Prosecco poured over lemon sherbet!

Future of Prosecco
The concept of a rosé Prosecco is being worked on and winemakers hope to have rosé Prosecco available later in 2020. At this writing there is no rosé Prosecco on the market. 

 I am looking forward to tasting a rosé Prosecco when it becomes available.

Cheers! Kathy

National Prosecco Week

This week marks Prosecco Week in the United States from July 20th through July 26th. The Prosecco DOC Consortium is educating and promoting Prosecco this week. This is one of several posts that we will focus on Prosecco. We were pleased to be selected to attend an online tasting of eight bottles of Prosecco from seven producers. The format of the tasting was through Zoom. Participants were from the United States and Italy. The Zoom tasting was organized by Colangelo & Partners, the PR firm representing the Prosecco DOC Consortium.

Device used to open Prosecco bottles.

With temperatures in Maryland reaching the upper 90s, a cold glass of Prosecco is refreshing. Given Prosecco’s value, this is a great time to drink this sparkling wine from Northern Italy. For the eight wines we tasted, the prices ranged from $12 to $17 at Total Wine and wine.com

Having eight Prosecco wines to open just before tasting in 90 minutes offers challenges. While in the province of Pordenone, a few years ago, we visited a few wineries. Some of these wineries were crafting Prosecco. San Simone Winery had a unique device they used to open Prosecco bottles. They gave us two of these plastic devices, and we used one of them to help open the eight bottles of Prosecco. After removing the foil and cage, you press the plastic onto the cork and turn the cork. The pressure in the bottle helps lift the cork.

The Prosecco Wines

We tasted the wines in order of dosage from dryer to sweeter. There was not a large range though. The sweetness of the wines began with 10 g/L residual sugar and ended with 18 g/L of residual sugar. There was little color variation. The wines were either a light straw color or a straw color. All wines except for the first were 11% alcohol. The first wine tasted, the Bianca Vigna had 11.5% alcohol.

Eight Prosecco wines tasted during Prosecco Week.

Bianca Vigna

The Bianca Vigna Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and was the driest of the Proseccos with 10 g/L of residual sugar. The wine showcased multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. The aroma had floral notes and some freshly baked bread. The wine had a lively mouthfeel and tastes of peach and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto Prestige Collection

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Prestige Collection was a straw color with 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. Apple and peach were on the aroma and taste. The creamy mouthfeel was also lively. There were earthy and fruity notes on the finish. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Valdo Marco Oro

Also with 12 g/L of residual sugar and a straw color, The Valdo Marco Oro Prosecco DOC Brut also had multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. There were apple and citrus on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was lively and creamy. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.

Zardetto

The Zardetto Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and also 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a central mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was floral, fruity and earthy. The mouthfeel was silky and the taste included apple and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

The last three wines all had a residual sugar of 12 g/L. However, the perceived taste of sugar was different. The acidity levels had a lot to do with this. 

Torresella

The Torresella Prosecco DOC had a light straw color with 15 g/L residual sugar. The wine formed multiple columns of bubbles producing both a central and circumferential mousse. Freshly baked bread and apple were on the aroma. The taste included apple, peach and freshly baked bread. The lively mouthfeel was also creamy. The complex finish offered fruit and earthiness. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Tenuta Sant’Anna

The Tenuta Sant’Anna Extra Dry Prosecco DOC had 15 g/L residual sugar and a light straw color. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. Apple and pear were on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.

Borgo Magredo

The Borgo Magredo DOC Prosecco Extra Dry had a straw color with 15 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. The aroma reminded me of peaches, flower blossoms and apples. The taste included peach and apple along with velvety mouthfeel. The finish was clean and crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto (Organically Grown Grapes)

The Mionetto Prosecco DOC was crafted from organically grown grapes. This wine with a straw color had 18 g/L of residual sugar. Multiple columns of bubbles formed a central and circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was very peachy and the taste had peach and apple with a slight earthy character. The finish was clean, crisp and refreshing. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Throughout the year, Prosecco is a great value for those who like sparkling wines.

Cheers,
Terry

Discover Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin

Several years ago, we visited Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin. We discovered a delightful winery experience. The ambience of the facility added to our experience. The winery specializes in cold weather grape varieties and also has an assortment of other traditional wines available.

Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin

Originally the property was planted  with grapevines in the 1840s. Until the devastating Prohibition was enacted, wine and brandy were produced here. During Prohibition the property was farmed as a dairy farm

Eventually in 1972, the property was purchased by the Wollersheims who sought to discover grapevines that would grow well in this colder region. Today the Wollersheim vineyards are home to Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Pepin and LaCrosse. In addition to their own estate grown grapes, Wollersheim sources other varieties from New York, Washington and California. These other varieties include Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling , Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Muscat and Carignan.

Cellars at Wollersheim Winery

Today the Wollersheim family has continued the winery and established the Wollersheim Distillery and a bistro.

Check out the Wine Trail Traveler article we wrote about our visit to Wollersheim Winery.

As of today, July 16, Wollersheim Winery has opened with some modifications. The winery hours are now 12Noon until 5pm. Tours are not available. Currently reservations are required for wine tastings. Events offered with reservations required are: Seated Wine Tastings, Summer Cocktail Tastings and until July 19 – Vineyard Walks. 

Wollersheim wines are also available online for shipping to residents in certain states including: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Check out Wollersheim Winery soon!

Cheers, Kathy

Indiana: Oliver Winery & Vineyards

Three years ago we visited wineries in Indiana and discovered large and boutique wineries offering a variety of experiences. One of the larger wineries we stopped at was Oliver Winery & Vineyards in Bloomington.

Oliver Winery in Indiana

Oliver Winery & Vineyards offers a wide variety of experiences. 

COVID-19 has caused the winery to adapt the experiences; however, many of the experiences are currently available with certain limits. 

At Oliver Winery, the following is open with some adaptations. The retail shop and tasting room are open but with a limited capacity and social distancing. The Lower Patio and Hillside have seating with limited capacity and also social distancing. The Hillside venue is also limited to groups of up to six. Reservations for picnics require bookings and only for a maximum of four people. Reserved wine flights for up to four people are available and the winery recommends advance reservations for weekends. According to the winery’s July 6 update, live music and wine tastings are not taking place. Watch the winery website for changes to the current adaptations

Oliver Winery offers several types of wine clubs that reflect the types of wines people enjoy. Members can receive wine by shipping or pick-up. Other specials for members include wine, food and merchandise, private event rentals and special events ticket discounts.

  • Creekbend Club is an exclusive club that recently opened for new participants. The wines in this club focus on Indiana wines from estate bottles from the Creekbend Vineyard collection. Shipments of six bottles (with 15% off) are in April and November. Members receive six complimentary individual wine tastings in the tasting room. (Est cost: $100 to $125 plus shipping and taxes.) Members will also receive access to new release and library wines pre-sales.
  • The Drier Side Club: As its name suggests, this club focuses on dry red and white wines. Shipments of six bottles are sent out in April and November. Est. cost is $85 to $125 plus shipping and taxes.
  • The Sweeter Side Club: The focus for the Sweeter Side Club is on semi-dry, semi-sweet and dessert wines. Members will receive six bottles of wine in April and November. The cost is $65 to $85 per selection plus shipping and taxes.

It should be noted that the winery ships wine to more than 30 US states. So if you are hesitant to visit, consider ordering wine from Oliver Winery online.

Check out the Wine Trail Traveler article about our visit to Oliver Winery & Vineyards.

Cheers, Kathy

Ontario Winery: Between the Lines Family Estate Winery

A number of years ago, Wine Trail Traveler traveled to Ontario and visited many of the wineries in the region. One of the wineries we visited was Between the Lines Family Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Check out our article here.

At the time, one of the questions we had for the owners was, “Why did you choose the name Between the Lines?” In the Wine Trail Traveler review of the winery I wrote about their answer, “The name ‘Between the Lines’ refers to the winery location. Current plans are to sell out of the tasting room. In order to do that, people needed to find the winery. People would call to ask them what lines (roads) they were between. They would say they were between Line 5 and Line 6. It just made sense to call the winery “Between the Lines.” The wine bottle labels show a map of the location of the winery between the lines. GPS coordinates are also part of the label design.”

