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Luna Vineyards Freakout White Wine 2006

Other White Blends from California
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 41% Chardonnay, 38% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Pinot Grigio, 8% Ribolla Gialla

Looking to challenge the traditional ways of Friuli winemaking on the Italian-Slovenian border, maverick Italian winemakers began experimenting with new styles of winemaking, creating unique and exciting white wine blends. When Mike Drash, Winemaker for Luna Vineyards in Napa Valley, tasted these exotic white wines, you could say he freaked out. The secret of Freakout is in the innovative winemaking. Each varietal is treated individually, and then married together two months before bottling, to create the ultimate blend.

To promote the aromatics of the wine, the Chardonnay begins fermentation in tanks before moving to French oak barrels. Meanwhile, a small portion of the Sauvignon Blanc is fermented on the skins like a red wine, and punched down twice a day until fermentation is completed. The Pinot Grigio is fermented in stainless steel for a crisp, lively finish. The distinctive Ribolla Gialla from Vare Vineyard in Napa Valley is the only Ribolla Gialla planted in the U.S. It is fermented in small oak barrels and provides the wine weight, texture and minerality.

Treating each varietal separately creates a complex wine with multiple layers of exotic fruit, soft citrus, honey and spice that dance across your senses. Intense aromas of tropical fruit and orange peel combine with rich flavors of dried apricot, spice and toasted nuts to create a lush texture and brisk mouthwatering finish.

Critical Acclaim

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Luna Vineyards

Luna Vineyards

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Luna Vineyards, , California
Luna Vineyards
Luna Vineyards was founded in 1995 by George Vare and Mike Moone. Both Vare and Moone have been Presidents of major California wineries and important influences in the California wine industry since the mid-1960's.

The founders purchased the St. Andrews winery, located at the foot of the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, and set out to produce Italian varietal wines - Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Merlot.

In 1996, after 20 years experience with other wineries, the last 13 at Newton Vineyards where he established himself in the forefront of Napa Valley winemakers, Winemaster John Kongsgaard joined Luna as Vice President and partner. John is particularly noted for his outstanding Merlots and spent seven years in collaboration with Michel Rolland from Bordeaux perfecting winemaking techniques in the Napa region.

With a passion for Italian wines combined with a desire to live slightly on the edge, John happily joined Luna. He was excited by the opportunity to travel to the "Old World" and learn how to adapt their traditional and new techniques for growing grapes and making wine from Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.

California

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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 incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

ASG80896_2006 Item# 92451

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