James Suckling-Loire, France - "A fruity, fine-bubbled sparkling wine with candied-apple, lemon and pie-crust aromas and flavors. A touch of sweetness at the end. Creamy and friendly. A blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% chenin blanc."
Olema wines are made to celebrate the unique character of one place, from the beautifully diverse Sonoma County to the rolling hills of the Côtes de Provence. Each year, the Olema Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon include fruit from two or more sub-appellations within Sonoma County. The resulting blend captures these incredible places while creating something greater than the sum of its parts.
The Olema winemaking philosophy breaks down into two parts: first, discovering vineyard sources that grow great fruit at a great price. How? “It’s all about going to uncharted territory,” says winemaker Jesse Fox. “The quality of grape-growing in California is rising, and there’s fantastic fruit in not-yet-discovered places.” In some cases, it’s an up-and-coming region like Alexander Valley, which grows outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon—but it’s also about finding sites that fly under the radar within acclaimed AVAs like Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley.
After fermentation, blending is the key to Olema wines. Blending is creating balance, a wine that isn’t “too much” in any direction—too ripe, too acidic, too tannic, too sweet. The wines that result are meant to be elegant and enjoyable. “Our goal as a winemaking team is for someone to take a sip of an Olema wine and say ‘wow, that’s delicious!’ We want the wine to be part of people’s everyday lives, something they can drink on a Tuesday that also fits in at a special occasion.”
Champagne and the best sparkling wines share the unique quality of making any occasion special – and of making special occasions that much more magical. The pop of a cork has traditionally signaled the start of a celebration, after all.
Yet the great secret of Champagne and other sparkling wines is that they are good all the time. There’s no need to wait for New Year’s Eve to enjoy a sparkling wine, when affordable and delicious bubblies are increasingly produced in all of the world’s great winemaking regions. Dry sparklers, with their zesty, palate-cleansing acidity, are marvelous food wines. So it’s easy to incorporate fun sparkling wines into your happy hour, or a casual brunch or dinner. Sweeter sparkling wines keep the party going through dessert. The setting doesn’t have to be fancy: The Italians, who know a few things about food and wine, like to pair their sparkling Prosecco with potato chips.