It has been one-year since I had the honor of being named Milton’s first winemaker. Pamela and I have some exciting news to share as we enter our second year of operation. We have over 10 wines in various stages of production and, this month, we bottled our first wines; two Georgia wines--
a Sonoma County red wine
Pamela and I have a special place in our hearts for
, the first wine we made at Painted Horse Winery. The 2019 vintage was arguably the best crop in the history of Georgia viticulture. It did not rain for over 40 days preceding the harvest of our Chardonnay grapes. We have been waiting patiently, and last week we bottled the fruits of our labor for your enjoyment. If
had a theme song, I think it would be Carly Simon’s “
.” Our Chardonnay started its journey on September 5th and, now, the reveal is finally upon us.
The first thing you will notice about
is that it has a fantastic fragrance, almost like a perfume. Since
was fermented in our once-used French oak barrels and aged
, I chose a wine yeast that was specifically designed to be used in barrel fermentation which is much more vigorous than stainless fermentation. The bubbling action of wine yeast fermentation within the pores of the wood grain extracts more of the minerals and tannins in the barrel than the more subdued fermentation in a stainless Chardonnay. Soon after fermentation, we moved most of our Chardonnay out of the barrels, except for our oaked version which remained in a barrel until bottling.
Through fermentation, sugar is converted into alcohol and, to a lesser extent, glycerol. Glycerol contributes a perception of sweetness in wine, even though the wine has no residual sugar. Lalvin notes for the yeast I chose, “Floral notes are quickly joined by the development of fresh butter, toasted bread, honey, hazelnut and almond when aged on the lees. This along with contributing a rich and full mouthfeel. CY3079 is lovely as is for that "classic" white Burgundy.”
Over the past eight months, we have had dozens of “pioneers” taste
in her youth. She has now blossomed into a beautiful and stellar Chardonnay wine. Following are our tasting notes for
will redefine your relationship with Georgia Chardonnay. The wine opens with aroma and bouquet of oak, toast and glazed pear. On the palate,
does not disappoint with a hint of vanilla immediately followed by an uplifting acidity that is fulfilling and mouthwatering. The finish of Crème Brûlée and well-integrated tannins has a velvety texture and a memorable mouthfeel and finish. Price $39.
Originally, this letter was going to be devoted entirely to
. And it has been, for the most part. However, there are two upstart siblings who crashed the party and want some attention, too. May has been a very busy month! We also bottled
is easy to fall in love with. Made from Georgia Sangiovese grapes, its delicate color sparkles in the light. Notes of green melon, fresh strawberries and grapefruit are followed by a vibrant acidity which will lure you into another glass. This wine is fruity, but finishes dry. Price $29.
is our first California wine, made from Bordeaux grapes grown at Plum Ridge Vineyard located in Sonoma County.
was named after one of the farm goats who was caught red handed eating some of the grape skins after the press.
is an easy drinking red wine and some of our staunchest white wine drinkers have become converts to red wine after drinking
. Some have even asked for T-Shirts, “I'm Saving Myself for Pedro!” Price $46.
It is transformative to visit the Painted Horse Winery, especially in the spring when the grape vines come to life, the horses and especially Pedro and Poppy have a little extra spring in their step. The tasting room is now open with modifications and there is plenty of space outdoors. We hope you will visit us soon or arrange for Curb Side Pick Up. Take an extra bottle of
Acclamation Chardonnay, Grace Rosé
home, play Carly’s song, and put a little extra spring in your step!