When it comes to white wine, you really have three or four separate tiers of grapes. First, there’s Chardonnay which incredibly makes up over half the plantings in America. Then there’s a few other respected and well planted offerings in the second tier, one of which is Sauvignon Blanc.
Mark Aselstine: Hi Guys. Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I’ll hold this up for you so you can see it. This is a Folkway Sauvignon Blanc, and if you’re interested this is going to go out in our cheapest wine club, the Explorations, here in the next few days. So this I thought was interesting for wine club members for two reasons. First, Sauvignon Blanc, so if you look at white wine in the State of California there’s kind of these different tiers.
The first tier is Chardonnay and that’s like everything. 50% of all white wine production is Chardonnay. In the second tier, there’s kind of three or four grapes that kind of fall into it. There’s French Colombard, which you’ve probably never heard of, and that’s grown in the inland central valley and they make kind of folk wine from it and that’s kind of the end of it. There’s Sauvignon Blanc, and then there’s Pinot Gris. Well, Pinot Grigio is probably how you buy it at the store.
Pinot Grigio likes colder weather. Colombard is just grown just for … In the warmest climates so they can make a lot of it, and then you’re left with Sauvignon Blanc, which kind of has this wider growing range. If you have a cool climate vineyard in [inaudible 00:00:57] city in California, in essence what you’re getting first and foremost is you’re looking and you’re saying, “Can I plant Chardonnay here, and if I cannot then what should I put here instead.”
So this comes from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, which people hear Santa Barbara, and they think the coast. They think this kind of … Yes, it’s the central coast, so it’s a little warmer than it is in Northern California, but you still get the freeze and the kind of cold ocean air, et cetera et cetera, but the Highlands is almost 60 miles inland, so it’s a really actually a pretty warm growing climate, and it’s of that elevation of close to 3,000 feet.
So, one of the things that happens with Sauvignon Blanc is that the flavor profile of the grape often will change in a warmer climate vineyard, so instead of the kind of grassy and green apple and pear and that kind of stuff, and quite honestly the green fruit flavor profile doesn’t usually work well with American wine consumers, as you move into warmer growing conditions, you often get into more melon type flavors and those are the things that do work for the average American wine consumer, but people also want acidity in their white wine, which is why it’s important that the Highlands is up the altitude because you kind of get both. You get melon flavors plus acidity.
In any case, Folkway, it’s an interesting kind of wine project on the Central Coast. I’ll be talking about them more in the coming days and weeks, and there’s a couple Folkway wines going out to my wine of the month club members this month. This Sauvignon Blanc goes out to the Explorations. I think it’s an interesting look. There’s not a lot of $20 single vineyard wine anywhere in California anymore. The price point is hard to reach for vintners, so this is kind of a fun one to [inaudible 00:02:26], and I hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks.
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