This extraordinary selection is fashioned by the Kautz Family of Ironstone Vineyards in Lodi. The winery was founded just after Prohibition in 1935 and has been family-run ever since. They are listed as one of the 20 largest wineries in the United States with 7,000 acres of grapes at a capacity of 4 million cases. Sometimes size doesn't matter in the wine business, but sometimes it does. What matters most is a total commitment to quality.
Small wineries don't have the resources to buy their way out of a problem, whether it's the grapes or the finished wine. But, the committed ones find ways to conquer the obstacles, even if it means not selling a wine that they deem to be flawed.
In spite of Ironwood's size, it functions like a small winery, but with vast resources. They have several winemakers who work on several different varietals from different appellations, just like small wineries do. However, if something goes wrong, they have a vast network to help fix it. This is nice since when you're making wine, something always goes wrong.
Our blend here is anything but classic. It involves 45% Chardonnay, 45% Viognier and 10% Symphony. Interestingly, the biggest player in the wine has the smallest part. Symphony is an extremely aromatic grape, and even in a small quantity, this characteristic can be obvious. Its honeysuckle and spicy flavors are evident and eloquent in matching a Chinese chicken salad or smoked salmon with dill and creme fraiche.