This release pays homage to Cath's Salvadorean heritage with its label and fruit-driven, food-friendliness. Produced in steel, this wine harkens back to a different style of Chardonnay, one where the leaner, non-buttery, unoaked wine is the focus and is accented by a little bit of Sauvignon Blanc's vibrancy. As with all JJ wines, we made it for food, and we priced it for every meal. We gave it higher acidity so you can easily pair it with a wide range of foods, and we priced it low so you can have glorious times over and over again: Embrace the Sun!
Stein Family Wines makes great wines: all of their brands --Stein Family, Just Joshin, Vaquero -- have won plenty of awards, received great scores, and been given good mention in the media, but that is not what makes them different from all other wine options. Stein Family Wines donates five percent of every sale they make, and those donations go directly to the children of vineyard workers in the form of college scholarships and support funding. Yes, others give a percentage of their profits, but we guarantee the kids see the money whether they're profitable or not.
Why? Because they don't want to make a future for our kids on the backs of others'. It's really that simple. They want kids to see that we can create a future for them, and that part of doing so must be rooted in the community; there is no longer-term sustainability without that. Stein Family Wines' goal is to change the wine business one bottle, one glass, one customer at a time. Why? Because fair is fair.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It'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.
Most 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.