October 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Each month when selecting wines for the club I try to find something that will bring you closer to a producer or deepen your understanding of some element of natural viticulture or wine making. Try as I might to plan and impose a structure on the act of choosing, sometimes I’m just so dang surprised and delighted by a wine and its story that I can’t resist tucking it into the club. It wouldn’t be wrong to call my process ‘organic’ to which I would comment “organic isn’t the easy path but it is a rewarding path”.     

This month’s process was launched one lucky afternoon when we were presented a stunning line up of wines from Domaine Hauvette.  I’ve known this estate for many years but for a variety of reasons we’ve had spotty access to it here in Seattle. So, it was with the kind of joy that you feel when you unexpectedly run into a dear friend and seamlessly fall back into step that I tasted the wines…inspired. Hauvette was the springboard which, in a winding way, led to Chateau Sainte Anne and Domaine Laguerre.

Drink with Focus

Domaine Hauvette

Dominique Hauvette has the kind of story that people want to have (at least this person). In the early ‘80s she left her job as a lawyer in the Savoie to re-find her passion for raising horses. This shift ultimately landed her in Les Baux de Provence located the rocky, scrubby foothills of the Alpilles where she established her estate. Once settled, she began learning how to make wine and some thirty-ish years later she farms 17 hectares biodynamically and is making 5 cuvees that speak of her commitment to finding finesse in her rugged terroir.     

2010 Domaine Hauvette “Cornaline” Les Baux de Provence, France $45

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Fermented in wooden tanks then aged in foudre.

Domaine Hauvette “Jaspe” IGP Alpilles Blanc, France $35

100% Roussanne

Fermented in cement eggs then aged in stainless steel tanks.

Of Interest - This wine doesn’t receive the appellation designation of Les Baux in Provence because the rules don’t recognize a wine that is made from 100% Roussanne, therefore it can only be granted the IGP. No matter how it’s labeled it’s amazing!

Drink Everyday Club

Château Sainte Anne

Château Sainte Anne is another estate that we’ve loved for many vintages. Although this is a 5-generation estate they ‘officially’ began making wine naturally back in the ‘70s, well before it was cool.   In fact, they resisted the advertised promise of products chemical companies said would facilitate the vigneron’s life and never employed the use of herbicides or pesticides. This long time commitment to natural practices brought them, along with famed producers Lappiere, Gramenon and Overnoy together as a group in support of working naturally in vineyards and cellars (hmmm, the beginning of a movement?).  Château Sainte Anne has a contiguous property that straddles Bandol and Côtes de Provence. Both are sub-appellations of Provence where the wines produced are historically strong, structured and long lived.

Château Sainte Anne, Côtes de Provence, France $23

Grapes - Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache

Fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged for 18-24 months in old barrels.

Domaine Laguerre Eos Côtes du Roussillon

Founded by Eric Laguerre in 1999 Domaine Laguerre is the youngest of the estates in our line-up this month…still that’s 17 years! The estate is in St. Martin de Fenouillet which is in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains on granite soils. Laguerre’s vineyards are situated in the cool climate that comes with altitude and are at the highest elevation in the Roussillon region. If you have preconceived notions about Roussillon whites, let go of them. The combination of granite, altitude, low yields and organic farming come together in a way you won’t anticipate.

 Domaine Laguerre Eos Côtes du Roussillon, France $16

Grapes - 30% Grenache Blanc, 40% Maccabeo, 30% Rolle

Fun Fact – Eos is the Greek Goddess of the dawn.

 

Enjoy!

 

P.S. – If anyone is interested in Domaine Hauvette Petra (rose) we have it in 750’s and Magnums! Give me a shout and I’ll set some aside for you.

 

September 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Honest Wine

Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines

Natural wines are honest. They can’t help but tell you the truth about who they are, what they’re made of, and where they come from. Creating a wine that can only speak the truth about its variety, vineyard and vintage takes a person who is willing to listen carefully to these elements and never make assumptions about what they will hear.

