Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine
Toad Hollow Vineyards began operation in 1994, with 3000 cases of 1993 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay is 100% Stainless Steel fermented, using no oak at all. Since then we have added additional wines, a Russian River Merlot (Richard McDowell Vineyard), a Russian River Pinot Noir (Goldies Vines) a Zinfandel from Paso Robles and a Rose of Pinot Noir from Carneros. In 1995 we started to import wines made by our French friends at Sieur D'Arques and now have two sparklings and three still wines in our portfolio. Our mission is to produce quality wines that are interesting at a reasonable price. Our labels are whimsical, supporting another element of our philosophy - we believe drinking wine should be FUN!
Toad Hollow is a collaboration of two old friends who, more or less, retired to an existence of peace and quiet in the Hollow, after a life of whirlwind world travel. Neither of these two gentlemen believed in self-denial, and over the years had probably wined and dined at every major eatery and watering hole in the universe. They began to discuss the fun times they had experienced over many years, remembering all the wonderful people they had met. During their conversation they decided they wanted to find a way to repay the warmth and friendship shown them along the way.
While Limoux also produces both white and red wines, it is ultimately recognized as a sparkling wine zone. Blanquette de Limoux is the region’s original sparkler, which is based on Mauzac with small amounts of Chardonnay and/or Chenin Blanc. The more rustic and traditional version, Blanquette Méthode Ancestrale, is an often cloudy and sweeter sparkling wine made exclusively from Mauzac.
In the 1990s, the region created the more modern, Crémant de Limoux, for international markets.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.