Bevan Cellars Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Soon after that, the couple moved to Minneapolis and fell in with a group of wine lovers whose passion and knowledge fanned their flame. They started taking regular trips to wine country in California, where they met many of the finest winemakers. They were so inspired by them that to this day they follow many of their principles. They learned first-hand about Philip Togni's attention to every minute detail. Saw how Bob Foley would only pick fruit if his palate -- not some lab test -- told him it was time. They heard Greg La Follette telling them how careful you have to be when making decisions in the winery because even the smallest decision has an impact on the final wine. Their conversations still reverberate with them whether the couple is at a vineyard or in the winery.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.