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The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend 2011
You might know Dave from his day-job as a professional musician, but his passion for winemaking stretches back nearly as far as his love for music. With a winery in Virginia under his belt, Dave's no amateur, but when he chose to lay down roots for roots in the California wine country, he knew he couldn't go it alone.
When Sean McKenzie and Dave Matthews first met, they realized they had a few things in common, like a passion for making wine at least as strong as their passion for drinking it. They set out into wine country, looking for a way to make quality wines accessible to everyone. Along the way, they found inspiration in the down-to-earth characters and unforgettable flavors that give the region its rare kind of charm.
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. 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.