Since our visit to Between the Lines Family Estate Winery, the winery appears to have made tremendous growth. Today the winery offers four types of Wine Clubs. The Loyalist Package is free and includes the monthly BTL newsletter mailing, first-to-know status for BTL events and exclusive Loft Member events. The only requirement is that you visit the winery occasionally. The next step in the wine club lineup is The Economist. In addition to the benefits of the Loyalist club, members receive six bottles of wines delivered four times a year. Merchandise  purchased at the winery will have 15% off. This also includes free tasting for you plus three friends at BTL any time. Price: $475. The Reservist Package, in addition to the Loyalist offerings, you receive six bottles of Reserve wines delivered four times a year, a copy of the winemaker’s notebook, a special t-shirt and two VIP tickets to BTL events. This also includes free tastings for you and three others at anytime. Cost: $800. Looking for a more extravagant wine club, check out The Hedonist Package priced at  $2400. As above The Hedonist members receive what the Loyalist receives plus 12 bottles of wines which arrive at the beginning of every month. The Hedonist Package also includes a private winery tour and tasting with Greg and Yannick for you and friends. Members receive four VIP tickets to all events, Yannick’s Notebook and a special t-shirt.

Currently Between the Vines winery offers several types of wine tasting opportunities. When planning to visit, check the winery’s website for events and be sure to receive a ticket. Note that the tours/events are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

The winery is following the pandemic guidelines set by the government of Ontario. The winery website notes, “The maximum people for each tour or tasting will be determined by current social distancing rules required by the Government of Ontario. For the safety of you and our staff, we ask you to comply.”

Wine tasting options include:

  • Private Group Tasting
  • Grape to Glass Tour
  • Black Glass Tasting @BTL
  • Decadent Tasting
  • Corner Store Cravings and Pairings
  • BTL Cheese & Charcuterie Tasting
  • Yoga + Brunch (only August 9)

Purchase tickets from the dropdown list for each event. The tickets are considered your reservations. 

When you plan to visit any of the Canadian wineries, be sure to check with each winery as to whether it is currently open and what COVID 19 protocol steps they are following.

Cheers!
Kathy

Maryland Wineries Begin to Open

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, MD

Many Maryland wineries are ready to open for business. As might be expected because of COVID-19, certain guidelines are set in place. Keep in mind that not all wineries may currently be open, so contact any Maryland winery you may want to visit.

Adults in Maryland have been able to receive Maryland wine by delivery and purchase the beverage to go. Wine enthusiasts will be able to continue these options.

However those who enjoy visiting wineries, wine lovers will discover that in Maryland wineries are now able to offer new options.

According to the Maryland Wineries Association the guidelines for visitors are below. Keep in mind that anyone not feeling well should stay at home.

  • Wine may be purchased to enjoy in specific designated outdoor areas of the winery.
  • Social distancing must be maintained at six feet between visitors, although visitors from the same household may sit together.
  • The maximum number of people seated together is six.
  • When inside a winery, use of face masks are necessary.

To show people that the wineries and staffs are serious about protecting people from coronavirus, below is a list of steps that each winery is taking.

  • Winery must insure that social distancing of six feet is followed.
  • Each open winery will not allow more than six people to set together
  • Sanitation of seating and surfaces will be followed.
  • Before staff begins working, each worker will have a temperature screening.
  • Face masks will be worn by each staff member while with visitors or other staff members.

Wine Trail Traveler has visited many of Maryland’s wineries. Photos and reviews of the wineries and wines are available on the Wine Trail Traveler website.

Stay safe!
Kathy

Two More Chardonnays from California

Jackson Family of Wines

After writing about four of the six chardonnays we tasted earlier this month during an online virtual wine tasting, we are writing about the last two wines tasted, one from Maggy Hawk and the other from Freemark Abbey. Both wineries are also part of the Jackson Family Wines

Freemark Abbey

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay

Freemark Abbey, located in Napa Valley, dates its history back to 1886. The winemaker, Josephine Tychson, was the first female winemaker in Napa Valley. In 1889, Antonio Forni, a friend of Josephine’s purchased the winery. Antonio named the winery Lombarda Cellars. The winery was sold again and named Freemark Abbey. In 1949 Freemark Abbey opened a “sampling room.”

The year 1976 stands out for Freemark Abbey as the winery submitted two wines, a red and white to the well-known “The Judgment of Paris” event.

Freemark Abbey sources the grapes for its wines from special vineyards in Napa Valley.

When Freemark Abbey opens to the public again, be sure to check out the the winery’s website for more information.

2018 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley – Los Carneros AVA

The grapes for this wine were harvested from three vineyards. This Chardonnay was 92% fermented in French oak with 47% in new oak. For 10 months the wine was aged sur lie. This Chardonnay was bottled in August 2019 and 4,434 cases were produced.

Terry’s Notes: The 2018 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley – Los Carneros AVA had 14.5% alcohol. The wine was a yellow color. The wine offered aroma notes of apple and pear. The wine had a velvety mouthfeel and was full-bodied. The taste included citrus, apple and pear. The finish was crisp and fruity with a faint caramel and very slight heat.

