Last month, I gathered with several friends for a tasting of California’s “hipster” wines.
The goal was to explore the wines being produced by revolutionary vintners — those in Napa Valley willing to eschew Cabernet Sauvignon in favor of Ribolla Gialla; those making distinctly American wines by identifying California’s oldest vineyards; those who embrace California’s vast and varied climate by bottling esoteric grapes.
All the wines, which were pulled from our personal cellars, came from Arnot Roberts, Bedrock Wine Co., Broc Cellars, Dirty & Rowdy, Forlorn Hope, Jolie-Laide, Massican, Matthiasson, The Scholium Project, and Two Shepherds. While I didn’t take formal notes, all the wines were fantastic. And it was fun to open some eyes up to the fact that California produces more than just the usual suspects.
It turns out my friends and I could have easily dubbed our event “The Seven Percent Solution.”
The reason? As the organizers of an event coming up on May 11 in Healdsburg explain, “roughly 93 percent of Northern California vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varietals. The remaining 7 percent acreage is home to numerous lesser known varietals. These ‘seven percent’ varietals are finding anchor with a small but growing number of winemakers.”
On May 11, seventeen producers will gather in Healdsburg to showcase their wines. The producers include all the wineries above, along with Idlewild Wines, Leo Steen RPM, Ryme Cellars, Stark Wine, Unti Vineyards, and Wind Gap. Tickets are just $40.
Without question, this is one of the most exciting wine events in the country. So in two weeks, regardless of where you live, you should consider packing your bags and heading to Healdsburg!