Chad Stock, of Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines, is that kind of winemaker. He is intensely curious about what the true voices of Oregon wines are now and seeks those yet undiscovered. This inquisitiveness has led in many directions, one of which challenges the initial decision of Oregon winemakers to plant Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the region. What he has found is that the difference in soil types between where the vines were produced, nurseries in Burgundy, and where they were planted, vineyards in the Willamette Valley, doomed Oregon to producing low acid counterpoints of their Euro cousins. This discovery set Chad on a hunt for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines that would perform well on the soils in Oregon and in turn would make a naturally balanced wine. He is now experimenting with 10 Chardonnay and 18 Pinot Noir clones that are specifically not from the Dijon Clone of Burgundy. That said he hasn’t settled on just those two grapes. He has planted 27 small plots, each with a different variety, in hopes of fine-tuning which grapes work best and where. At this point he feels a sense of promise that a handful of his selections will be better suited for the Willamette Valley than Pinot Noir.

As if studying over 50 grape varieties doesn’t give a person enough to do, Chad stretches his skill as a wine maker by producing numerous small batch cuvées each year. In this arena he experiments with various fermentation styles and vessels. This could mean leaving a white wine on its skins for half a year, or ageing in wine barrels made of chestnut to see how they impact the final wine. The experiments that work best are bottled for our intellectual and drinking pleasure.

Chad has three separate labels that represent three very individual notions he wants to convey. They are Omero Cellars, Minimus Wines and Origin. In the Natural Wine Club this month we present selections from Omero Cellars and Minimus. To highlight the difference between the projects we offer you these two brief quotes;

“Omero asks how do we deliver delicious, approachable wines without hiding behind chemicals and additives.”

“Minimus challenges convention. It asks why? Why not? What’s possible?”

Chad Stock is an honest, open and curious individual. He is careful not to stamp out the natural voices of the wines he makes so we can enjoy a pure representation of Oregon. We encourage you to taste these with open ears.

Everyday Club
2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Gris $21

2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $19

Focus Club

2016 Minimus Pet Nat $28

2016 Minimus Vermentino Layne Vineyard $25

2016 Omero Willamette Valley Gamay Noir $25

 

August 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Natural Wine Club – Summer Dreaming

Wow Summer, why are you in such a hurry? Before we have to say ‘see you next year’ how about we linger for a few more nights over a glass of wine and watch the sun sink behind the Olympics?

For August’s Natural Wine Club, I propose a season’s finale mental vacation. A day dream that takes you somewhere remote, raw, beautiful and warm. Any wine maker would tell you that vine growing regions over deliver in all ways mentioned while providing the added bonus of a delicious activity to ward off reality. As your assistant in ushering along the image, we offer you a selection of wines that are grown in places that quiet the soul and call out for exploration. While you sip, open google maps, find the vineyard, a near-by restaurant, a place to sleep…buy a ticket, live the dream.

Drink Everyday Club
2016 Ameztoi Primus Txakoli, Getariako Taxkolina, SP $23

Grape: Hondarrabi Zuri
About the wine- The Primus is a unique cuvee at Ameztoi in that it spends time soaking on its skins and is then left on its lees for 6 months before bottling. It’s also only produced in special vintages-about 75% of the time.

Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream- The vineyards of Ameztoi are in the Basque Country and sit facing north on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. From the property, you can see the city of San Sebastian where you might grab a lunch of fresh seafood. The wine is named Primus, which means first, in honor of the Getaria native that completed the first circumnavigation of the globe after Magellan’s death. 

Love a Map!

 https://www.google.com/maps/place/Txakoli+Ameztoi/@43.2939931,-2.2078143,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0xd51c895df58be7b:0x80d0079165f2db62!8m2!3d43.2939931!4d-2.1990542

2016 Côte di Franze Cirò Bianco, Calabria, IT $17
Grape: Greco Bianco
About the wine – Although the landscape surrounding Côte di Franze Cirò is unspoiled and offers long views out to the Ionian Sea, it’s also hot, so the family built an insulated winery and use stainless steel tanks so they can maintain freshness and quaffability  in their wines.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream -  The vineyards of Côte di Franze are in the best regarded growing region of Calabria, Cirò, which is way down in the toe of the boot in Italy. They rest in a stretch of hills above of the dramatic Ionian Coast. Calabria is a rugged region with a history of wine production that dates back so far that is it said that Olympian victors thanked the Gods with the wines from Cirò.

