The Cellar: Quivira Zin + Tabali Viognier
Friday, March 14, 2014
An exotic white
Viognier is a fascinating grape variety often brimming with exotic orange and stone fruit – usually wrapped in a round, medium to full body. In France Viognier is most famously produced in the Northern Rhone, in appellations such as Condrieau and Château-Grillet. However, these bottling are very limited and often very pricy. Thankfully you don’t have to look far as many South American and even Californian winemakers have embraced Viognier as well. Many of these wines are available locally and very reasonable priced – just ask your local wine merchant.
This week’s second wine is a Zinfandel from Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Californian Zinfandel remains a very popular category with American wine drinkers, loved for its soft texture and ripe, sometimes sweet, dark berries and plums. Among wine critics however, ‘Californian Zin’ is sometimes criticized for being overripe and flabby, lacking focus and structure. For the most part I agree with that assessment however there are producers that master the tricky art of making outstanding and balanced Zinfandel. Quivira Vineyards & Winery is one of them.
I had the pleasure of visiting Quivira during my last trip to the West Coast and was blown away by the beauty of their vineyards and dedication of the people behind these wonderful wines. The ‘Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel’ is Quivira’s flagship wine made from grapes sourced from three different organic and biodynamically farmed Estate vineyards. Made from 80% Zinfandel, 10% Petit Syrah, 7% Carignane, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and even 1% Syrah their 2011 is restrained, complex and focused. Aged for 10 months in a mix of oak this wine displays delicious dark berries, herbs (especially on the nose) and ripe red cherries on the finish with lingering acidity throughout.
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy
Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways
Hardwick Vineyard & Winery
Central Mass’s own Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, open March-December, is a close to home treasure that produces 3,000 gallons of wine each year. The winery, which grows 6 varieties of grapes, is built on a quiet road in Hardwick that abuts the Quabbin Reservoir. Located on the property is a majestic 200 year old mansion. This weekend, take the trip to the vineyard to enjoy a wine tasting. Favorites include Massetts Cranberry and Yankee Girl Blush. If you head out on a Sunday; you’ll be in luck—the winery is hosting Sangria Sundays for the rest of the month.
3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick, MA. (413) 967-7763.
Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery
Tucked away on the southern coast of Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, located about an hour’s drive from Worcester, is worth the trip. For only $10, you can take home a special edition etched wine glass and enjoy a tasting of up to six of their award-winning wines. While the tasting room is open Monday-Saturday, free winery tours are also offered to the public every Saturday from 1-3pm.
417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.
A relatively young addition to the Massachusetts family of wineries and vineyards, Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth opened its doors in 2004. Coastal Vineyards grows eight varieties of grapes on their property, including Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and more. For a special treat, head over on Sunday for their Ugly Sweater Wine Party featuring acoustic musician Ryan Thaxter. Don your ugliest sweater to get 35% off your purchase—and a chance at a prize.
61 Pardon Hill Road, South Dartmouth, MA.
Amherst Farm Winery
Head out to one of Massachusetts’s favorite college towns this weekend to check out Amherst Farm Winery. Enjoy a wine tasting set in a cozy 19th century post and beam dairy barn. For only $5 receive a logo glass and a taste of 5 of their 15 wines, including unique flavors like chocolate raspberry, pumpkin frost, cranberry, and more. Bring a picnic and cozy up on their leather sofa by the fire to enjoy your wine with a snack.
529 Belchertown Road, Amherst, MA. (413) 253-1400.
Nashoba Valley WInery
Take the bite off the winter chill this weekend and take a drive to Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton. The winery hosts tasting events everyday from 10am-4:30pm For $5, receive a free tasting glass and samples of up to five different wines. Some favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, Holiday Special Cranberry Apple (a new release in November 2013), and New English Cider. If you are in the mood for something other than wine (if that’s possible), check out their beer selection as well!
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.
Mill River Winery
Mill River Winery, located in Rowley, is the perfect wine destination for a mini-getaway. Enjoy the gorgeous winter scenery of Western Massachusetts as you wind through country roads to the winery. Mill River’s tasting room is housed in a refurbished cider mill, complete with eclectic décor that provides for an excellent tasting and shopping experience. Try their delicious Naked Chardonnay, a full bodied chardonnay with aromatic notes of lemon zest and pear. If you would like to get a “Dirt to Bottle Tour,” make sure to be at the winery at 2pm or 4pm Saturday or Sunday.
