Being a California native, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and a regular ground-stomper of Monterey County, I’m amazed I’m only now learning about Big Sur Vineyards. But, to be fair, though the winery takes the name of a famous stretch of California coast, it’s a boutique, family-run operation.
Husband and wife duo Lenora Carey and Richard Gebhardt moved to the area back in 1983 becoming purveyors of lavender, olive and citrus trees, crafting essential oils and soaps in addition to selling their fresh produce. But it wasn’t long until they became enthused about what kind of grape varieties grew well in the area. Lovers of Rhone varietals, they picked and pressed the grapes of neighbors for many years — namely Grenache, Syrah, and Petit Sirah. And so it was, when they blended these three together, the “Big Sur Red” was born.
I bought this wine on a whim. I was at the store perusing the wine aisles (that’s usually where you’ll find me in the supermarket) and I saw the label “Barrymore.” Ironically, I had just heard from my coworker that same week that Drew had her own wine label. Curious? Yes I was. Curious enough to buy a bottle, in fact.
Now for those who’ve read my previous posts, I did, in fact, also purchase her Pinot Noir. However, although I tasted Pinot Noir first, the Pinot Grigio was actually my first purchase. But I kept it in my cellar. Why? Well, my reasons are two-fold. 1) Pinot Grigios can be disappointing: I’ve had those that are so fruit-forward (borderline sweet) that I question whether or not it’s actually a Riesling or Gewurztraminer (won’t name names here). Then I’ve had those that have had so little flavor that I feel like I may as well be drinking water and save myself the alcohol points for something with some umph (again no names). 2) Because I had occasion to enjoy Drew’s Pinot first I actually had some high expectations for this wine so I wanted to make sure I was in the mood for a PG and had the perfect food pairing.
Well that time did come, and here are the results…