The cool Sonoma Coast vineyards where this wine was grown provided a wonderful climate for this balanced, crisp Chardonnay. The addition of about 15% of grapes grown in Monticello, added a rich undertone from its ripeness and the touch of new barrel aging. A delicious pairing with grilled seafood, or by itself as an apritif.
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With a large influx of European immigrants during, and after the “Gold Rush,” vines were planted everywhere. In 1862, the French Revue Viticole reported that California was “…capable of entering competition with the wines of Europe.”
The Native American Napa tribe inhabited this Northern California area for thousands of years before the first white settlers arrived in the 1830s. The settlers first brought the Mission grape to the area, but the planting of “classic” vinifera vines didn’t begin until 1852. By 1880, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote of the Valley, “One corner of land after another is tried with one kind of grape after another…this is a failure; that is better; a third best. So, bit by bit, they grope about for their Clos Vougeot and Lafite…and the wine is bottled poetry.”
European cooking, such as French Nouvelle Cuisine, and Italian Tuscan cooking has been absorbed, and reworked as well – with the emphasis on fresh, locally grown ingredients.
California raises cattle for beef, sheep, ducks, and pork, often simply grilled with fresh herbs. The long and varied growing seasons, brings a seemingly endless variety of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. And since the 1980s, artisan cheese production, particularly from goats milk has achieved international acclaim as among the world’s best.
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