Love A Map!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cote+di+Franze+-+Cir%C3%B2/@39.4053869,17.0525482,9494m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x1340f788308b4c3f:0xd74ccb7c462e8a5d!8m2!3d39.387428!4d17.100251

Drink with Focus Club

2015 Occhipinti SP68 Bianco, Terre Siciliane IGT, IT $25
Grapes: Moscato di Alessandria, Albanello
About the wine – The SP69 Bianco is macerated on its skin during fermentation for 15 days. After, it is aged for 16 months in concrete vats and then bottled unfiltered.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream – Arianna Occhipinti is so intensely engaged with her land in the Southeast corner of Sicily that she alone is worth a trip to Sicily.  Since we’re fueling a dream… Please read, Arianna brings her landscape to life. http://www.agricolaocchipinti.it/en/detailed-study

Love a Map!

https://www.google.it/maps/dir/''/az+agr+arianna+occhipinti/@36.9899324,14.474692,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x1311a41f06b70b6f:0x2c0d85ed794f1faf!2m2!1d14.544732!2d36.989953

2014 Nanni Copé Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco, IGT Terre del Volturno, Campagnia, IT $58
Grapes: Pallagrello Nero, Aglianico, Casavecchia
About the wine – At Nanni Copé only one wine is made, this wine. It is the result of Giovanni Ascioni’s obsession with 2.5 hectares of land called Vigna Sopra il Bosco, in Campagnia, where some of his Cassavecchia vines are over one hundred years old. Here each plant is registered and the vineyard is divided into sections with unique protocols for pruning, foliage management, surface management and harvesting. The wine making is equally focused. At Nanni Copé ‘attention to detail’ is an understatement.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream – Castela Campagnato is a quiet, unpolluted area in the hills 40 kilometers Northeast of Naples (not too far a drive for the best pizza in the world).  The region sits about 700 feet above sea level bordered by the Sub Apennines to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. Not too far south you’ll find Mt Vesuvius. Nature and history will compete for your attention.

Love a Map!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B009'29.0%22N+14%C2%B024'50.0%22E/@40.9736271,14.2682221,78237m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.1580556!4d14.4138889?hl=en

 

 

 

July 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Pétillant Naturel aka Pet Nat

Pétillants Naturels have been surging in popularity over the past 5 or so years. While it’s easy to find these delightful sparkling wines in the super cool natural wine bars of Paris and NYC, they’ve been harder to get your hands on in our neck of the woods. So, it is with great excitement that we offer a collection of Pet Nats in Vif’s July club!

What are Pet Nats and where do they come from?

As a starting point it’s good to have a basic understanding of how bubbles wind up in wine.  Fermentation occurs when hungry yeast cells in a vat of grape juice feast on the sugars found in the juice. The sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2).  There’s a lot of CO2 released during fermentation. If you keep a tank open during the fermentation process all the CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. If you don’t, the CO2 will be captured in the wine and will be there until the tank is opened, at which point the CO2 is released in the form of bubbles! If you move a wine that hasn’t finished its fermentation from an open tank (or barrel or amphora etc) into a bottle and put a cap on it you will capture the bubbles and have a sparkling wine. Ok, admittedly that is a very abbreviated discussion of a complex process but I hope it helps as we discuss Pétillant Naturel.   

Historically, sparkling wines were an accident of the seasonal cycle. Think about what it must have been like in the early 1500s. Fermentations would begin after harvest in the warmth of late summer/fall and percolate during the season and then “go to sleep” or stop fermenting in the cold of winter. The following spring when the temperature would rise, if there was any sugar left, the wines would “wake up” and the producer had a naturally sparkling wine. Eventually wine makers learned how to control the process and began to bottle their sparkling wine. This style of making a sparkling wine from a single fermentation is called Methode Ancestral and predates the Champagne Method by a couple hundred years. The big difference between the Ancestral and Champagne methods is that Ancestral wines go through one fermentation while the Champagne method requires two.

Pétillant Naturel is a sparkling wine that goes through a single fermentation. It is started in a fermentation vessel and then when just the right amounts of sugar and yeast remain to produce bubbles the wine is transferred, lees and all, into the bottle. This is an important detail as the lees contribute to the flavor profile and make the wine cloudy. It sounds just like Ancestral right? Mostly it is. I would bet that if wine makers were to argue over what makes a Pet Nat, the Pet Nat-ers would likely say that the difference is that the Ancestral-istas filter out the yeast and halt the fermentation by chilling the wine before bottling and they don’t.