498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA. (978) 432-1280.
Black Birch Vineyard
For only $6, get the full Black Birch Vineyard experience—tasting and a tour! Enjoy the great mix of contemporary and rustic décor of the tasting room and the local culture of this Massachusetts winery. While you’re in, be sure to try their award winning selection of reds and whites.
155 Glendale Road, Southampton, MA. (413) 527-0164.
Taylor Brook Winery
Located just over the border, Taylor Brook Winery in Woodstock, CT, is a hidden gem. This winery tends to over 2,000 vines of the finest grapes in the region. Head down to enjoy the country hospitality of this great local business, which offers tastings, bottles of their wine, and other great gift items for purchase. For a delicious winter wine, try their Winter Pomegranate.
848 Route 171, Woodstock, CT. (860) 974-1263.
Obadiah McIntyre Farm
Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery
The Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery is located on the Charlton Orchards Farm property. The winery is owned and operated by a family that has been in the business of growing fruit for over 50 years, and began making wine in 1999. They are dedicated to making the best tasting wines around. Every weekend until the end of December, join them for a tasting and see for yourself.
44 Old Worcester Road, Charlton, MA. (508) 248-7941.
Puttney Mountain Winery
Just over the Vermont border, Putney Mountain Winery located inside Basketville, has been making delicious local wines since the 1990s. All of their wines are crafted from local produce, which makes for the best tasting wine possible. If you’re toting the kids along for the day, the winery also sells juices made from locally grown produce, like their Putney Bubbly Vermont Sparkling Black Currant.
8 Bellows Falls Road, Putney, VT. (802) 387-5925.
- The Cellar: Cooling Off With Sparkling Wines
- The Cellar: Fumé Blanc + French Fusion
- The Cellar: New Wines, Great Values
- The Cellar: Reserve Cava, Riesling + the Perfect Port
- The Cellar: Summer Values from Portugal
- The Cellar: Wines To Pair With Dad’s Favorite Dishes
- The Cellar: Delicious White Wines Under $20
- The Cellar: Fumé Blanc + Saint-Emilion
- The Cellar: Oregon Pinot Gris + Washington Rosé
- The Cellar: Riesling, Pinot + Cabernet
- The Cellar: The King: Amarone
- The Cellar: Zinfandel + Chardonnay
- The Cellar: 21 Great Wines For Thanksgiving Day
- The Cellar: Don’t Miss The 2013 Boston Wine Expo
- The Cellar: Great Values From Spain + Portugal
- The Cellar: Pinot Grigio + Beaujolais
- The Cellar: Sipping Wines for Spring
- The Cellar: The Wonders of Madeira Wine
- The Cellar: 4 Great Sparkling Wines for New Year’s Eve
- The Cellar: Franciacorta – Italy’s Champagne
- The Cellar: Great Wine Grabs From Oregon + Washington State
- The Cellar: Pinot Noir
- The Cellar: Spanish Wines For Under $20
- The Cellar: Travessia Urban Winery
- The Cellar: A Pair of Italian Wines Perfect for the Holidays
- The Cellar: French Malbec + Gewürztraminer
- The Cellar: Great Wines for Outdoor Parties
- The Cellar: Red Wines To Serve on Christmas
- The Cellar: Spanish Wines From Ribera del Duero
- The Cellar: Two Wines You Should Always Have On Hand
- The Cellar: Chianti + More
- The Cellar: French Values
- The Cellar: How to Preserve and Store Wine
- The Cellar: Red Wines for Chilly Winter Nights
- The Cellar: Spanish Wines Under $10
- The Cellar: Westport Rivers Vineyard + Winery
- The Cellar: Chilean Finds For Only $10
- The Cellar: French Whites + Italian Reds
- The Cellar: Inexpensive Summer Sauvignon Blancs
- The Cellar: Red, White, Rose–3 Wines For The Holiday Weekend
- The Cellar: Sparkling Wines From France + California
- The Cellar: Whites From Unusual Grapes
- The Cellar: Coastal Wine Trail’s Truro Vineyards
- The Cellar: French Wine Finds for Spring
- The Cellar: Italian Reds + Whites
- The Cellar: Report from Napa Valley
- The Cellar: Standout Wines From Mohegan Sun’s WineFest 2013
- The Cellar: Wines That Get Better With Time