100% Skin Contact Viognier from Lake County, California. Natural, Certified Organic, Unfined, Unfiltered, Low Sulfites, Black Winemaker.
HISTORY: Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chris Christensen never thought winemaking was an actual career path for people who weren’t born into a winery or vineyard until he went on a wine tasting trip to Sonoma during his Junior year at Stanford. As an African American vintner, Chris also works to promote diversity and inclusion in the wine industry through speaking engagements, podcasts, and mentorship opportunities for aspiring vintners and winery owners. His work has earned him much kudos, including a place in the Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40 industry shakers in 2020. Praised for both his activism and self-taught yet skilled winemaking, Christensen is indisputably one of the figures to watch in the American wine industry.
WINEMAKER'S NOTES: “This wine is its own animal… It’s more of red wine with a ‘pigmentation deficiency’ than it is traditional white grape wine. The vineyard is a great location for growing the notoriously tricky white Rhone varietals, such as our Viognier here. The wind-battered South-Western facing slope gets hot in the day and cold at night allowing the fruit to get ripe but also hold on to its intensity of flavor, which was key when choosing a vineyard we could make a skin-fermentation white wine from.”
VINEYARD: Shannon Ridge Vineyard’s Home Ranch at 2000 feet of elevation overlooking the Eastern End of Clear Lake, in the town of Clearlake, Lake County, CA. CCOF certified
VINIFICATION: The grapes spontaneously fermented and were pumped over once a day for a 12-day period. Obce pressed, the wine then spent a few months in a stainless steel tank with mixing (batonnage) every 3 weeks to introduce a greater depth of flavor and also smooth out the tannins. No sulfur added, bottled without fining or filtration.
TASTING NOTES: Very much true to Viognier, with its high-terpene-linalool notes. A substantial, aromatic skin-contact wine. Aromas of Flowers, Stone Fruits (especially Apricot), and Clementines follow through onto the robust Palate with smooth, dusty tannins and a unique mouthcoating texture that leads into the persistent dried fruit inflected finish.
FOOD PAIRING: Salads, Panzanella, Sandwiches, Fish, Spicy Mexican or Thai Food, Fried Chicken, White Meats, Roast Poultry w/ Lemon & Herbs, Grilled Vegetables.