So why aren’t Pet Nats called Method Ancestral? Maybe it’s attitude and perspective. The producers making Pet Nats are making wines for the joy of a party and embrace natural rawness. Producers of Methode Ancestral are making wines of history and seek precision. Both are relevant. But hey, it’s summer in the P.N.W. Let’s party till the sun goes down!

Drink with Focus Club…or as much focus as is possible with Pet Nat

2016 Vinyas Singulares Toma Castanya!, Penedès, SP    $30

Grape -  Xarel-lo

2016 Stolpman Combe Pet’Nat, Ballard Canyon, CA    $42

Grape - Trousseau

Drink Everyday Club

2016 Maule Garg’N’Go, IGT Veneto, IT   $22

Grape - Garanega

La Staffa Mai Sentito, IGT Marche, IT   $20

Grape – Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi

 

June 2017 Wine Alliance

Wines that make you say Yum!

Each month when considering the wine club selections I try to work with a theme. Last month we did mono-variety whites. This month’s plan was a celebration of rosé and sunshine but I got sidelined when I tasted the La Baronne reds. They were so charming I couldn’t resist grabbing them for you. So, a new theme…Wines that make you say Yum! It should be enough to drink a wine because it’s just really delicious. For the record I did find a great rosé for you too.

What makes a wine delicious? A well situated and farmed vineyard, ripe fruit and a great winemaker certainly are big contributors, but there is also you. Without you and your personal sense of smell and taste, a wine’s purpose, to be enjoyed, would be unrealized. I bet you never imagined wine drinking was such a big responsibility!  

To maximize your deliciousness quotient you’ll want to engage your senses. Funnily your nose is more important to perception of taste than your tongue. The olfactory system is packed with flavor sensitive nerves and the aromas deliver the message to the system. It is through your sense of smell that the subtleties of wine become apparent. If you don’t do it already, try to make swirling a habit when drinking wine as it releases those important aromas.

Taste buds-remember them? Sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami.  Your sensitivity to those basics will have a big impact on the style of wines you like. For example, if you like sour and tart things you’ll probably like high acid wines. Although taste buds don’t actually do a lot of tasting, they are put to work distinguishing texture and balance i.e. mouth feel.      

Everyday Club

2013 La Baronne Les Lanes Rouge, Corbières, FR $19

Grapes – Grenache, Carignan

Fun Fact – Although not as old as the vines in the Pièce de Roche, the vineyard ages here are nothing to shake a stick at. The Grenache was planted in 1955 and the Carignan in 1975.The yield for this site is 28 hectoliters to the hectare*.

2016 Gobelsberg Cistercien Rosé, Kamptal, AT $17

Grapes – Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir

Fun Fact – Established in 1171 Gobelsburg is one of the oldest wineries in Austria. Monks tended these vineyard for ages and after an annual trip to Burgundy brought vines of Pinot Noir back home with them.

 

Focus Club

2013 La Baronne Pièce de Roche, IGP Aude-Hauterive, FR $42

Grape – Carignan

Fun Fact – This wine comes from a vineyard that was planted in 1892. As vines get really old they produce fruit with great concentration of flavors but in very little quantity. Here the yield is just 19 hectoliters to the hectare*.

2016 Gobelsberg Cistercien Rosé, Kamptal, AT      MAGNUM! $32

Grapes – Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir

Fun Fact – Established in 1171 Gobelsburg is one of the oldest wineries in Austria. Monks tended these vineyard for ages and after an annual trip to Burgundy brought vines of Pinot Noir back home with them.

Terms

Hectoliter to the Hectare – H/H is the European measure of how much juice comes from a vineyard.  A hectoliter is 100 liters. A hectare is 10,000 square meters. In the U.S. we say tons per acre. In general, the lower the yield the higher the concentration and quality of a wine. Be aware H/H truly makes sense in combination with vine density but even without it’s a good jumping off point for understanding why folks think it’s an important measure. 

 

May 2017 Wine Alliance

White, Blanc, Bianco, Blanco

With the weather finally turning the corner towards summer it seemed appropriate to focus on wines that pair with warm weather food, so puts your hands up for White Wine! To reveal the exciting diversity of white grapes I’ve selected four mono-varietal bottlings. Mono-varietal sounds boring, I know, but I promise it’s not! In fact, if you’re looking for a worthy summer study project, single variety wines can teach you how the soil, climate and a winemaker influence what’s in your glass. It will also enhance your understanding of blended wines.