Kathy’s Notes: The Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018 retails for $40.  The pale yellow wine offered a faint aroma of honeysuckle and mineral. The wine offered a rich taste with notes of flowers and spices notably baking spices. The finish had mild heat and mineral notes. The mouthfeel was smooth and the wine was full bodied.

Maggy Hawk

Maggy Hawk wines

Maggy Hawk is located in Anderson Valley AVA. It was noted during the virtual wine tasting presentation that Anderson Valley does not yet realize its wine potential. 

Maggy Hawk vineyards include: Maggy Hawk Vineyard, Edmeades Vineyard, Skycrest Vineyard and Jory Hills Vineyard in Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills.

2018 Maggy Hawk Chardonnay, Skycrest Vineyard Anderson Valley AVA

This wine was produced with 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Skycrest Vineyard. The grapes were harvested at night to protect the grapes from heat. The wine was aged for 15 months in 20% new French oak and 43% neutral puncheons. The wine was bottled in January 2020. Only 495 cases were produced.

Terry’s Notes: The Maggy Hawk Chardonnay, Skycrest Vineyard Anderson Valley AVA  retails for $55. The wine had 13.6% alcohol and was a yellow color. The aroma was of apple. The taste offered notes of citrus and green apple. The mouthfeel was silky and the wine was medium/full bodied. The finish was crisp and fruity with oak entering on the aftertaste.

Kathy’s Notes:  The grapes for this wine grow at 1700′ elevation. The wine was a pale yellow color.  The aroma was fruity with hints of citrus. The taste was fresh with mineral and light lemon.  The mouthfeel was smooth. The finish was light and the wine dried on the finish.

Cheers, Kathy

Two Chardonnays from California

The early May wine tasting of six Chardonnays from the Jackson Family of Wines took place online. Below is information about two of the Chardonnays, one from Alexander Valley AVA and the other from Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

Stonestreet Estate Vineyards

Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay

Stonestreet Estate Vineyards is located in the Alexander Valley AVA. Stonestreet was created in 1995 by Barbara Banke and Jess Stonestreet Jackson. This vineyard estate consists of 5,500 acres in the Mayacamas Mountain Range in Sonoma County. Today the second generation, Christopher Jackson and his wife operate the estate. Lisa Valtenbergs is the winemaker.

At Stonestreet the winemaking protocols include: harvesting the grapes by hand, using native yeasts for the Chardonnays and fermenting Cabernets  in French oak tanks.

In the vineyards, Stonestreet supports sustainability. The vineyards are certified sustainable with Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and Sustainability in Practice programs. Water use is carefully monitored and drip irrigation is used in the vineyards. Much of the vast estate is open space where animals and native vegetation are encouraged.

2017 Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay, Alexander Valley AVA

The 2017 Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay Alexander Valley AVA was produced with grapes that were harvested from vines planted in 1992, 1994 and 1997.

The winemaker used native yeast and the wine was 100% barrel fermented. 3600 cases of this Chardonnay were produced. The wine had 14.1% alcohol.

Terry’s Notes: This yellow colored wine had 14.1% alcohol. The aroma was of apple and pear. The taste was crisp with fruit including traces of pineapple, apple and pear. Think of a fruit salad. The mouthfeel was silky and the wine was full bodied. The finish was crisp and fruity with some mineral on the aftertaste. This wine retails for $40.

Kathy’s Notes: The wine was a light yellow color. The aroma was light with notes of minerality. The mouthfeel was smooth and there was a sense of butteriness.  An oak influence was apparent. The wine was dry and offered mineral notes. The finish was long and left the tastebuds wishing for one more sip.

Contact Stonestreet Estate Vineyards about virtual wine tasting and discover when the tasting rooms may open.

Brewer – Clifton 

The Brewer – Clifton winery is located in Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The winery and vineyards are a result of two enthusiastic people who met during a Santa Barbara Vintners’ Association committee meeting. Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton, who met in 1995,  formed the Brewer – Clifton winery. They started producing wine together in 1996. Today Greg is also the winemaker. In 2017 Brewer- Clifton winery joined the Jackson Family Wines. Brewer – Clifton now has 60 acres of vineyards, all of which are located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The focus of the vineyards is on producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

2017 Brewer – Clifton Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills AVA

2017 Brewer – Clifton Chardonnay

Terry’s Notes: This wine with 14.5% alcohol was a dark yellow color. The aroma was fruity. The taste included notes of tangerine, mineral and lemon with a lively mouthfeel. This is a medium/full-bodied wine. The finish was fruity with mineral notes. The aftertaste was long.

