The Sinton Family has farmed this land in San Luis Obispo for nearly 150 years. Their main crop was oats. They acquired additional acres in 1906 and planted their first vineyard in 1940 in a former riverbed. There were millions of shells in the ground, so they called it Shell Creek Vineyards.
In 1972, they planted their Chenin Blanc grapes, making them one of the oldest plantings in California. The current family members decided to revert back to their ancestry and changed the name to Avenales, which means, "where the wild oats grow."
Chenin Blanc was widely planted in California. It was the backbone of jug wines in the 1950s because it was easy to grow, and even when the yields were large, the wine had some flavor. Then someone tasted Vouvray from France's Loire Valley.
Vouvray is one of the greatest white wines made in the world, and it made everybody look at Chenin Blanc very differently. San Luis Obispo was one of the areas chosen to see how good Chenin Blanc could get here and is now one of the premium Chenin Blanc areas in the state.
Our selection is a perfect example of how different a wine can be when made from vines that are almost 50 years old. The flavors of peach, banana and stone fruit are luminous as they wrap around every taste bud and hold on until the shuddering finish. It could also wrap around Jamaican jerk chicken or pork medallions with a mustard and maple glaze.