Let’s get to work!
Is white wine white? Not really. White wine ranges in color from the palest of yellows to slightly greenish to delicately pink to rich gold to deep amber.  Elements that impact the color of your wine are the color of the grape skin, whether the winemaker chooses to allow for a period of skin contact*, the vessel in which fermentation and élévage** take place, oxidation and age. A quick glance at the color of your wine will provide some clues about the grape variety, the age of the wine and the style of wine making. Observing and noting the relationship between the color, flavor and texture will help you identify the character of a wine and determine with what meal it could work.
Generally speaking; 

-          The lighter the color, the lighter the wine. Fermentation and élévage likely done in stainless steel, concrete or clay.
-          Richly colored wines have bolder, richer flavors. Fermentation and élévage likely done in barrel.
-          Amber to brownish hues indicate oxidation and can be a sign of an older white, sherry or a wine that’s dead.
-          Orange wine has had extended skin contact. Fermentation and élévage likely done in clay, concrete or large format wood   

Terms
*Skin Contact= A period of time that the crushed grape juice and the skins of the grapes are left in contact with each other.
**Elévage = The time a wine spends in a tank/barrel/foudre etc. after fermentation and before bottling.

Club Selections
Everyday Club
2016 Alta Alella Tallarol, Alella, SP $20
Grape – Pansa Blanca. Pansa Blanca is the local Catalan name for Xarel-lo. This grape is typically blended with Parellada and Macabeo to make Cava. A still version is a rarity so enjoy being someone who gets to experience this wine.

Fun Fact – The wine is fermented in Amphora made from clay from the Alta Alella Vineyards

2014 La Viarte Friulano, Fruili, IT $20
Grape – Friulano. The folks of Friuli didn’t warm to the name Sauvignonasse because they renamed their local version Friulano. I guess that would be like us calling Merlot, WallaWallano. As you continue to taste and explore you’ll find that lots of grapes have regionally specific names.

Fun Fact - Sauvignonasse sounds like Sauvignon Blanc but they are unique varieties the first being both less acidic and aromatic.

Drink with Focus Club

2014 Domaine Henny Les Blancais, Pellé Menetou-Salon, FR $35
Grape – Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is the most well-known grape in our lineup this month. It is the offspring of Savignan (found in the Jura) and the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s grown all over the world. You’ll find bottles from France, Italy, Slovenia, Autstria, Australia, New Zealand the U.S. and beyond. If you choose a grape to study you will find no shortage of SB but the true homeland of this variety is the Loire Valley where soil and grape are perfect companions. 

BTW – Menetou-Salon is a tiny region west of Sancerre in the Loire Valley.

2014 Domaine Yves Leccia Patrimonio Blanc, Corsica, FR $35
Grape – Vermentinu or Vermentino is an aromatic variety that is represented in lovely bottles like this from Corsica.  It’s a.k.a. Pigato in Liguria and Favorita in Piedmont and Rolle in Southern France. Though not as widely planted as Sauvignon Blanc you’ll find much to taste if you pursue a course in Vermentino. You might find bottles from Malta, Lebanon, California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Australia.

Fun Fact – Sandrine Leccia was at Vif earlier this month!

April 2017 Wine Alliance

Spring Pleeeease!

How many more days will Seattleites wake to the sound of the rain?
Did you catch the recent Times Article “Seattle just broke a 122 year-old record for rain”? Surprised?  Nope.  The fact that 44.67 inches of relentless rain has drenched our city and spirits since October helps me understand the general malaise that has been floating around our community.  44.67 inches-that’s 3.7225 feet of rain!! Can anyone blame us for whining?

Recently I overheard someone say, “this is like bottled sunshine” and because I’m bitter about the weather my internal self said “what*ever”. But still, the romantic image of captured sun kept swimming around in my brain and eventually developed into a nugget of truth.
Stick with me here...
A vine’s goal is to grow and produce grapes so it can propagate itself. A winemaker’s goal is to harness the vine’s natural potential so they can make wine. Winemakers do this by working in tandem with the seasons. All seasons are important for the health of a vine but essential to your tasty glass are ripe grapes. Grapes become ripe by hanging out in the sun.  In fact, the time between fruit set* and veraison** is 40-60 days. Then it takes another 30-70 days of vine time before grapes ripen enough to harvest. So, depending on the climate, that’s 70-130 days of solar energy captured by vines and ultimately transformed into wine.
Ta-dah! Captured Sunshine!

