And while they all share certain Chardonnay characteristics, each one is different and resonant of the vintage, place or origin, and the winemaker’s intent.
Following our foray into Burgundy with the Winophiles (where we were sadly flummoxed by premox), we decided to explore six different regions in California– Sonoma, Napa, Santa Lucia Highlands, Lodi, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties– for this year’s Chardonnay Day extravaganza today.
For the past few years in May, we’ve focused on Chardonnay from France and Oregon, with a particular fascination for dry farmed wines. For example:
That’s the first line in Jon Bonné’s new book,The New California Wine which showed up on my doorstep a few days ago. Since then I’ve discovered for myself why my wine blogging friends have been raving about it–it really is a great book. In fact, it’s all I can do NOT to drop everything and keep reading it!
I mean, don’t you want to know what comes after that first line?
As a nationally recognized wine authority and the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle,Bonne certainly knows his wine. But it is his historical narratives and personal anecdotes that caught my imagination right away and seduced me into reading far longer than I had planned to–it’s finals, and I have huge piles of research papers to grade. But when I came down with that bug that’s going around, I had a chance to spend a little more time with his book to discover that he offers a seriously comprehensive overview–over 600 wines from long time producers and favorites like Ridge and Ojai Vineyards to the positively youthful Donkey and Goat from the Brandts, and from larger vintners that you can find in a grocery store to tiny ones like William Allen’s Two Shepherds– to guide readers in understanding what’s going on today in California viticulture. Continue reading →