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Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon
In early 1992, Barefoot Chardonnay was added to the Barefoot repertoire and Barefoot White Zinfandel in late 1993. The wines were recognized by awards, acclaimed wine writers and repeat customers. "We couldn't keep up with the demand which meant that it was time to grow the staff and add more 'Barefooters' to our team! We started working more directly with distributors, hiring merchandisers and sales people," stated Houlihan.
Jennifer Wall, Barefoot Winemaker, was hired in September of 1995. "Barefoot California wines are perfect as everyday dinner wines for wine connoisseurs of all levels of experience," comments Wall. "The wines are affordable, varietally correct, soft and approachable and are immediately ready to drink off the shelf."
In 1996, Barefoot Cellars became a national brand. Chain stores from coast to coast started advertising and selling Barefoot Cellars as the ‘Best Buy' and ‘Top Value' brand from the California wine country. Barefoot Zinfandel was added to the line in February of 1996. The following year, in 1997, Barefoot Merlot was available.
In July of 1998, Barefoot Bubbly ‘Premium' California Champagne was produced featuring an elegant black label decorated with tiny gold bubbles. By New Years, people across the nation were "Getting Barefoot Bubbly and Having a Great Time!"
The Barefoot Reserve program was established in August of 1998 with the release of the Barefoot Reserve Sonoma County Chardonnay. In July of 1999, Barefoot Reserve Sonoma County Pinot Noir was released. Barefoot Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc have been recently added to the line. These allocated Reserve wines were created to provide a special occasion wine to customers who enjoy Barefoot Cellars' popular premium price point wines on an everyday basis.
By the time the 1998 holiday season had arrived, Mistle Toe Cellars released Santa Reserve. The following year, a more non-denominational version of the Mistle Toe Cellars label, Holiday Reserve was released. There are now 3 popular varietals available in each of these two labels: Merlot Ho! Ho!, Holiday Chardonnay and Jingle Bell White Zinfandel.
The Barefoot on the Beach Premium Red, Premium White and White Zinfandel labels were released into the marketplace during the summer in 1999. This label depicts a couple walking barefoot with their "Barefoot Wine" on a beautiful sandy beach. This beach label is the perfect image of the romantic California lifestyle.
In May of 2001, Barefoot Bubbly ‘Brut Cuvee' California Champagne was released featuring a beautiful white label, also decorated with tiny gold bubbles. This wine is a drier and more sophisticated version of the Barefoot Bubbly ‘Premium' California Champagne released in 1998. The Brut Cuvee label is a popular wedding champagne.
Since it's inception, Grape Links, Inc. has supported a multitude of non-profit and charitable organizations including the American Cancer Society, Sonoma County Boys and Girls Club, Ducks Unlimited, Sonoma County Land Trust, California State Parks Foundation, Project Open Hand, Shakespeare in the Park, Sonoma County Task Force of the Homeless, Face to Face, Girl Scouts, and local Police and Fire Departments.
Barefoot Cellars wines are now distributed throughout the United States and exported in Canada, Europe and Asia.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.