CALIFERMENTATION: A California natural wine fair – Nov. 12-13, 2016

Califermentation

The Vinguard and Winelandia invite you to
Califermentation: The second annual wine fair showcasing California’s best in natural winemaking.
Saturday Nov. 12 – Sunday Nov. 13, 12- 4 pm

Terroir Natural Wine Bar and Merchant
1116 Folsom Street (7th), San Francisco

Unlike any other tasting before, Califermentation is featuring wines from California’s best producers dedicated to working without chemicals, with native yeast and using minimal sulfur. Not only are these methods better for the environment but also create more vibrant, expressive and terroir driven wines. More than 40 winemakers from across the state are joining us at Terroir, California’s original natural wine bar, for this exciting, second-annual fête. Hope to see you there!

Buy tickets here.

$45 each day or $80 for both days with 10% of proceeds benefitting Bay Area Hunger.

Participating Wineries:

AmByth Estate
Amplify Wines
Black Trumpet
Broc Cellars
Clos Saron
Coturri Winery
Deux Punx
Donkey & Goat
Enfield Forlorn Hope
Hardesty
Harrington
Hobo Wine Co.
Inconnu Wine
j.Brix
Krater Cellars
La Clarine Farm
La Onda Wine
Ruth Lewandowski
Living Wines Collective
Lo-Fi
Los Pilares
Methode Sauvage
Old World Winery
Petard Cellars
Preston
Purity Wines
Rein
Roark Wine Co.
Scholium Project
Sonoma Mountain Winery
Thistle
Two Shepherds
Unti
Unturned Stone
Verdad
Vesper
Vinca Minor

Follow us on social media:

Website: https://califermentation.com
Twitter: @califermentSF
Instagram: @califermentation
Facebook: http://facebook.com/califermentation

Fall Wine Club Terroir Series: Limestone Wines

Fall is my favorite time of year.

As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, I find myself looking forward to the holidays much more than I did when I was young. I love cooking for friends and family, throwing dinner parties, and sharing my most prized wines.

I’m no longer looking for light and easy reds to enjoy with a slight chill; instead I crave wines with density, texture, and earthy minerality. I reach for more serious wines to slowly enjoy out of a big, tulip-shaped glass as I transition from the dinner table to a seat in front of the fireplace.

For our Fall wine club, we’re continuing our focus on terroir and featuring French wines grown in limestone soil.

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Photo by midihideaways.wordpress.com

Limestone is a sedimentary alkaline soil type composed of ancient seabed that is highly beneficial to grape growing. It neutralizes the acidity in the soil, has excellent water retention properties, keeps the roots of the grapevines cool, and slows the ripening of grapes which helps them retain their natural acidity. Wines grown in limestone have phenomenal texture, structure, freshness and profound minerality; they are often heralded as the greatest wines in the world.

Much of continental France is composed of limestone, as it was under an ocean millions of years ago. Chablis, Côte d’Or, Sancerre, Saumur, Alsace, and many other important French winemaking regions have legendary vineyards planted on this porous soil.

Are you interested in joining the Winelandia wine club? Sign up at https://club.winelandia.com/

Mixed Wine Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Three reds, two whites, and one sparkling rosé. A cornucopia of delicious, natural French wines.

Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette 
2012 “Les Clapas” Red Blend
Côteaux du Languedoc, France
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Full-bodied and savory with balanced freshness. Rich, ripe notes of red/black fruits are accentuated by aromas of juniper, rosemary, and irony minerals. Refined, silky tannins are uplifted by juicy acidity.

Domaine Contat-Grangé 2012 Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière
Burgundy, France
100% Pinot Noir
Brooding, subtle, and complex with notes of ripe cherry and profound minerality. Balanced and bright acidity is framed by present yet supple tannins.

Olga Raffault 2001 Chinon Les Picasses
Loire Valley, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Old school Cabernet Franc at it’s best. Light garnet in color with complex notes of herbs, smoky minerals, dark cherries, and earth. On the palate, the tannins are softened by age but maintain their youthful velvety texture, with fresh acidity that make it a perfect compliment to a variety of fall foods. At 14 years old, it’s just beginning to show how well Chinon can age.

