Californian White Wines
The Californian white wine industry is huge, with vast tracts of land under vine, the equivalent of driving from Manchester to London and seeing nothing but vines! They make some truly stunning wines but struggle against an image dominated by cheap factory produced brands. The immense Central Valley is a mass producer of mediocre grapes, trapped inland between two mountain ranges, too hot, where the grapes ripen too quickly. The secret to finding good Californian white wines is to look for vineyards which are cooled by the sea. We’ve sourced some great Californian white wines, in particular The R H Phillips range are exceptional and highly recommended.
Frey Winery is the USA’s first certified organic winery and also the USA’s first certified biodynamic producer, located in Redwood Valley, Medocina County in California. They have been producing sulphite free, natural organic wines for 30 years. For a wine to be certified “organic” in the USA no sulphites are permitted to be added to the wine.
Frey is not only the USA’s largest organic winery but also reputedly the largest family winery employing three generations of family – 27 members! It was founded by Paul (Senior) and his wife Beba when they moved to California from New York searching for a more natural existence, when they bought a ranch in Redwood Valley. They planted their first vines in the late 1960s and sold the grapes onto other wineries. They had 12 children who they brought up to love and respect nature. The winery itself was born when in 1979 a wine produced from their Cabernet grapes won a gold medal. Two of the sons realised they had the potential to make these wines themselves.
The winery now has a vast array of awards for it’s wines. It is operated by an extended family of nature lovers with sustainable agricultural practices, with a firm focus on producing quality natural healthy wines. They farm biodynamically, keep several colonies of honey bees, encourage all natural life to flourish on the vineyard – in fact only 10% of their ranch is vines, the other 90% is native forest. They use solar power where possible, and fiercely reject any chemical intervention or use of toxins and genetically modified organisms.
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