10 Tasty Wineries from the Taste of Vail 2019

It’s THE WEEKEND for food & wine in Vail! The Taste of Vail 2019 is here!

For those of you who don’t know, the Taste of Vail is a food & wine festival that celebrates the luxurious & tasty lifestyle of (you guessed it!) Vail. Taste of Vail showcases more than 30 of Vail’s finest chefs and restaurateurs alongside the owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the countries’ top wineries. Through a myriad of special events, seminars & other exciting activities, guests savor & swill their way around the town’s iconic restaurants & locations.

And guess what! We’re carrying wines from TEN of the TASTIEST WINERIES featured this year. When you’re finished taking little sips out of tiny cups, stop by Grappa to grab a bottle of your favorite! (You’ll get 10% off bottles from these wineries this weekend!)

Keep reading for a breakdown of the featured wineries.

1. Scar of the Sea

The Scar of the Sea Winery’s name originated from a mistake by one of the founders. While on a hike in Tasmania, he stumbled across a stained glass window on the entrance of the church with writing in Old English font. The sea foam green glass was overgrown by ivy and said what he thought to be “Scar of the Sea”. After showing multiple people the picture of this place, it actually said “Star of the Sea.” He liked the mistaken expression better.

Here is the winery’s story, taken from its website:

With so much emphasis in today’s wine culture on singular elements of winemaking such as alcohol, whole cluster fermentation, or oak regiment; Scar of the Sea strives to shift the pendulum to focus on what is in the glass. The most important part of our wines and cider is where they are grown. Location, climate, and soils matter. These wines and ciders are crafted with minimal manipulation. Balance is achieved through working directly with growers at carefully selected vineyard sites, and the wines ultimately show where they are grown. All the vineyards and orchards are influenced by the sea, with maritime soils, and climates, producing wines and ciders that are unique to the Central Coast of California.

2. Sandhi

The Sandhi winery is a small production California winery focusing on select vineyards from the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. Sandhi was founded in 2010 by Rajat Parr, the wine director for Michael Mina Restaurants, and winemaker, Sashi Moorman.

Here is the winery’s story, taken from its website:

Sandhi represents a union essential to the production of wine: the collaboration between man, earth, and vine. The willing participation of all three elements is necessary to make great wine, and the winegrower must make this collaboration rich and nourishing for all involved. An understanding of these joint efforts informs Sandhi’s exploration of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines throughout the Santa Barbara County terroir.

The individual vineyards from which these grapes originate–some legendary, some new–have been exhaustively vetted for character, personality, and balance. Employing the wisdom and talents of people who know the vineyards, Sandhi is dedicated to making wines of finesse, minerality, acidity, structure and balance. Wine achieves power and beauty through the seamless integration of these qualities, and this is the inspiration for Sandhi. Wines exhibiting extreme ripeness, alcohol, oak, and other discordant exaggerations cannot truly express a specific vineyards terroir.

3. Evening Lands

Also fouded by Rajat Parr & Sashi Moorman, the Evening Lands Vineyard carries on the tradition of the original Seven Springs vineyard in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. (These founders are a HOOT. If you see them around during the Taste of Vail, be sure to say hello.)

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

Seven Springs’ eastern exposure ensures the vineyard awakens to the warmth of the morning sun. The vineyard’s position opposite the windy Van Duzer Corridor, mitigates hot, sunny afternoons in the Willamette Valley with cool winds from the Pacific. As valley temperatures increase throughout the day, warm air rises, replaced by cooling winds flooding in from the Pacific through the Van Duzer gap and across our vineyard. This daily cooling, along with our eastern aspect, affords our grapes the luxury of extended time on the vine.

Since its inception, Seven Springs has been dry-farmed. The vineyard is LIVE™ certified and was converted to biodynamic viticulture in 2007. We continue to farm Seven Springs biodynamically, encouraging a healthy and sustainable ecosystem in the vineyard.

Seven Springs is planted overwhelmingly to Pinot Noir, followed by Chardonnay, and Gamay. The oldest own-rooted blocks of Pinot Noir and Gamay are a testament to, and daily reminder of, Oregon’s incredible history and potential. Benchmark Oregon producers have long sourced fruit from Seven Springs and the wines from this vineyard are the most decorated and award-winning wines in Oregon’s history.

Photographer Paul Sherwood paul@sherwood.ie; 087 230 9096 www.sherwood.ie
Searsons Wine Merchants. August 2018

4. Champagne Henriot

Champagne Henriot is one of the rare Champagne houses that have stayed in the same family for over two hundred years. The family is very proud of its independence & history.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

For over 210 years the Henriot family has symbolised the innovative approach and high standards of a champagne house that has remained independent. The exceptional proportion of wines from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards, the ageing times and the quantity of reserve wines used in producing each blend illustrate the demanding standards that are only possible thanks to the freedom to make decisions, years of experience and the imagination to create the future.

