Palmina Honea Vineyard Nebbiolo 2010
The wine pairs beautifully with hearty dishes such as braised meats and stews. Add a savory element such as fennel or orange zest to draw out the subtle nuances in the wine.
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Palmina’s philosophy, passion and strongly held belief is that wine is an extension of the plate, a component of a meal and a means to bring people together. Formed by winemaker Steve Clifton (of La Voix Winery and formerly of Brewer-Clifton Wines) in 1995, Palmina is named in honor of Steve’s great friend Paula. Like a grandmother to him, she taught Steve the love of cooking, wine and the Italian lifestyle and was a spark in his life. After Paula succumbed to breast cancer, Steve found that her given name on her Italian birth certificate was Palmina, and the winery was thus fittingly named.
Palmina produces a full range of wines crafted solely from Italian varietals with names that are as fun to say as they are delicious to drink; Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio. Palmina translates the history of those grapes to the growing conditions and vineyard sites of the very unique characteristics of Santa Barbara County. In California, the transverse mountain ranges typically run north to south but the Santa Barbara County region is unlike any other in the world: its transverse ranges take a turn, running east and west. This creates a unique growing climate for a range of grape varietals by offering daily, both hot and cool climates. The resulting wines are Italian by inspiration with flavors rooted in Santa Barbara County, and all are intended to be a delicious component of a meal.
Palmina “pure farms” its 11 acres in Santa Barbara County. Pure farming gives back more than it takes. Unwavering in its farming standards, Palmina does not utilize herbicides or pesticides. Weed-clearing is done through laborious hand-hoeing, with critical soil nutrients reintroduced by planting organic legumes and grasses between the vines. With mindful intention, organic, sustainable and biodynamic practices are utilized.
Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.
A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.