Le Petit St. Vincent NV Cab à Bulles Rosé Pet-Nat
Saumur-Champigny, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Vibrant and joyful with a bouquet of crunchy red fruits and minerals. On the palate, it’s juicy and pleasantly fizzy with flavors of cranberry and cherries with a crisp and dry finish.

Domaine de la Sarazinière 2013 Cuvée Claude Seigneuret
Mâcon-Bussières, France
100% Chardonnay
Bright and mineral-driven with a lovely ripe stone fruit profile balanced by fresh acidity and delicate creaminess.

La Grange Tiphaine 2013 Clef de Sol Blanc
Montlouis-sur-Loire, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Delicate and fresh with notes of white flowers, citrus zest, and minerals. On the palate, it’s balanced by bright acidity, chalky texture, and a dry mineral finish with just a hint of succulent fruit.

All-Red Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Six impressive, food-friendly red wines perfect for dinner parties, holidays, or any other day of the week.

Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette 2012 “Les Clapas” Red Blend
Côteaux du Languedoc, France
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Full-bodied and savory with balanced freshness. Rich, ripe notes of red/black fruits are accentuated by aromas of juniper, rosemary, and irony minerals. Refined, silky tannins are uplifted by juicy acidity.

Domaine Contat-Grangé 2012 Maranges Premier Cru La Fussière
Burgundy, France
100% Pinot Noir
Brooding, subtle, and complex with notes of ripe cherry and profound minerality. Balanced and bright acidity is framed by present yet supple tannins.

Olga Raffault 2001 Chinon Les Picasses
Loire Valley, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Old school Cabernet Franc at it’s best. Light garnet in color with complex notes of herbs, smoky minerals, dark cherries, and earth. On the palate, the tannins are softened by age but maintain their youthful velvety texture, with fresh acidity that make it a perfect compliment to a variety of fall foods. Unbelievably fresh and lively for a 14-year-old wine, drinking beautifully now and can age for several more years.

Domaine Gramenon 2014 Sierra du Sud
Côtes-du-Rhône, France
100% Syrah
Fresh black and red fruits are highlighted by notes of violets and a sultry peppery streak. Full-bodied and luscious with plenty of juicy acidity and tannins. Drink now while it’s young and fresh or lay it down for a couple of years.

Mas del Perié 2014 Les Invaders Malbec
Cahors, France
100% Malbec
Juicy and fresh with aromas of ripe blue fruits, earth, minerals, and spice. Polished and supple structure with an intriguing earthy finish.

Francois Chidaine 2014 Touraine Rouge
Loire Valley, France
Côt, Pineau d’Aunis, Cabernet Franc
Spicy, herbal, fruity, and fresh! Notes of black pepper, tomato vine, and crunchy red fruits are framed by supple tannins and juicy acidity. An excellent food wine.

All-White Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Four white, one sparkling rosé, and one sparkling white. Graceful, elegant, and joyful – like you.

Le Petit St. Vincent NV Cab à Bulles Rosé Pet-Nat
Saumur-Champigny, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Vibrant and joyful with a bouquet of crunchy red fruits and minerals. On the palate, it’s juicy and pleasantly fizzy with flavors of cranberry and cherries with a crisp and dry finish.

Domaine de la Sarazinière 2013 Cuvée Claude Seigneuret
Mâcon-Bussières, France
100% Chardonnay
Bright and mineral-driven with a lovely ripe stone fruit profile balanced by fresh acidity and delicate creaminess.

La Grange Tiphaine 2013 Clef de Sol Blanc
Montlouis-sur-Loire, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Delicate and fresh with notes of white flowers, citrus zest, and minerals. On the palate, it’s balanced by bright acidity, chalky texture, and a dry mineral finish with just a hint of succulent fruit.

Philippe Gilbert 2013 Menetou-Salon Blanc
Loire Valley, France
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Fresh and pure with notes of lemon zest, green fruit, and minerals. On the palate, it’s electric and lively, with a long and crisp mineral finish.

Domaine Bechtold 2012 Silberberg Pinot Gris
Alsace, France
100% Pinot Gris
Delicate and complex with a bouquet of orange blossom, yellow citrus, honey, and minerals. On the palate, it shows elegance and grace with delicate acidity and silky texture.

