Behind Every Great Wine
We all know that one is unique, but two is perfection – especially when the pair is wine and cheese.
As a driven team here at Vinely, we always strive to bring something unique and memorable to the table. We wouldn’t be the type of wine club that sources local, boutique wine if we didn’t find similar local food pairings to match.
It’s no secret that wine is better enjoyed when paired with something delicious. From cheesy risotto to fig pate, there’s a whole world of pairing to discover when drinking local, boutique wines.
A special friend of ours, Cowgirl Creamery, has a fantastic range of artisan cheeses to be paired with whatever takes your fancy. Let’s see how they fit in with our California wines.
Last week at our Meet the Maker tasting event we paired Peterson Winery’s excellent 2016 Funsten Vineyard Zinfandel, a three-year-old drop, with Cowgirl Creamery’s Inverness, a tangy, full-flavored cheese that holds a density bold enough to be paired with a big red such as Zinfandel.
Our next pair naturally married Cowgirl’s most popular Mt Tam with Peterson’s Gravity Flow Block Syrah, a full, flavorful wine that is robust on the insight but beautifully elegant on the outside. Mt Tam will bring you hints of white mushroom and butter that will round out well with the big, juicy flavors of the Gravity Flow Block.
Peterson’s refreshing yet multi-layered 2018 Rose reminds us of mountain terroir. It is harvested from a few blocks around Bradford Mountain Estate and is perfectly paired with a more savory Cowgirl variety. We recommend Pierce Pt, a savory, herbal bloomy rind that hits the palate with a tang. The Rose will elegantly cut through the bright sharpness of this cheese, making for an excellent pairing.
To truly understand what makes Peterson Winery tick, you have to know about the underlying philosophy. This father and son duo have made it their mission to harvest and bottle wine using a discipline called zero manipulation. This means that they subscribe to the traditional practice of winemaking, without any interference. They don’t homogenize or tweak the wine process to make it more consistent and marketable. They want the wine to the unique characteristics and flavors that are produced naturally.
This process allows the Petersons to capture the essence of the grapes, and translate this into the end result. The best way to describe this winemaking technique is that when you taste the finished product, you’ll be able to taste the heart and soul that goes into making it.
Fred Peterson channeled his passion for sustainable farming and old-world winemaking into Peterson Winery, and has been doing so for over 30 years now. In 2002, his son Jamie also took up the mantle and inherited each step in the winemaking process that is so integral to keeping Peterson Winery natural and sustainable.
Fred and Jamie work closely together, evaluating each factor in the winemaking process. These include things like the site of the vines, the soil beneath their feet, and the weather. This means that the winemaking process starts while the grapes are still ripening on the vine. This also means that every vintage is different, and within each vintage, every bottle of wine is unique.
The modern era of winemaking has brought with it a desire to be consistent and uniform. Vineyards like Peterson Winery fight against the status quo every day to make sure that ancient winemaking practices still have their place. Fred and Jamie believe in the beauty and ability of the winemaking process, without having to micro-manage it. Their zero manipulation approach has resulted in some of the best, most sustainable vintages in Dry Creek Valley to date.
For Fred, it all comes down to the grapes. From how the vineyards are managed right through the growing and harvesting season to the climate, how they were grown and where they were grown – it all affects what you get in the bottle, and no bottle is the same. Peterson Winery grows grapes to reflect their place in Dry Creek Valley, and you can taste this sense of belonging in every drop. With many microclimates nestled in this Californian valley, it’s no wonder that you can expect diversity and variety in every wine – naturally.
Your Local Wine Club for Wine Pairings
Here at Vinely, your local wine club, we can connect you with local California wineries. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the best and most current wine pairings in the boutique Californian wine world. We believe in keeping it sustainable, and we believe in keeping it local, which is why we send you a monthly subscription of all our favorite local wines right to your door. Also, whenever you visit any of our wineries, tasting is always complimentary if you’re already a member of Vinely!