Thirty years ago, nobody would have believed this wine could ever exist. Moody Press is made by the San Joaquin Wine Company in Madera. It is a small, independent winery in the San Joaquin Valley, dominated by many of the largest wineries in the state. The icing on the cake is that they make a great Chardonnay. Nobody would have believed it then. Some have a hard time now!
Steve and Cindy Schafer founded San Joaquin Wine Company in 2005. He wasn't a newbie here. He'd been farming grapes for 40 years, so he knew the territory. But, growing grapes is not making wine. So, he hired Eric Natali, a graduate of Fresno State in Enology, who was born and lived in Fresno.
Fresno State is a unique school for enology. They actually have a winery license, grow grapes, and make wine, which they sell in their tasting room. They have one of the most complete, if not the most comprehensive, wine program anywhere. They even enter wine competitions and, for the first time, were awarded a Gold Medal for their Cabernet Sauvignon at the California State Fair. The student who made that wine was Eric Natali.
Madera is a warm area, and chardonnay likes a cool climate. Winemakers love challenges. The winemaker won. From the delicate Asian pear, quince, and lilac nose to the green apple flavors and the citrus finish, this is a classic Chardonnay from start to finish. Rock cod poached in soy and ginger or crab enchiladas would have their due here.