Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc - Viognier 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards sits in the heart of the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, tucked beneath of ridge of pines that speak to the dramatic geologic origins of our home and unique soils. For over 40 years the winery has become a pioneer farming and vinifying Bordeaux grapes with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Pine Ridge Vineyards farms a collection of 160 acres of Napa Green sustainably certified estate vineyards across Oakville, Rutherford, Howell Mountain and Carneros, including 47 acres in the Stags Leap District.
The winery’s Chenin Blanc + Viognier bottling started out as an experimental blend over twenty-five years ago and is now one of the most beloved and highly acclaimed white wines available. Original and unique, this fresh white wine blend is crafted to be fresh, fruity and easy to pair and enjoy. The wine has also inspired a Pine Ridge Sparkling wine also made with Chenin Blanc and a splash of Viognier.
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 red wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. California 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 red 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, Rosé and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône 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 wine has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in 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.