In this issue:
- Trunk Show – Tonight!
- Ramato Fig Release Weekend
- Fire Relief Six-Pack Fundraiser
- Dinner in Seattle
- Holiday Hours & Vacation
We’ve made it to the last month of the year, but things are just getting started around here!
HOLIDAY TRUNK SHOW & TASTING – Tonight!!
Thurs, Dec. 7th from 5pm – 8pm
Come get your holiday shopping done! Enjoy a flight of Viola wines while you peruse handmade scarves and hats from Muluk and shiny objects from Ayumi Angel Jewelry. $10 tasting fee waived with $50 purchase at the event. Wine, vinegar, olive oil and other Viola Wine Cellars creations make great holiday gift items too! This will be your “wine-stop shopping” event on Alberta Street this holiday season – don’t miss it!
NEW RELEASE – THE FIG RETURNS!
This weekend – we’re excited to release our final new bottling of the year, the 2016 Ramato Fig – Pinot Grigio grown in the Columbia Gorge, fully fermented on the skins and aged in barrel for almost a year. It’s full of figgy, rhubarb and pomegranite flavors and definitely will change your view of what the Pinot Grigio grape can be all about. Reminds us mostly of a light and spicy Pinot Noir or Poulsard from the Jura, but we’ll let you check it out and decide for yourself. This limited release is just 37 cases and we’ll be pouring it on Friday and Saturday in the tasting room so you can sample it and take some home if you dig it.
FUNDRAISER 6-PACK OFFER – Support Our Friends in Napa/Sonoma
I can’t believe I’m reading the paper this morning and hearing about yet another devastating fire that is encroaching on a heavily populated area in California. For the last month, I’ve been working on an offer of wines from 3 of our favorite wineries in Sonoma and Napa that were badly impacted by the fires there. For those of you who were on my old newsletter email back in the cork days, this is basically like the old WineFinds emails I would send out – except this time we’ll be making a donation to fire relief efforts in Napa and Sonoma. Here’s the wines and how you can buy them. If you want to taste first, please come by the tasting room this Friday & Saturday – we will include a few of these in our daily wine flights this weekend, while supplies last!
You can help us raise some funds for Fire Relief Efforts and enjoy some fantastic bottles from 3 of our all-time favorite producers. Each of these estates had serious impacts from the fires and we want to help them out by selling some of their wines as well as donating back to organizations that are helping rebuild the areas impacted by the fires. Here’s what’s in the 6pack
White Rock was one of the hardest hit wineries, having the entire front section of their winery that is buried under the ground incinerated from the intense heat of the blaze. Fortunately most of the wine was deeper in the cave and survived. And currently their releases are stunning as usual. The 2014 Chardonnay ($42) has long been my favorite example of California Chardonnay – always showing bright melon and apple fruit with acidity more in line with Chablis than Napa. The 2013 Claret ($53) is an elegant nod to Bordeaux, with Merlot and Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot in a classic blend that is textured, structured to age and full of dark plump fruit.
Sky Vineyards represents the first time I fell in love with Zinfandel. We were down in the Bay Area and wandered into a wine shop in Berkeley that had a vertical of 6 vintages of Sky for sale. We took them home and week by week had transformative experiences with this lighter elegant style of Zin. Today, Sky is still at the same location atop Mt. Veeder and daughter Skya has followed in Lore’s footsteps making restrained, elegant Zinfandel year after year, with Lore painting the artwork for the label. Sadly the family house and most of the vineyards were torched in the fire, along with all of Lore’s artwork. But the winery is standing and all the vintages are saved. Their latest release, the 2013 Zin ($39), is included in this fundraiser pack!
Bucklin, located in Glen Ellen, is a more personal story for me. We’ve stayed multiple times at Will’s guesthouse at the vineyard, and I spent a harvest living with other friends near Glen Ellen when I worked harvest in 2001. Those friends lost their entire home and Bucklin lost the guest house, another building on the property and has a lot of singed vines. Fortunately Will’s home and most of the vines were saved through heroic efforts by Will and his nephew during the height of the fire. Let’s send some love their way by buying the current vintages of their Zins – the 2013 Bambino (Younger Vine, $27) and the 2013 Old Hill Ancient Vines ($39) are both included in this 6 pack. The Ancient Vines represent the oldest producing Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma and always is one of the best examples you’ll find for old-vine Zin. The Bambino vineyard was planted identically to the old field blend in the original block and has come on strong with intense berry fruit and peppery spice the last few years.
To round out the Fundraiser 6 pack, we’re including our 2016 Viola Primitivo, which takes inspiration from the suitcase clones that Italians brought to the US and planted in Sonoma and Napa over 100 years ago starting the American winemaking tradition we enjoy today.
All 6 wines represent a $225 retail value. We offer it for $200 and we will make a $20 donation for each 6 Pack sold to fire relief organizations in Sonoma and Napa. This is a wine-win situation for everyone. To order, please click here and buy on our website. We will notify you when they are ready to pickup (likely next Friday Dec. 15, if not sooner). If you need your 6-pack shipped, just email me and I’ll figure out shipping costs. Thanks for supporting our friends in Northern California as they work their way through a very challenging time.
Wine Dinner in Seattle
L’Oursin Wine Dinner – Sunday Dec. 10th
To our friends up North, please join me and the wonderful folks at L’Oursin, one of the most amazing restaurants in Seattle known for their playful seafood dishes and enthusiasm for natural wine. I’ll be pouring a long list of wines paired with creative plates from J.J. and his crew in the kitchen. Here’s the menu – and this may be your only chance ever to taste my little Pet Nat experiment! To reserve a seat at this fixed price meal, please contact L’Oursin directly.
Holiday Hours and Break
Expanded Tasting Room Hours. Our expanded Holiday Hours continue through December 23rd. Find us on Fridays from 2pm – 7pm and Saturdays from 1pm – 6pm
The Tasting Room will be closed from December 24th through January 18th for the holidays and for a little rest with the family. If you need something in the interim, please email me and we will figure out how to get you a delivery!