Orange Wine, Kivelstadt Cellars
I'm a rosé loyalist through and through, but sometimes another varietal does manage to catch my eye ! I recently had the pleasure of attending Kivelstadt Cellars' summer release party, featuring food and wine tastings amidst their picturesque vineyards. While they featured a number of bottles (including their 2010 estate syrah and provençal rosé,) the most unique wine I tasted that afternoon was their "Wayward Son" orange wine.
If, like me, you were previously unfamiliar with orange wine - it's made with skin fermented, or skin-contact white grapes (in this case - using viognier, roussane, vermentino, and piquepoul blanc varietals to co-ferment on the skins.) While most whites are pressed off of the skins immediately, this orange wine sits on the skins for 75% of its fermentation process. Extremely food-friendly, the flavor is a surprising balance of being refreshing and summery yet earthy and briny. I love that this wine is a bit quirky and unique, and I would definitely recommend bringing it to share with friends over a summer picnic !
With its stunning views and delectable bites (put on by Stag Dining), the event was a lovely way to spend a sunny, summer day. I was very impressed with the catered lunch - a spring pea salad with nardello peppers and ajo blanco, szechuan lamb sausage with five spice scented yogurt, and strawberry black pepper popsicles for dessert. The crowd was a lively mixture of local winemakers and young, friendly San Franciscans who drove (or took the shuttle) in from the city. To boot, proceeds went to the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center ! When the city fogs in during our "summer" months, it's always nice to escape into the sun and warmth of wine country - this is an annual event I'll definitely be attending again in the future !
Kivelstadt' Cellars wines can be purchased locally throughout the Bay Area, or on their website HERE.