Pinot Grigio, 2016. Sea Ridge

Pinot Grigio, 2016. Sea Ridge

Item #: C0718W2DC
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Pinot Grigio
Vineyard/Appellation: California
Color: Very Pale Straw
Nose: Apple, Spice and Mineral
Palate: Lovely Pear, Apple
Finish: Honeysuckle
Rating: 96
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2020/Vegetarian, Seafood/12.5 % Alcohol by Volume

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Sea Ridge is owned by the giant Bronco Wine Company, whose history goes back nearly 50 years in California. They started in the Central Valley, along with Gallo, growing grapes for jug wines, which were the most popular at the time, and shipping truckloads to the East Coast for Italian immigrant home winemakers. Believe it or not, that was a huge industry.

After all, nearly all Italians grew grapes and made wine in their homeland. After they cycled through New York's Ellis Island, Italian immigrants were shocked to find out there wasn't much of a grape industry in there. So they contacted wineries and grape growers in California, where over 90% of America's grapes are grown. I'm quite familiar with this, as both of my grandfathers made wine in their cellars in New York. Of course, the reports I got from my parents were that the wines were fabulous. Why would I argue?

As Bronco expanded, they built facilities in Paso Robles and even Napa Valley. It was in Napa that they began an association with Antares, primarily to gain access to Antares' winemaker, Michael Alley.

Our selection is a perfect rendition of an Italian classic. Pinot Grigio is the same grape as Pinot Gris. Pinot is "pin" in French, and means pine cone. It is so named because the clusters of grapes on this vine resemble pine cones. "Gris" means gray, because the grapes have a slightly grayish tinge. But there's nothing gray about the flavor. This selection contains lovely layers of apple, pear and sunshine.

July Classic Series Newsletter (.pdf)