Terms
*Fruit Set – A period when the grape bunches are forming. The fruit at this stage is small, hard and highly acidic.
**Veraison – When grapes begin to soften, change color, increase in size and ripen.

All selections for this month’s club made me think of Spring. I hope they wake up your palate and bring to life all the sunshine it took to make them.

Interested in joining the club? All the info you need is here!
Want to order club wines? Send an email to hello at vifseattle dot com or call us at (206)557-7357.
Everyday Drinking Club

Gregoletto Prosecco Sui Lieviti DOC Treviso, IT $23
Grape- Glera
Sui Lieviti means on its lees so you’ll see them in the bottle. I like to gently tip the bottle over a few times before opening so they blend with the wine. Some decant leaving the lees with a little wine at the bottom and then drink it as a health shot.

2015 Domaine Gardiés Les Millères Rouge Roussillion, FR $18
Grapes - Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre
After seven generations of work in the region, the eighth, Victor Gardiés, has set the winery on a new course. He now focuses on freshness and liveliness over power.

Drink With Focus Club

I Clivi R_B_LFriuli, IT $30
Grape – Ribolla Gialla
I Clivi’s sparkling Ribolla is so tender and delicate it makes me want to build a case for capturing Spring in a bottle.

2010 Fattoria San Lorenzo Vigna Paradiso Marche, IT $50
Grape - Lacrima
The winemaker loves animals so much that he puts them on his labels. Ducks and Bunnies de-bug and weed the rows. Anyhow, don’t let the cute label fool you! This is the only aged Lacrima that I know of and it’s a seriously beautiful and floral wine.

                                            

March 2017 Wine Alliance

 

SloCro – It’s a thing

Slovenia and Croatia – Everything old is new again

Slovenia and Croatia, formerly part of Yugoslavia, have a wine making history that dates to 2200 BC! The wines of the region were well known and highly regarded for a long time before a series of “issues” i.e., Ottoman Invasions, World Wars, Communism and that nasty bug phylloxera drove down quality wine making. During the Communist period the focus was clearly on quantity and in the ’70s, prior to the break up, Yugoslavia was one of the top 10 wine producing countries. Because wine continued to be made throughout that long rocky history, vines remained in place and a connection to land and production was maintained. These are essential elements to the current resurrection of interesting, high quality bottlings. Add that to the fact that Slovenia and Croatia have become tourist hot spots (high on my list of destinations) and it becomes easy to understand why we are seeing more and more of them in the US.

In a nutshell…

Slovenia is divided into 3 major growing regions that further breakdown into 14 appellations. The major regions are Primorska-in the west bordering Italy, Podravje – in the Northeast and Posvje- in the Southeast. There are at least 52 indigenous grape varieties plus a handful of internationals. The balance of production tips toward whites but there are some really cool reds as well. Our club wines are from  Primorska, a growing region now considered a hot bed of natural and orange wines.

Croatia was divided into two big regions until 2012 when a group of “wine professionals” got together to study and further define the country’s various terroirs. As a result of their work Croatia now has 4 major growing regions with 12 sub-regions and 66 appellations, a pretty big jump from 2. There are 62 known indigenous grape varieties along with some internationals. Again white wines out size the production of reds which makes sense when you consider proximity to the sea and the region’s cuisine. We are highlighting a red, from the southern appellation of Dalmacija. It’s made from a local grape called Plavec Mali which is a descendant of Primativo (zinfandel).

I Love Maps!– Check out where the wines you are drinking come from and day dream about the drive you could take through these two stunning countries. Or, after seeing Primorvja take a ferry through the 1200 islands off Croatia from Istria down the coast to Split on your way to Pelješac Penninsula!

Interested in joining the club? All the info you need is here!
Want to order club wines? Send an email to hello at vifseattle dot com or call us at (206)557-7357.

Drink Everyday Club

2014 Slavček Cuvée Belo, Vipavska Dolina, Slovenia $18

Grapes – Rubula, Chardonnay, Tokay

2014 Andrović Plavac Mali, Pelješac Penninsula, Croatia $20

Grape - Plavac Mali

 

Drink with Focus Club

2015 Burja Estate Bela, Primorska, Slovenia $25

Grapes - Malvazija, Rebula, Laski Rizling

2014 Burja Estate Noir, Primorska, Slovenia $36

Grape - Pinot Noir