Have you come by the Heritage Oak Winery lately? Well if you haven’t, and you can, you should. Following the warmth of February, the beautiful grounds surrounding the winery are awaking from their winter slumber, shouting out “SPRINGTIME IS HERE, SPRINGTIME IS HERE!” The mulberry trees on the patio are all leafing out, pushing out a delicate green and creating the wonderful shade over the patio area. Under and around the trees are violets with their delicate light purple flowers that lie as a colorful carpet around the paved areas. And the roses and the agapanthus were all pruned back during the dreary winter days and now are pushing out new growth that will bring us colorful flowers in the blink of an eye. The venerable old fig tree and the persimmons out behind the winery are beginning to leaf out promising shade and tasty fruit in the months to come. It is a visual feast for the eyes. And the singing of the birds is a delight for the ears.
The warmth of February, and the onset of all these springtime clues, has me hankering for a chilled glass of Heritage Oak white wine. Winter is the time for hearty robust reds to complement all those hearty stews, soups, roasted root vegetables, casseroles…all that good soul-satisfying winter fare. But along comes spring, and my palette is ready for the refreshing crispness that jumps out of a glass of Tom’s whites.
Be it the delicate and sophisticated Pinot Gris, the floral nose and wonderful mouthfeel of the “Saturday Afternoon Sipper” (Chenin Blanc), the classic citrusy fruit/acid balance of the Sauvignon Blanc, or the no-oak, no-butter fruitiness of the Chardonnay. And while technically not a white we finish off with a rose of zinfandel, a dry wine with an aroma of strawberries and a subtle yet spicy zinfandel finish. They all, at least for me, scream out, “springtime, springtime, springtime has finally arrived.” The whites and/or the Zinrosa are a great start to any meal or as a complement to a picnic.
And since I’m taking about Tom’s whites, I have to tell you of a fun little tasting we did here at the winery the other day. A customer mentioned to Tom that he thought Tom’s Chardonnay was very Burgundian in style. This made me curious, so I brought in a 2014 Petite Chablis (typically an un-oaked Chardonnay from the Chablis region of France) for comparison. We served them both chilled and had them side-by-side. They were amazingly similar. Maybe, just maybe, the Petite Chablis was a bit more aromatic, but the appearance, the fruit, the mouthfeel were, as I said, amazingly similar. Grown and produced half a world apart, I would have a hard time picking either of them out in a blind tasting. Oh yes, and by the way, both were delicious.
Anyway I digress. It is indeed early springtime here at Heritage Oak Winery. Pack the picnic basket with some fresh cheeses, a nice salad or two, a handful of almonds, springtime fruit, no matter, they will all pair beautifully with these wonderful whites in celebration of spring. Come on out, enjoy Carmela’s garden as it awakens from its winter slumber, enjoy the patio, enjoy a glass or bottle with friends while you snack on your munchies. Or perhaps, head on down to the river to enjoy your picnic along the Mokelumne. It is springtime — time to get out and about.
Enjoy the wine. Enjoy these springtime moments.
- Posted by Tom Hoffman
- On March 10, 2016
- 0 Comments