In March here on Wine Predator for Women’s History Month, we feature women in wine we adore: women winemakers, women winery owners, and other important women in wine. For example in 2017, we featured women from Washington, California, France, Italy, and New Zealand when we wrote about
- WA Women in Wine: Meet Mercer’s Jessica Munnell
- Women In Wine: Meet Winemaker Merry Edwards
- Women in Wine: Floriane Eznack, Cellar Master, Champagne Jacquart for French #Winophiles
- Women In Wine: Lisa Anselmi, Anselmi Wines
- For International Women’s Day: Erica Crawford’s LoveBlock Pinot Noir
In 2016, we focused on women in two AVAs in California, two who make wine with fruit from Santa Barbara County, and one from Napa:
- Women Who Wine: Millesime’s Brittany Rice-Claypool
- Women Who Wine for Women’s History Month: Kimberly Smith, La Montagne
- Women’s History Month: Cheers to Jenny Wagner, Emmolo Winemaker
In 2015, we toasted women winemakers with a sparkling wine from Casa Dumetz:
First up in 2018 is Margaret Leonardi, a winemaker at Fetzer Vineyards. We met her Adorada wines as part of January’s #WineStudio focus on several Fetzer brands including 1000 Stories which we wrote about here and Bonterra organic and biodymanic wines which we will be posting about in April for Earth Month.
According to the Adorada website,
WINEMAKER AND NATIVE CALIFORNIAN MARGARET LEONARDI CRAFTED THIS ELEVATED COLLECTION BY METICULOUSLY SOURCING DISTINCTIVE AROMATIC VARIETALS AND COMPOSING THE INTRIGUING SCENTS THAT DELIGHT THE PALATE.
Margaret says that, “As a winemaker, scent is everything to me. I wanted to make a wine that is distinctly different and stimulates the senses. #AdoradaWines are very versatile and everyone who tastes it picks up different notes, which makes it fun to have with friends.”
In addition to making wine for Fetzer’s Adorada label, the newly married native of Northern California is also listed as the head winemaker for LBD or Little Black Dress. According to LBD, “Margaret Leonardi grew up surrounded by an energy to create. Lessons learned from her family revolved around trying new things. Exciting things. With her mother being a teacher and her grandmother an incredible cook, Margaret saw how a passion for something can produce amazing results.” Leonardo studied winemaking at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she earned her degree in Agricultural Business.
Margaret: The blending process is virtually blind. I take the components and blend different amounts of flavors to see how they marry together. I play with aromatics, balances of flavors and mouthfeel until I achieve the most unique and tasty blend possible.
The day that #WineStudio tasted two Adorada wines with Margaret Leonardi just happened to be National Croissant Day which inspired us to a really wonderful food and wine pairing as well as an easy and delicious meal.
Sue prepared warm croissant sandwiches four ways:
- apple brie;
- Italian cold cuts with oven roasted tomatoes;
- ham and smoked jarlsberg;
- crab and brie.
This makes for a very nice simple lunch menu, yet impressive enough for guests, even the guys around the poker table will enjoy it as well because they are hearty and rich. While you can buy them ready made, if you are not going to make your own, then make sure you put them in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes to heat them up and melt the cheese and crisp the croissants. When they come out of the oven, serve as is, or add a little dressed salad to bring in another dimension of flavor. Oh so yummy. The Italian cold cut sandwiches were not so great with with the Adorada wines, but I pulled out a Chianti I wanted to share and it was a hit with Sue. The Adorada wines were made so much better with our croissants.
The wax encasing over the cork gave difficulty to many of our fellow bloggers on #winestudio. They tried to use the tab to remove the wax top. This is not any different than opening any wax encased cork. You can follow the directions from David Glancy above, or simply s≥tick the corkscrew right through the wax and pull: “break on through to the other side.” The cork breaks the wax in a neat circle making it easy to remove.
As both of these wines warm and open up, they become a bit sweeter, They both went perfectly with our apple brie croissants, which would be a perfect light dessert to balance the sweetness and acidity in the wine.
2016 – Adorada Eau De California – Pinot Gris – 12% alcohol – $20 (sample)
We found this to be a bit on the sweet side, but there are many folks out there who will find this to be a delightful wine. As a party wine, it’s nice, light, and easy to drink, will go well with most appetizers, especially if sweet and spicy. Thai food, or Indian cuisine will be a perfect pair for this wine or seafood appetizers. It went nicely with our hummus.
Margaret: The Pinot Gris reminds me of walking down the orchard rows during visits to my Aunt & Uncles citrus and avocado farm in Valley Center, CA. Always ripe, sweet fruits, producing all year long with different trees at varying ripening levels.
The vivid memory of the smell of orange trees blossoming shines through in the nose of the Pinot Gris, with notes of apples & honeysuckle. The fruit segues from the nose to the palate with flavors of pear, honeydew & orange zest on the finish.
color – very pale and delicate
nose – nice light aromatics, floral, jasmine and honeysuckle, lemon rind, grapefruit spritzer, after opening there is a bit of turpentine or petrol sneaking its way through.
palate – orange blossom, orange water, the essence is there. Fantastic with an arugula salad, the spicy pepper flavors in the lettuce, tame the sweetness of the Pinot Gris. With the crab, brie croissant, it becomes very decadently sweet, you could almost have this pairing as a dessert, definitely a great appetizer.
2016 – Adorada Eau De California – Rose – 13% alcohol – $20
Light crisp tart and fruit forward, this proprietary blend changes from year to year depending on the grapes.
Margaret: The Rosé honestly reminds me of my childhood, visiting my Grandma who lived down the road. She had a huge, beautiful garden around all sides of her house and was known throughout Humboldt County for how wonderful her garden was. My Grandma won many awards for her beautiful roses, and that’s something I wanted to exhibit on the nose of the Rosé-that unique, antique red rose aroma, coupled with sweet peas, another one of my favorites, that’s soft but intriguing
color – pale pink, delicate color, with a touch of orange hugh. salmon. winemaker tries “to achieve the perfect straw and salmon” color.
nose – roses, definitely sweet peas, strawberries, orange blossom
palate – tangerine, cherry sweetness, very clean, salivating balance between the sweet and the tart. The rose also went very nicely with the crab and brie croissant. They balanced each other out nicely. The ham and cheese made the wine quite sweet, similar to what happened with the crab croissant and the Pinot Gris.
Join us on #winestudio on Tuesdays at 6pm PDT! An interactive beverage education and brand marketing program organized via social media, on #winastudio each month host Tina Morey selects a different theme and builds an online conversation around that topic, creating focused content and media.
Follow the hashtag #winestudio 9pm EDT Tuesdays on Twitter and join the convo! This month on #winestudio we are going to Italy with Ca’Marcando which we tasted previously and wrote about in December.