I was born and raised in San Francisco. To me, a breath of fresh air includes sea salt and seaweed; a warm day is in the high-sixties; and seafood is always fresh because, well, there’s just no excuse. But as life’s twists and turns would have it, I’ve found myself living in the South Bay. Now, fresh air only happens in the early hours of the pre-dawn; a warm day can be triple-digits; and any fresh seafood is that which I can find at a Safeway or Whole Foods. I don’t mesh with this tech culture, where the word “park” is preceded by the word “business.” Where’s the art? Where’s the unique forms of self-expression? Where are my people?
Every once in awhile I’ll find an answer to those questions. When I met the folks at Three Arches Winery in Sunnyvale, I found all three — art, meets unique, meets people with a passion beyond the silicon chip…
I am admittedly quite unfamiliar with East Coast wines, especially when it comes to the little state of Maryland. So when Roy Albin of Royal Rabbit Vineyards invited me to taste his wines, I was both enthused and curious. Flipping through books and scouring the internet, I had trouble finding any solid, reputable information on Maryland as a wine country. So I turned to Roy, not just for a wine tasting, but for a bit of terroir background as well.
Passion project of two Napa Valley natives, Jake Krausz (Estate Director of Arkenstone Vineyards) and Vincent Traverso, this simply labeled “California Rosé” is anything but simple. To look at it, with it’s darkish color in the bottle, the extremely large font, and the generic label — you may think (like I did) that this is some kind of weird blended saignée-style rosé made from leftovers. It’s actually, quite the opposite.
In fact, Krausz and Traverso started this project to get rid of the “California Rosé” stereotype…
Considered one of the “noble grapes,” it may come as a bit of a surprise that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a relatively new variety — born in the 17th century as the child of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc somewhere in the Southwest of France. Cabernet may be considered “popular” amongst grape-growers because of its “ease of cultivation;” indeed, the thick-skinned grape is quiet hardy, naturally low- yielding, a late budder, and resistant to most environmental hazards (such as rot, mildew, and vineyard pests). But the truth is a Cabernet Sauvignon of true elegance and refinement is primarily crafted in the vineyard. It may not be susceptible to environmental hazards, but Cabernet wines are a true expression of terroir.
I want to put New Zealand on the map as New World wines to watch. Previous to engaging with te Pa, I was sorely mistaken about the wines produced in this tiny country. Like many, I lumped NZ wines with neighboring Australian wines; like many, I assumed that overly fruit-forward white wines without body or texture were the norm; and like many, I came to these assumptions because of what the mass market puts in front of us on shelves and in restaurants. Let this not be the case and let te Pa make the case for New Zealand.