Kathy’s Notes: This Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills AVA was a light yellow color. The aroma was of citrus and mineral. The mouthful was velvety, smooth. The taste included citrus notes of oranges and lemon. The long, dry finish offered hints of minerality.

Chardonnay Day is celebrated on May 21st. Why not enjoy a Chardonnay this week?

Cheers!
Kathy

Two Chardonnays from Oregon’s Willamette Valley

The emphasis of a recent wine tasting of Chardonnays from Oregon and California was on the regions where the vineyards are located. The six Chardonnays tasted were from the wineries of Jackson Family of Wines.

Pacific Coast Chardonnay Tasting

2017 Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2017

Gran Moraine™, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, is in the northern area of the Willamette Valley.  The winery is located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA which was established in 2012.  The winemaker is Shane Moore.

The soils of the northern Willamette Valley were heavily influenced by the Ice Age when Missoula Floods added glacial sediment. The winery was named for the sediment as moraine refers to the sediment brought by a glacier.

The focus of Gran Moraine is on growing and producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Currently the Gran Moraine tasting room is closed, however; wine enthusiasts are able to purchase wines by contacting the winery. Currently Gran Moraine is conducting virtual wine tastings.

Terry and I enjoyed tasting the Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Chardonnay 2017 and we wrote individual notes about the wine. The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were hand harvested.  The winemaking protocol was to use whole cluster pressing and fermentation in French oak barrels. The wine was aged in French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Gran Moraine produced 2,305 cases of this wine.

Terry wine notes: The Gran Moraine Chardonnay 2017, priced at $45, was a yellow color with a light green hue. The aroma was fruity. The taste included notes of pear, lemon, apple with a hint of pineapple. This full-bodied wine had a velvety mouthfeel. The finish offered crisp fruit yielding to mineral on the aftertaste.

Kathy: The Gran Moraine 2017 Chardonnay had 13% alcohol. The wine was a deep yellow color. The aroma was intense with fresh notes of pear and white apple. The taste was inclusive of some tangerine/orange, pear and white apple. This was a full-bodied wine. The finish which was very crisp lingered. I suggest pairing this Chardonnay with chicken or shrimp.

2017 Willa Kenzie Estate Chardonnay, Yamhill Carlton AVA

WillaKenzie Estate is located in Yamhill, Oregon. The start of the winery and vineyards was in 1991 when Bernard and Ronni Lacroute purchased a large farm. The first grapevines were planted in 1992. It wasn’t long before the winery was built in 1995. The wines were quickly successful as the estate’s Gamay Noir 1995 was served at a White House gala. Since 1997 WillaKenzie’s wines have sometimes been served at State dinners. 

The name WillaKenzie is for the sedimentary soil in the vineyards. The name originally comes from two of Oregon’s major rivers: the McKenzie and the Willamette.

The WillaKenzie vineyards consist of 126 acres and are planted with a majority of Pinot Noir vines, however; the vineyards are also planted with Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Meunier. WillaKenzie was one of the very first members of LIVE Certified Sustainable. In 2016 WillaKenzie became part of the Jackson Family Wines.

Currently the tasting room is closed but wines can be purchased by contacting the winery.

The retail price for the WillaKenzie Estate Chardonnay 2017 is $75. The grapes were harvested by hand. After harvesting the grapes were whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak. Only 150 cases were bottled.

Terry’s notes: The WillaKenzie Estate Chardonnay 2017 was 13.9% alcohol. The wine was a yellow door with a gold hue. The aroma was of aromatic fruits including pear and tangerine. The  taste was of pear, apple, tangerine with an oak influence. The wine had a velvety mouthfeel. The finish was crisp with fruity with oak in the background. Mineral was on the long aftertaste. 

Kathy’s notes: WillaKenzie Estate Chardonnay 2017  was 13.9% alcohol. The wine was a light spring yellow color. The aroma included notes of fruit and mineral. The dry wine was crisp with notes of mellowness. The taste  offered notes of tropical fruits, hints of peach with some mineral. The finish was crisp and long. This Chardonnay “leaves your tastebuds wishing for one more sip.”

If you enjoy Chardonnays, when you have the opportunity try a Chardonnay from Oregon. Chardonnay Day is celebrated on May 21st.

Cheers,
Kathy and Terry


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