American winemakers are struggling right now. Without restaurants moving cases of wine to thirsty diners, and with international shipping and distribution stuttering, sales are slowing. Thankfully, there are hoards of wine lovers stuck at home, looking for new bottles to pour into their glasses and add to their cellars.
So how can you support our local wineries? Grab a credit card, place an order, and pour yourself a glass of American-made wines. Below are some of the most exciting small producers from across the country.
Las Jaras Wine
The first American made wine we have is Las Jaras. If the perpetual fiesta is the mood of your quarantine, look to Las Jaras for a range of wines that offer big parties on your palette. The Sebastopol, California vineyard has uber-quaffable Beaujolais-style reds, big-flavored Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course, a super celebratory bubbly made of 100% old vine Carignan. It’s effervescent, with vibrant berries and lemon zest that pair perfectly with your pantry snacks.
Over in the Finger Lakes, star sommelier Thomas Pastuszak has had his hand in a line of stellar New York-bred Dry Rieslings. It’s one of a crop of exciting winemakers coming out of the small wine region.
Methode Sauvage marks the new guard of California cool vintners. From Chenin Blanc to Cabernet Franc, the fruit shines in some of the most electric, vibrant wines you’ll ever taste. Winemaker Chad Hinds’ Trousseau is a particular knockout: its a super youthful wine with big hits of sour cherry and limestone.
Over in Santa Cruz, Riesling god Ryan Stirm believes that wines should be a direct reflection of the land they originate. So every vintage of Stirm will change drastically depending on each season’s weather. Stirm hones in on Riesling; a grape Ryan chose because it is one of the first successful grapes of the region, with plantings dating back to 1852. If Riesling turns you off, think again – Stirm is adamant on turning everyone into Riesling converts with his lush, guava-heavy Riesling.
Dispell your myths about canned wine: Companion makes excellent wines that conveniently come in a can. Think terroir-driven roses, rieslings, gruners, and more. Remember, Ryan Stirm? He makes the wines along with Scott Schultz, Graham Tatomer, and Gina Hildebrand, all wine industry vets. These are your wines for social distancing walks, hikes, and patio drinking.
Dirty and Rowdy Vineyards
They have been considered one of the most interesting vineyards in California, and for a good reason – they turn out wines made with grapes most consumers scratch their heads over and turn it into cult-followed bottles. While most California vintners lean heavily on Cabernet Francs and Chardonnays (traditionally pricey Napa grapes), Dirty and Rowdy looks to Mouverde and Semillon.
There is no real Ruth; unfortunately—this Mendocino-based winery nods to the biblical character. The wines here are as old school as they can get. All grapes are hand-harvested, fermented on indigenous yeasts, and aren’t fined, filtered, or dosed with SO2. Details aside, their Boaz is a sexy blend of Carignan, Gamay and Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Naomi is a crispy acidic Grenache Gris. There’s also a Portuguese-style rose that beckons to be sipped on a sunny day.