Domaine du Clos Naudin 2010 Foreau Vouvray Brut
Loire Valley, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Rich and complex with intoxicating aromas of white truffles, toasted brioche, alpine flowers, and minerals. On the palate, the bubbles are fine and ethereal; the flavors are savory and profound. The finish is long, crisp, and dry, with persistent minerality.

Can’t wait to join the club? Don’t miss out on these incredible wines. Sign up here.

October Wine Box: The Balkan Peninsula

Ready for something new?

Long before the French and Italians graced the world with elegant, polished wines made from modern grape varieties, people were making wine on the Balkan Peninsula from ancient, indigenous grape varieties in a climate well-suited to viticulture. Americans are finally starting to take notice of these wines and now’s your chance to see what all the fuss is about.

This month’s wine box features four terroir-driven, soulful Balkan wines from Istria (Croatia), Northern Dalmatia (Croatia), Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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Price for all four wines is $79.

Click here to buy now. Please check our delivery terms for delivery details.

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Brkić 2013 Čitlučka Žilavka
Price: $17.00
Region: Motar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Type: White Wine
Grape Variety: Žilavka (zhee-lav-ka)
Farming: Organic and practicing Biodynamic.
Production: Fermented with indigenous yeast, aged on the lees, and bottled unfiltered.
Notes: Žilavka is a white indigenous white grape well-suited to the climate and limestone soil in the Mediterranean, where it’s been grown for more than 1000 years. Notes of ripe pear, fresh tarragon, and sea breeze make this wine pair with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired foods.

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Coronica 2014 Malvazija Istarska
Price: $20.00
Region: Istria, Croatia
Type: White Wine
Grape Variety: Malvazija Istarska
Farming: Practicing organic. Soil is composed of “Terra Rossa”, mineral-rich clay over solid limestone subsoil.
Production: 
Inoculated with yeasts cultured directly from the vineyard and fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel.
Notes: Representing almost 75% of his entire production, Coronica is the area’s benchmark for wines produced from Malvazija Istarska. A bouquet of lemon blossom, lemon pith, and minerals lead to flavors of grapefruit, delicate spice, and oceanic salinity on the palate. Pair with grilled, brined, or pickled seafood, or enjoy with hearty cheeses.

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Kabaj 2012 Sivi Pinot
Price: $22.00
Region: Goriška Brda, Slovenia
Type: Ramato (skin-fermented/orange wine)
Grape Variety: Pinot Grigio
Farming: Dry farmed utilizing organic fertilizers.
Production: 
Fermented with native yeasts for 2 weeks on the skins in 2400 liter oak vats. Aged 12 months on the lees in old French oak barrique. Bottled unfiltered. 
Notes:
 Not your Aunt Mary’s Pinot Grigio! Strawberry in color and creamy in texture with notes of dried apricots, brioche, and custard. The mineral-driven finish is long and dry with exquisite texture, density, and length. A wonderful pairing for roasted poultry and other fall fare.

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Bibich 2013 R6 Riserva
Price: $20.00
Region: Northern Dalmatia, Croatia
Type: Red Wine
Grape Variety: Babić, Lasin, Plavina
Farming: Dry farmed, head-trained vines. Minimal sprays are used in the vineyard due to the site’s optimal grape-growing conditions.
Production: Hand harvested and co-fermented with wild yeasts, then aged 12 months in American oak.
Notes: Not many people know that Zinfandel’s origins lie in Croatia. The indigenous grapes that make up Bibich’s R6 blend nod to Zinfandel, but maintain a smoky herbaceousness, freshness, and minerality that Zinfandel as we know it lacks. Pair with smoked meats, grilled sausages, and even goat cheese.

Click here to buy now.

Slovenian Wine

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Like most of the Balkans, Slovenia has changed hands a fair number of times in its history.  The area that makes up modern Slovenia has at one point or another belonged to the Romans, Magyars, Ottomans, Habsburgs and Yugoslavia, the latter of which began its official disintegration after the Slovenes declared independence in 1991 (though rumblings of this had begun much earlier).  The only constant in this tumultuous history has been the region’s wines.  Slovenia’s position affords it an envious array of growing conditions that produce some incredibly unique wines, and although the emphasis has always been on white, its reds can be equally enticing.  That a great many Slovenian producers are today pursuing natural and non-interventionist methods in their cellars is not a sign of changing times, but rather an indication of how things were traditionally done in the region.  These are wines that are produced to reflect the place that they come from, not the tastes of where a marketing team wants them to be sold.

