Winemaking Families You Need To Know

Stone Edge Farm Estate Surround Red Wine

amy reileyWoman on Wine

with Amy Reiley

There was a time when small, family-run wineries were the norm. They were run on passion and were a an integral part of their local community. But times have changed and as wine became big business, small wineries became an impossibility for many families. Yet the “little guys” remain, although they might be a little hard to find. However, there is one organization in California, helping to give voice to those “little guys” and showcase those passion-driven, small family operations. Family Winemakers of California organizes several tastings each year and at the most recent, I had the chance to meet a few of those “little guys” every wine lover will enjoy discovering.

Hiatus Cellars
2010 Apex
A blend of Cabernet and Merlot with just a touch of Malbec, this is a dense and serious but remarkably interesting wine. Earthy, vegetal notes dominate both the nose and palate, yet a surprising berry note sings at the back of the palate.

Maggy Hawk
2010 Jolie
Dubbed “the pretty one”, this wine is feminine in style with elegance, floral aromas and bright, true red fruit flavors. It is one of several Pinots the winery produces; it is a lineup that makes selecting just one to feature a difficult task.

Smokescreen Cellars
2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay
This wine takes a fun approach to Chard with loads of crisp apple and pear and lingering vanilla. Where it shines is it’s creamy texture and long, clean finish.

winemaking familiesStone Edge Farm Estate
2009 Surround Bordeaux Blend
This is a finely crafted, well-structured red brimming over with aphrodisiac notes. Its aromas and flavors are of cherry and exotic spice with faintly vegetal notes in the background.

Ten Acre Winery
2010 Green Acre Hills Sangiacomo Chardonnay
An incredibly sensual Chardonnay, the wine offers luscious tropical fruit combined with a lovely citrus tang and a saline note that makes the mouth water for more.

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