GIFFT by Kathie Lee Gifford Chardonnay 2012
Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
I first came to love Chardonnay many years ago when I fell in love with French Burgundy. I was born in France so I think it is in my blood! I loved it so much that when Frank and I welcomed a dog into our home, we named our little bichon frise Chardonnay, along with her partner, Chablis. Over the years, though, my love affair with Chardonnay (the wine, not the dog) waned. I felt that the California version of this classic varietal too often veered into the over-oaked and over-seasoned territory. I want a wine that I can drink on its own or set down on the table and enjoy WITH food, not compete AGAINST food. So when I decided to partner with the Scheid family, our goal was to craft a wine with poise, one that allowed the true varietal character of the Chardonnay grape to shine. Gifft Chardonnay is that wine.
Kathie Lee Gifford
Our 2012 vintage of Gifft Chardonnay exhibits richness, depth and complexity, balanced by a lively acidity and an essential freshness. Featuring the gorgeous tropical fruit flavors that are the hallmark of Monterey Chardonnays, Gifft Chardonnay strikes the ideal balance between rich and refreshing.
Our 2012 Chardonnay is 100% estate grown and hails from the Scheid family's vineyards in Monterey County. The Monterey growing region is a slice of Chardonnay heaven, with evening coastal fogs that often linger until mid-morning the following day. This natural cooling effect causes a unique lengthening of the growing season, something that winemakers call "hang time". Increased hang time leads to more intense flavor development and an enhanced richness of the fruit.
Wine Enthusiast - "Kathie Lee Gifford is just the latest celebrity to enter the winemaking game, but she made a solid partner in Scheid, one of the biggest vineyard owners in Monterey County. Their Gifft smells fresh and lively, with tangerine and sour grass aromas, followed by a sipping experience full of smoke, oak, lanolin and tan flavors, approaching leather and sandalwood. "
GIFFT by Kathie Lee Gifford Winery
GIFFT Wines is a partnership between Kathie Lee Gifford and Scheid Family Wines. The wines are 100% Estate Grown from Scheid's vineyards in Monterey County, California.
Founded in 1972, Scheid Family Wines is a family-owned company with ten estate vineyards located along a 70-mile spread of the Salinas Valley. Kathie Lee Gifford is the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" and a well-known wine lover. Introduced through a mutual acquaintance, Kathie and the Scheid's hit it off and decided to form a partnership to craft GIFFT wines. Kathie Lee's goal – to offer ultra-premium wines at an affordable price – was perfectly suited to the Monterey growing region and Scheid's strengths. The GIFFT team decided to launch the brand with a 2012 Chardonnay, a varietal that is practically synonymous with the Monterey appellation, and a 2011 Red Blend that uses an intriguing assortment of red varietals from Scheid's southern Monterey County vineyards.
The GIFFT name derives from Kathie Lee Gifford's last name and her belief that friendship, love and laughter are gifts to be cherished. The classically-styled package depicts Kathie Lee's favorite place to enjoy wine with friends – her garden gazebo at her home – and features a consumer-friendly screwcap closure. View all GIFFT by Kathie Lee Gifford Wines
About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.