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Epiphany Camp Four Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2013
Epiphany is a winemaker's wine, one which satisfies Eli's passion for and fascination with winemaking. Crafting interesting wines of exquisite quality is the sole reason for the conception of Epiphany.
Epiphany's foundation is built upon the outstanding grapes harvested from the best vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County and beyond. In most cases the Epiphany wines are made with grapes from a single vineyard source in order to accentuate the unique characteristics and terroir of that vineyard. Other Epiphany wines blend grapes from multiple vineyards in order to marry different flavor nuances thereby adding depth and complexity to the final wine.
With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.
Producing full-bodied white wines, Grenache blanc can be unctuous and soft or floral and fresh. Some of the finest examples are terroir-driven, age-worthy wines. It is a key ingredient in white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is a significant variety in Roussillon’s Vins Doux Naturels. For delicious and approachable table whites popular in France, Grenache blanc blends well with other indigenous grapes. But it doesn’t always have to be blended. Single-varietal Grenache blanc wines are becoming more popular in California and can occasionally be found in South Africa. In Spain it plays a significant role in northeastern whites from Priorat, Tarragona, Rioja and Navarra.
In the Glass
Grenache blanc wines have mango, white peach, lime and pear flavors and often smell of sweet honeysuckle and fennel. The wine can be plump and rich with a brioche quality if aged in oak, or leaner with herbal notes if not.
Grenache blanc goes with spicy poultry or fish dishes like Chinese Five Spice Sea Bass, Moroccan Tagine and Satay. It can hold its own against lemon and lime zest, garlic, allspice, capers, and cilantro.
Whites from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation of the Rhône are often rich, oak-aged blends of Grenache blanc and Roussanne.