5. Dauo Vineyard

Dauo Vineyards was created by two brothers who dreamed of owning a winery together as children. They lived in Lebanon and France, before settling down in California & acquiring their own winegrowing mountain, Dauo Mountain.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

Georges and Daniel set forth to find an unrivaled terroir for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, a quest that led them to a place of foretold greatness: DAOU Mountain. Standing alone at an elevation of 2,200 feet, our mountain rises from the heart of the Adelaida District in the rugged coast range west of Paso Robles. It is a terroir of symmetry, power and purity. Here, the Daou brothers’ vision is to produce California “first-growth” wine, fulfilling the Adelaida District’s destiny as the world’s next benchmark for Bordeaux varieties

6. Chateau D’Escans

Chateau D’Esclans is located in where the majority of Provence AOC rosé is produced. They are the makers of Whispering Angel & The Palm.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

Chateau d’Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort, twenty five kilometers northwest of the ancient Roman city of Frejus on the Mediterranean coast.The first traces of the chateau’s site date back to Gaullist times during which its location served as a lookout point to spot intruders coming by boat into the Gulf of Frejus. The chateau’s cellar structure or foundation (known today as the oldest in the region) housed an original Chateau that was given by the Comte de Provence to Gérard De Villeneuve, in 1201. The current chateau, inspired by Tuscan Villa design, was built during the mid 19th century. The château is known for its old Grenache vines which produce grapes that offer greater concentration of flavor than do the younger vines. As the elevation to where the lots are situated increases, so do the age of the vines. At the highest elevated lot vines are as old as 90 years.

7. Louis Latour

Louis Latour‘s family began acquiring vines in 1731. Then, Maison Louis Latour was created in 1797. The winemaking methods remain quite traditional, simple & natural.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

Over time, Maison Louis Latour has set an ideal of perfection in our winemaking. For two centuries, over 100 appellations have been crafted with the greatest of care each year, to reveal all their complexity. We respect the natural rhythm of the vines and make our wines in harmony with their nature, with the aim of offering full expression to the elegance and the balance of the great terroirs of Burgundy. Respect for terroir is one of the fundamental values of Maison Louis Latour, who have practised reasoned agriculture for almost 20 years. Understanding and interpreting the geological complexity of each parcel is indispensable, and it is for this reason that we regularly undertake soil analysis of entire slices of earth in order to study the interaction between the terroir and our wines.

8. O’Shaughnessy

O’Shaughnessy Winery encompasses three distinct vineyards in California, each with differing terrain & producing varying grapes.

Here is the winery’s story, taken from its website:

O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery sits at 1,800 feet on the heralded Howell Mountain appellation in the beautiful Napa Valley.  Founded in 1996, the estate encompasses one hundred and twenty acres. Winemaker Sean Capiaux has overseen the planting of the vineyard and selected numerous clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and all seven of the historic Bordeaux varietals for this unique property. O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery uses modern equipment to produce non-interventionist wines that are naturally fermented and bottled unfined and unfiltered. These techniques allow the varietal character and terroir of O’Shaughnessy Estate vineyards to be the stars of the show.

9. Santa Margherita

Santa Margherita wines are created in three different areas of Italy, which in terms of climate and of soil composition, yet all three are united by an age-old wine making tradition that dates back to colonization by the Roman Legions.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

Man is at the centre of our daily routine. With neither rhetoric, nor false modesty, the Santa Margherita philosophy – established by Gaetano Marzotto himself – has always been to respond to the needs of our own community (grape suppliers, staff, partners, clients) by offering the maximum quality. Quality in work, quality in human relationships, quality in the “welfare” that the group guarantees its partners in the “Villanova” heart of the food farming complex, quality in the cultivations by respecting the environment, without causing plant and soil stress, quality in professional relationships which can thus keep more generations of grape growers firmly anchored to the family vineyards. And obviously product quality – wines that can be special, but more widely paired, checked in every phase of the vinification, clarification and aging process.

10. Villa Creek

Created by Vail locals Chris & Joann Cherry, Villa Creek is a winery focused on organic & sustainable farming near Paso Noble. Chris Cherry’s parents established The Saloon in Minturn.

Here is the vineyard’s story, taken from its website:

We moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise our children in the country. In 2001 we purchased our first grapes to make wine for our restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, our best expression of west Paso Robles’ Rhone grape varieties. In 2017 we closed our restaurant to devote the entirety of our blood, sweat, tears to our winery and Demeter certified biodynamic and CCOF certified organic vineyard in the hills west of Paso Robles. We continue to purchase grapes from our region’s most esteemed vineyards and strive to create exciting wines that reflect the land from which they originated.

Don’t forget to stop by the shop & grab a bottle from your favorite winery! (Especially because you’ll get 10% off bottles from these wineries this weekend!)

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