Varietal Descriptions


Chardonnay: native to Burgundy in France, develops it best flavors in California when grown on the cool coast; pear, green or red apple, tropical fruit and citrus aromas and flavors. Can be produced in a crisp, light green apple / citrus style by stainless steel fermentation, or rich complex, buttery and oaky style with barrel fermentation and ageing. These complex flavors can be paired with a wide variety of foods from creamy pasta to seafood, pork and chicken dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc: hails from Bordeaux in France, has crisp acidity with flavors of melon, herb, citrus and fig. This versatile wine adapts well to many different types of cuisine, such as seafood, shellfish, sushi, or complex salads. Fume Blanc is a term that describes an oaky style of Sauvignon Blanc; “fume” means “smoke” in French and refers to the oaky character imparted into this wine when it is barrel fermented an/or aged.

Johannisberg Riesling: an old German variety, is a versatile grape that can produce a dry, tart wine or lusciously sweet late-harvest wine. Delicate structure, aromatic fruit aromas and flavors of floral spice, peaches and cream, balanced by clean acidity make this wine a great companion for lighter meats, fruits and salads, picnic fare, or, if made in the late-harvest dessert style, with desserts.

Gewurtztraminer: originally from the Alsace region of France, has floral peach, pineapple, tropical fruit and honeysuckle aromas with light cinnamon and clove spice notes (“gewurtz” means “spice” in German). Made in varying styles from sweet to dry, it is well suited to cheese, smoked meats, salads and more exotic cuisine such as spicy Asian and Pacific Rim cuisine.

Viognier: which hails from the Rhone region of France, has become a popular (lighter and less oaky) alternative to Chardonnay in California. Produces a perfumed white wine with apricot, peach, apple and pear fruit with floral notes. Matches well to various cuisine and occasions.


Cabernet Sauvignon: is a classic Bordeaux variety, and can be the most complex red wine of the world, displaying aromas and flavors of cassis, black and red cherries and berries, plum, blueberry and currants, with chocolate, mineral, vanilla, spice and smoky nuances. This full-bodied wine is well suited to rich cuisine, and matches well with everything from grilled meats to bittersweet chocolate.

Merlot: is a traditional blending grape from Bordeaux that has become a star of its own, and displays aromas and flavors of plum, berry, cherry, currants and spice. It tends to be softer than Cabernet, and can be matched to many of the same foods.

Pinot Noir: the great red grape of Burgundy in France, is difficult to grow, but can yield incredible wines. It displays layers of black cherry, berry and spice aromas and flavors, often with earthy complexities, and a silky texture. Pinot makes a versatile companion for French cuisine, mushroom dishes or grilled salmon.

Zinfandel: at its best, makes red wines that have deeply concentrated berry fruit, with jammy character, intriguing spice notes and a big finish. Well suited to varied cuisine, Zinfandel shows especially well with hearty and flavorful cuisine such as roast meats, turkey, hearty pasta and rich cheese or desserts.

Syrah: is the classic red grape of France’s Rhone region with a history that goes far back in history to pre-Roman times. It makes rich red wines, full of black and red berry fruit, plum, black pepper, nectarine, and spicy complexity. This wine matches well with hearty, richly textured and intensely flavored cuisine such as roast game, rich pasta, stews, cheeses, etc.