All the leaves are brown
And the sky is grey I went for a walk
On a win·ters day I’d be safe and warm If I was in LA
As soon as you hear the phrase ‘California Dreamin’ these lyrics may spring to mind. For us California Dreamin’ is more about the wine rather than the music, even if the two are often related.
California is one of the most intriguing and exciting wine regions in the world, it spreads from Los Angeles in the south and then up right up to the west coast of USA.
With its maritime, continental (and almost Mediterranean-style climate in some parts), this region is a place where both the traditional and modern style of wine-making allow for producing large quantities and various styles of wines.
Over the past century, wines have become cultivated in the USA, but it’s only really been since the 70’s that Californian wines have really taken off. After a blind-tasting called ‘The Judgment of Paris’ organised by Stephen Spurrier (Master of Wine), wines from across the globe were tasted alongside some Napa Valley newbies and the rest is history…
Since then, many wine businesses have established glorious estates and vineyards. The greatest example is possibly the supremacy of the Kendal-Jackson Family. With more than 15 estates covering Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey and Santa Barbara, they span the whole region. With their vast lands they can produce any style: from the light and fruity style with such as the round and creamy chardonnay, up to the most emblematic Cabernet blend: “Verite”, Cardinal, Lokoya to name few. No doubt you will find some of this wine around New Street Warehouse where these wines have always been loved by the sommelier there!
In the more contemporary upcoming scene, in the region of Santa Barbara; (just South of San Francisco), winemakers are taking on new challenges, including new ways to fight against the climate which is becoming hotter and hotter. Here the wines are more precise, and the winemaker needs to bring more freshness to the final product.
The winemakers are sourcing different territory which is higher in altitude, and using only grapes who can co-operate with higher temperature, giving a result to a lot more adventurous styles.
Many producers are racing down there, but if there’s is a few of them to highlight it’s possibly Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman. Since 2010, they have combined their expertise to accomplish some outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs which seems to be a lot more from the old world than from California. By the way, Rajat Paar will be stopping off at New Street wine to showcase his wine on the 10th of July so it will be great opportunity to pop in a taste some of the good stuff!