February 2021: "Love Through Wine"
Bodega Cerro Chapeu: Love for Nature
This is one of our newest producers, and we couldn’t be more excited. You may have heard of Tannat from Uruguay, but there is so much more this small (population: 3.4 million!) impressive country offers. Originally from Spain, the Carrau family has been making wine for 10 generations and moved to Uruguay in 1930. Scientists, nature lovers, and pioneers, they saw winemaking promise for the unique soils and microclimate in Rivera, Uruguay, and established one of the only wineries in this very remote region. The Castel Pujol ‘Folklore’ line is the vision of daughter Pia Carrau, who is bringing minimal intervention practices to their sustainable, low-energy, gravity-flow winery. Rivera is considered “el campo”, or countryside, and there are oftften unique visitors in their vineyards. One of the local inhabitants is the Seriema, a small bird indigenous to the Southeast region of South America.
Castel Pujol Folklore Blanco: This is a white blend made from the aromatic Malvasía, and a touch of Trebbiano, which brings acidity. You know we love to get geeky with our yeasts, and this wine is no exception. Pia’s father, Francisco, is a PhD in Chemistry who was surprised that so much local wine production uses foreign yeasts. For decades, he has researched soils, planted new vines, and spearheaded the cultivation of native yeasts in Uruguay to express truer terroir. Pair with your favorite furry friend, salad greens, or spicy seafood.
Bosman Family Vineyards: Love for Your Community
The Bosmans have long been one the key standard bearers for ethical farm management in South Africa. They believe that their community’s and employees’ success is their success. From extending company ownership through the employee managed Adama Trust, to spearheading social projects in the farm community, Bosman Family Vineyards has long been a pioneer in uplifting the local wine industry in South Africa. In 2009, 260 permanently employed workers received a 26% stake in the business and the business was certified Fair Trade. To date it is the largest land reform transaction in the history of the South African wine industry. They have established housing, medical centers, retirement villages, schools, and social programs for workers, the community, their children, and the elderly In 2016, Bosman was recognized by Drinks Business Green Awards as the Ethical Company of the Year – a global distinction across all beverage categories.
Pinot Noir: This Pinot Noir hails from the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a cool climate region often regarded to as the “Burgundy of South Africa.” The vineyards are planted between indigenous fynbos fields in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean at the foothills of the Babylonstoren. Pair with paying it forward, cured meats or seared tuna.
Bodega Chozas Carrascal: Maria Jose Lopez
Ever been so passionate about a new idea, only to have people tell you it can’t happen? If you’re lucky enough to prove them wrong, you’ll know a little what it feels like to be Mario Geisse.
Winemaker Mario Geisse was known for making premium wines in Chile, and in the 1970s was recruited to Brazil by Moet Chandon when they heard that the south of the country had decent terroir for making bubbles. They were focused only on low quality sparkling wines. Mario became enamored by the region, saw the potential to produce world-class method champenoise wines, and left Chandon to start his own boutique winery. He scoured the region for the best plots of vineyards- he now has over 40 of them – and dedicated himself to the strictest, most labor intensive methods of making sparkling wine. He sent bottles to winemakers in France who didn’t believe he would succeed. They, and the rest of the industry, were blown away by the results. Over time, this pioneer has elevated the quality of Brazilian wines by supporting other local wineries, maintained a commitment to quality, and
has put Brazilian wines on the map. The winery is also so obsessed with quality, they don’t allow pesticides to enter any part of their process, showing only purity of fruit and not risking that anything else effects the wine.
Moscatel: Because of the high altitude, volcanic soils, and incredible acidity found in this particular region, Mario wanted to make one of the best asti-method moscatels around. In our opinion (and many other somms too), this is one of the best moscatels you can find. This refreshing, balanced sweet bubbly is perfect to celebrate love all month long. Pair with your passion project, chocolate, or cheesecake.
Kitá Wines: Love for Your Family
To round out this month’s theme, we wanted to show extra appreciation for you, our wine club family. If you’ve been a member for a little while, you know that every now and then we get a little carried away with our own passion of sharing great wines with you. But, that’s what you do for family, right?
The wine we present to you is one of the top wines from Kita, a boutique (<2000 cases/year) winery run by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The original territory of the tribe took up most of the coast of California. As the heartbreaking story goes, the vast majority of the land was stolen by settlers and the tribe was left with only 127 acres. In 2010, the tribe purchased the 400 acre Camp 4 Vineyard (only 256 acres are actually vineyards) to build housing and to be able to return their families to their sacred land. Winemaker Tara Gomez, a member of the tribe, expresses love for her tribe and family through her wines. She and her wife, Mireia, have also started their own winery called Camins 2 Dreams.
Kalas: Meaning “breathe’ in Samala, the Kalas is a perfect blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Caber- net Sauvignon. The style of this wine can be most associated with right bank Bordeaux, rich in fruit flavor and soft on the mouth with less tannin and acid, and can be enjoyed young but also does wonderfully with a little age. Due to its complexity this wine needs time to breathe when opened but don’t let that slow you down! Pair with a braised lamb shank ragout, red chili enchilada, and take a deep breath. You got this.