Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Needle in a Haystack: Ravenswood's 650 Cases of Wine from Organic Vines (Out of 1 Million)

Doing research for the Organically Sonoma apps (out in a few weeks) has been so illuminating. You never know what you'll find.

For instance, wine giant Constellation Brands, Inc., owner of Ravenswood, certified 14 acres of organic vineyards in 2010, right next to the tasting room. The site, planted to Merlot and Zin  in 1993, has been going into Ravenswood wine from the time when it belonged to Joel Peterson, who founded it.

There's a prominently displayed CCOF sign on the vineyard fence, at the edge of the parking lot at the tasting room in the outskirts of Sonoma near Mt. Raven.

Of course, you'd have to have the Organically Sonoma app to know that only 650 cases (out of 1 million) are from certified vines. To the casual passerby, a CCOF sign in the parking lot might make you think all of the wine inside is organically grown…or something like that.

No one in the tasting room will mislead you, and these estate wines are not labeled organic on the bottle or on the tasting room list. They're not on the tasting menu but they are available on the available wines to purchase list there. A little stealthy, but for those who persevere - well worth the effort.

These two wines are bold, spicy takes on Merlot and Zin. You'd expect no less from the Ravenswood brand, known for years for its slogan "No Wimpy Wines."

Both of these wines are featured in the apps, which - did I mention - will be out in a few weeks. We'll be launching this Friday…so you can get a peek at some sample screens and get ready to for a Sonoma road trip this summer…or fall…or whenever.

PS Ravenswood's also selling the (previously blogged about) DVD Dossier Zinfandel (in the tasting room), which features interviews with Ravenswood's Joel Peterson, known as the godfather of Zin.

Peterson was made a member of the Vintners' Hall of Fame in 2011 for his winemaking achievements, which include promoting Zin as a worthy wine.

Today we almost forget it's the wine that formerly got no respect. Today's it's a historic and popular grape - and California proudly grows 47,000 acres of it (out of 300,0000 acres of red wine grapes). It's second only to Cabernet in acreage.

Ravenswood Estate Merlot

Ravenswood Estate Zinfandel

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