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Dec 06,

2018

Kale and Seasonal Fruit Salad

Paired with 2017 The Mariness - Dry Creek Valley

Fresh and seasonal, this delicious kale, fruit, goat and blue cheese salad is perfectly balanced just like our premier 2017 Mariness.

Our inaugural vintage displays intense aromas of cantaloupe, pear, lemon and lime. After a few minutes, softer floral nuances come forward mixed with deeper, musky characters for added complexity. The palate is fresh and sophisticated with vibrant flavors of honeydew melon, Meyer lemon and a touch of peach. The bright acidity of this refreshing wine is balanced by the creamy mouthfeel contributed by aging in French oak, acacia and chestnut barrels. Pair this beautiful white Bordeaux-style blend with this fresh and delicious salad that’s easy to make at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 4 figs, quartered
  • 1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 8 oz wheel goat Brie, cut into small wedges or chunks
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Core and slice the pear, then squeeze fresh lemon juice on it to prevent browning. Quarter
the figs, half the grapes, chop the hazelnuts and cut the Brie into wedges or chunks. Place kale in a wide
shallow salad bowl. Sprinkle the fruit, cheese and nuts on top of the kale.

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in a wide mouth jar. Whisk to a creamy consistency.
Drizzle the dressing on the salad just before serving or serve with the dressing on the side. Serves 4.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.

 

Dec 04,

2018

The Story of Cabernet Franc

Believe it or not, Cabernet Franc is one of the most popular grape varietals in the world. It’s true that it is primarily grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but can also be crafted and bottled on its own. Its single varietal wines are highly regarded, and the grape is also
utilized in the production of rosé wines. While Cabernet Franc may seem like it has a secondary role in the blending of Bordeaux-style wines, it actually has an incredibly meaningful role in the history of grape varietals. Through DNA analysis, it has been shown that Cabernet Franc
is one of the two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France during the 17th century, when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley and they were planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil. By the 18th century, plantings of Cabernet Franc were found throughout Fronsac, Pomerol and St-Emilion. As Cabernet Sauvignon became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, the similarity of the two grapes was noted and in 1997, DNA evidence emerged to show that Cabernet Franc had crossed with Sauvignon Blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. As a vine and a wine, Cabernet Franc is more precocious than its offspring. Generally, Cabernet Franc buds and ripens at least one week before Cabernet Sauvignon, which allows the vine to thrive in slightly cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the Loire Valley in France or here in Dry Creek Valley. The vine is vigorous and upright with small to medium, elongated bunches. The berries are small and blue-black in color, with fairly thin skins.

Cabernet Franc is also lighter bodied than Cabernet Sauvignon, contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blend with more robust varietals. It tends to be lighter in color saturation, well-structured and highly aromatic. Depending on the region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, graphite, raspberry, green olive, cassis and violets.

Due to the naturally high acidity and softer tannins, Cabernet Franc is an ideal wine for pairing with a wide variety of foods ranging from poultry and game to richer beef dishes and tomato-based sauces. For the ultimate experience, enjoy a glass with your favorite herb-crusted protein or vegetables with herb sauce. Try it yourself and let us know what you think!

 

Nov 01,

2018

Weird Wine Terms Defined

Wine tasting may be subjective, but there are some commonly used terms that seem a little out of place in everyday conversation. Here are our top five weird wine terms to get you up to speed and speaking like a sommelier:

Flabby:

No, they aren’t commenting on the arm holding the glass, but rather the lack of acidity and structure in a wine. Other ways to describe a ‘flabby’ wine are loose, soft, flat or lacking balance.

Hot:

This in no way refers to the temperature of the wine, but rather the level of alcohol. Wines that have a high percentage of alcohol are considered ‘hot’ because of the sensation that the alcohol leaves behind.

Minerality:

Imagine the smell of wet slate or a sidewalk after the rain, then imagine those characteristics translated into a flavor. We don’t recommend you licking the pavement, so take our word that the right amount of minerality is actually desirable and one of the hallmarks of impeccable Sauvignon Blanc.

Racy:

On the more scandalous side of wine terms, racy is the opposite of flabby. Wines with this descriptor are higher in acidity and offer bright, lively flavors.

Tight:

We’re not talking about how hard it is to get the cork out of the bottle, but rather a wine that isn’t quite ready to drink yet. A tight wine usually has very high tannins, which makes it hard to pick out any fruit flavors or aromas. While you can’t hold on to the opened bottle to let it age, it might be worth it to save another bottle to open again in a year or two.

 

Oct 31,

2018

Introducing the Site Specific Terroir Series

We are proud to introduce our Site Specific Terroir Series, which is the culmination of nearly 50 years spent working with different vineyard sites within the Dry Creek Valley. Produced from distinct geographical locations in the valley, this extremely focused approach is the first of its kind to highlight the unique microclimate and terroir of specific districts within our home appellation.

Lytton Springs Meritage:

Our inaugural vintage of Lytton Springs Meritage highlights the intrinsic characteristics of a specific microregion within the southeastern area of Dry Creek Valley. This Meritage blend is led by Cabernet Sauvignon, with three additional Bordeaux varietals to add complexity and depth.

Western Slopes Cabernet Sauvignon:

This exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon showcases some of the more extreme growing sites that lie on the western hillsides of Dry Creek Valley. The rugged nature of the terrain provides grapes that are beautifully ripened and lead to a wine that is silky, textured and complex.

Eastern Bench Meritage:

This delicious Meritage blend features fruit from the broad, uplifted area at the base of the eastern ridge of Dry Creek Valley. Fruit from this microregion produces a wine that is elegant and concentrated, reminiscent of the classical Bordeaux style of winemaking.

Can’t decide? Receive one of each as a 3-bottle collection, beautifully packaged in a gift box for the holidays. See this and other unique gift sets in our holiday shop.

 

Oct 29,

2018

Fall Frittata - Butternut Squash, Kale, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Paired with 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel - Dry Creek Valley

A delicious and seasonal fall frittata made with butternut squash, kale, bacon and goat cheese paired perfectly with Dry Creek Vineyard 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel. Recipe inspiration from Coley Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 cups (loosely packed) raw kale, hard stems removed
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Season cubed squash with salt and pepper to taste, place on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
While the squash bakes, cook diced bacon in an oven-safe pan (cast iron is ideal). Cook for 5 minutes or until the bacon is a little crispy. Add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown. Next add kale with a splash of water and toss for a few minutes. Then cover with a lid and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove the lid and add the cooked squash until warmed thoroughly.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and use a spatula to spread evenly. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, then place the pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until puffed up and golden on the outside. Check the inside by poking a toothpick in the center. If it’s still runny, place back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel. Serves 6.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.