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Scenic Root Winegrowers Forager Chardonnay 2015
Jonathan lived, worked and studied in France and later earned a BS degree in Agriculture and an MBA here in California. He enjoyed a career in the ultra-premium wine industry and has worked with some of the best – Domaine Louis Jadot (Burgundy), Robert Mondavi & Schramsberg (Napa Valley), Australia's iconic Penfolds and several Bordeaux chateaux.
Susan is a recognized leader in the "service" side of the wine industry with extensive training and experience in California and Europe. After attending university in Italy, she earned her BA degree in the US and soon began working as Wine Director for a large & prestigious Bay Area-based restaurant group. Today she is one of the most prominent restaurant wine buyers in North America. She tastes and evaluates hundreds of wines per week – something that almost no other winemaker can bring to the table, yet she brings this insight to bear on our wines.
Together, Jonathon and Susan Pey bring decades of education and experience to their "small lot" winegrowing. Unlike the big wineries that produce every varietal under the sun, they specialize in a handful of wines – all in small quantities. As a CCOF - Certified Organic winery, they encourage environmentally friendly practices at many stages, from conserving soils and water, managing pests and using a natural approach in winemaking. For the winemakers, natural winegrowing means producing the finest quality wines while working in harmony with nature and protecting the health of the earth and its people.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.