A ternion means a group of three or a trio. Ternion wines are a celebration of the diversity found in Sonoma County, Monterey County, and Santa Barbara County, three of California's finest wine regions. It delivers a powerful combination of the three regions grapes. It can also refer to the three main elements of making great wine: the grape, the terroir and the people. The terroir refers to both the soil and the climate, which are the major factors in the outcome of the final wine.
The wine is crafted by Summerland Vineyards, now run by Terravant in Buellton located just west of the town of Solvang in California's central coast. While most of their holdings are in the Central Coast, this jewel came from grapes grown in Sonoma County, long known for exceptional Pinot Noirs. Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied dry red wine with an aroma ranging from peppermint and spice to cherry, rose petals, violets and truffles. It is enjoyed for its smooth, silky texture and transforms with bottle age into one of the greatest wines produced on earth. One only needs to look at the price of the top wines from Burgundy, which can reach over $1,000 per bottle.
In this case, we'll settle for a great rendition and an even greater price. Summerland picked grapes from several of the cooler areas of Sonoma, which allowed them to mature slowly on the vine, developing both color and complexity. You can tell that these grapes were held on the vine longer than most from the long, slow development of the Bing cherry and raspberry flavors in the mid-palate. It transforms in the glass to an imposing wine with backbone fit for grilled salmon with a mint pesto or a rich cassoulet.