Slovenia is divided into three wine regions, split between the country’s Western and Eastern margins: Podravje, Posavje and Primorska, the latter of which is the most well known internationally.  This can be attributed to the quality of the wines, but also because the region shares a border with Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giula, and indeed the terroir of the two regions can be incredibly similar.  Within Primorska lie four sub-region, each of which warrants attention.

Primorska

Goriška Brda is an extension of Italy’s Collio region, a sea of rolling hills and small valleys with a climate that’s a bit cooler than the rest of Primorska thanks to the influence of the nearby Alps.  While red wine is produced here, like the rest of Slovenia the emphasis is on white (which accounts for nearly 70% of the country’s production).  Rebula (Ribolla Gialla just across the Italian border) and Tocai Friulano (also called Ravan) are the two main white grapes here, although Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris make appearances as well.  These wines are often capable of ageing quite well due to their extended exposure to grape skins after maceration (typically only done for red wine), which produces a golden hue that can be quite beautiful in the glass, and the wines themselves will often respond very well to some decanting.  Kabaj is an interesting producer that typifies this style of wine from Goriška Brda, with an array of vinification styles that include clay amfora, as well as the more traditional Slovenian oak.

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A bit further South lies Vipavska Dolina, a long valley stretching down from the hills of Brda known for its white wines and strong winds that rush down from Mt. Nano.  Immediately to the south lies Kras, bordering the Italian city of Trieste and well regarded for its red wines made with the native Teran grape, as well as Refošk (Refosco in Italy).  Both Vipavska Dolina and Kras are subjected to hot Mediterranean summers and colder, windy winters.

At the Southern edge of Primorska is Slovenska Istra, or Slovenian Istria, the very Northern tip of the peninsula that lies largely within neighboring Croatia.  The soil in this region produces Slovenia’s famous truffles, and the wines lean towards heavy reds from Refošk, Teran and Cabernet Sauvignon.  A few sublime whites can be found here as well, most of which seem to come from Malvizija (Malvasia in Italy and Spain).  The best of these are on the dryer side, with a sharp acidity that really calls for some fish from the nearby Adriatic.  When both wine and food are produced in close proximity to one another they tend to remind you of their counterpart, I’ve found.

Podravje

The largest of Slovenia’s wine regions is off to the East along the borders of Austria, Hungary and Croatia, and is known for its white grapes, including sparkling and dessert wines.  The native Laški Rizling is the grape of choice for many in Podravje, although a number of more familiar non-native grapes now make up a significant part of the production.

An interesting producer from this region is Silvo Črnko, who grows quite a variety of non-native grapes like Yellow Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, among others.  But these grapes, like any that are grown in soil treated with care and respect, take on the flavors of a region that has produced wine for over 2,000 years, and are quite distinct from their cousins further afield.  Getting one’s hands on wine from this region isn’t always terribly straightforward in the U.S., but they’re worth seeking out.

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Posavje

Slovenia’s smallest wine region is generally only mentioned in the context of a blended wine called Cviček, though they do produce a great number of other styles.  A dry and slightly sour wine made from a blend of both red and white grapes, it can nonetheless be a bit fruity depending on the grapes selected for use, and is generally not above 10% alcohol.  As a result it tends to be drunk rather liberally in the area, and since 2001 has been a Recognized Regional Denomination, or PTP if European Union acronyms excite you.  This means that only wines produced in the Posavje sub-region of Dolenjska can be labelled as Cviček.  So, there you have it.

Luckily for Californians with an interest in wines from off of the beaten wine path, these are no longer impossible to find outside of specialty food stores or Central European markets.  Most serious wine shops will have a bottle or two from Primorska, if nothing else, but a bit of digging may produce something wholly unknown.  If you find yourself in front of a bottle with a name that looks even vaguely like it may be in Slovenian, ask some questions of the proprietor.  The nice thing about people who like wine is that they tend not to shy away from discussing it, sometimes at length, and few things go better with conversation than wine.