Cool Wines For The Adventurous Wine Lover


My April column at California Winery Advisor is dedicated to unexpected varietals in California Vineyards. I’ve featured Clenenden Family Vineyards – Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria, Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz and Markus Wine Co. (a subventure of Borra Vineyards) in Lodi.

California is a state rich in vineyard microclimates and terroir. With over 800 miles of coastline, parts of the state receive the cooling impact of the Pacific Ocean. Inland valleys and hills find the sun’s warmth sticks around a bit longer, protected by the landscape. The generosity of the land is matched only the by variety and creativity of the local winemakers, some of which have discovered that their California vineyard is the perfect spot to grow less-likely varietals. The outcome is excellent for the wine-drinker, an unexpected range of delightful bottles that express both terroir and winemaking style.

For the full story, let me shift you over to California Winery Advsior to get my recommendations and the incredible background on each of these winemakers…all very innovative, creative, inspiring and total fun.
At Mokelumne Glen Vineyards Markus Niggli describes his winemaking to attendees of the Wine Bloggers Conference. Courtesy: Borra Vineyards

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Happy to see some of the lesser-known wine grapes getting much needed exposure. I think there are several that with some development can add new and exciting wines into the mix. I have written numerous posts about the Georgian grape Saperavi and it is slowing gaining popularity as a very deep red wine here in the Northeasten U.S. You may find a article my friend Dan Traucki wrote for his Australian WBM magazine very interesting. He chronicles the 33 Saperavi samples he collected from Russia, Australia and the Finger Lakes Region of New York. If your interested you can find it on my blog “World’s Largest Saperavi Tasting”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill Barth says:

      This is so fascinating & I’m reading up on your work. Georgian roots run deep and there is so much to learn. Thank you for the recommendations. Grape diversity is a topic that really interests me.

      Thanks so much for reading, commenting & sharing. Cheers!


  2. My favorite CA wines are the ones you mentioned (and more). I am not a big CA Cab drinker. I prefer the more interesting grapes. And Pinot Noir….always PN! Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill Barth says:

      Thank you! I’ve actually got a few CA Pinot Noirs (Cameros & Monterey) lined up for the #WinePW brunch special this weekend!

      This was really fun to write, really cool creatives!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Forgot, just had ABC’s Hildegard on Sunday night. I love Jim, Randall, and Markus! Thank goodness for all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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