Brandies are spirits distilled from fruits: pears, apricots, cherries, grapes. Brandies range from well-known types such as cognac and armagnac to obscure fruit eaux-de-vie produced in the Black Forest of Germany. Germain-Robin is a brandy distilled in California on a cognac still using unusually high quality table wine grape varietals.
Carter Cellars produced their first vintage in 1998 with the help of veteran Winemaker Nils Venge. Since then they have had a string of fantastic releases and highly rated wines. Their focus has long been big Napa Cabernet, Merlot and Blends. They now focus on Vineyard Designate Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blends from the famous Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and the steeply terraced Hossfeld Vineyard in Soda Canyon. The Carter Cellars wines are all deeply extracted and highly nuanced with bright fruit and intense structure that can be appreciated young, but will reward patience in the cellar.
cNab Ridge Winery now combines the pioneering winemaking spirit of John Parducci with the new tradition and vitality of Rich Parducci. Rich makes wine in the style made famous by his grandfather, John: complex, approachable, and enjoyable to drink. Production in 2005 was 12,000 9-liter cases.
Violet-Green Winery is located on seven acres of redwood forest overlooking Misty Hill Canyon near Humboldt Bay in far northern California. The winery was named to honor the Violet-green swallow's annual spring migration to the winery as a symbol of nature's promise of renewal. The name also evokes images of the vineyard at veraison, when grapes ripen to contrast dramatically against a green leaf canopy.
We called a week in advance and made an appointment. This winery is 100% local, organic and very picturesque. Dave had the wines all ready for us to taste on a little patio table overlooking magnificent redwood forests and the Willow Creek Valley. He was so nice and welcoming and chatted with us for an hour and a half. It was so intimate and we learned a ton about the area and their wine.
The folks at Nelson Family Vineyards believe in their motto that “Great wines are born in the vineyard.” Nelson Family's goal is to gently guide the grapes into wines that show off the balance and high quality that they strive to achieve in their vineyards.
Coates Vineyards, certified organic biodynamic winery, is in the Six Rivers National Forest near the small town of Orleans in Northern California. It was founded by Norman Coates, an organic farmer, winemaker, and vineyard manager in 1991 with the planting of the first of five vineyards.The first vineyard was Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese from cuttings that were from organic vineyards in Sonoma County, California. The cuttings were rooted in nursery beds and then planted out in vineyard rows the following spring. The vineyards on the Klamath have the luxury of being established on their own roots instead of being grafted onto disease resistant rootstocks for the simple reason that Orleans is far away from the large grape growing areas where diseases are prevalent.
The Chiarito Vineyard winery came about as an extension of what John was already doing; farming, gardening, and making prosciutto, bread and wine. It was nurtured and helped along by his family and other influential figures he met along the way, including Larry Pacini, Irece Anzilotti and his dad, Americo.
The creation of this winery has given John a great connection to the land and an older way of life. It is a tribute to his parents, grandparents, and all of the friends who have taught and helped him.
What is wine? Some might say it’s a fine beverage meant for a glass. The folks at Bonterra Vineyards won’t argue with that. They believe that a wine should also be a perfect expression of the grape from which it’s made and the land on which those grapes are grown.
The imposing redwood and stone barn structure nestles into the cliff side, protected from crashing waves by a flat rock bench eroded over eons. The cellar is filled with French, Hungarian and American oak barrels and specialty equipment suited to handcrafted wine production. The unique location lets magical forces come into play; waves crash into sea caves under the cellar, naturally filtering wine from its sediment. Salt from sea air deposits on barrels accelerating osmosis while creating viscous and dense wines. This is what Sally Ottoson has come to call Pacific Star Winery.