James Suckling-Cotes de Provence, France- ""Pale rose-gold color. Delicate aromas of white strawberry, rose petal, fresh apricot and lemon cream. It's medium-bodied with bright acidity. Gorgeously creamy and round.""
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.”
For centuries, French wines have set standards to inspire winemakers around the world. No other country has France’s long history of fine wine production, which has helped define wine styles around the world.
How significant is France in the world of wine? The most popular international grape varieties, from Chardonnay to Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon, are native to France. In many years France produces (and consumes!) more wine than any other country. Its production and export of fine wines is unmatched.
The ancient Greeks were the first to take advantage of France’s potential for wine production, as they planted vines in their colonies along the Mediterranean coastline more than 2,500 years ago. After the Romans conquered Gaul in 51 B.C., they took vines and winemaking practices north across the land. In the following centuries, Christian monasteries became centers for viticulture, and their monks made pioneering advances in both winemaking and distilling. By the Middle Ages, the English had already recognized the excellence of wines of France, and while they controlled Bordeaux they expanded the region’s existing vineyards to supply the brand-new export market.