The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 100

6  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 "[1000 Stories is] a serious wine, not a caricature, at once full-flavored and balanced, with an intriguing flavor profile we've found has broad appeal." by Sarah H. Bray The California wine industry is the product of a distinctly American mentality of openness and experimentation, and Fetzer Vineyards's latest project, 1000 Stories, celebrates the myriad of stories that illustrate this ideal. As the V.P. of Winemaking at Fetzer Vineyards, a company he's been with for almost 30 years, Bob Blue has seen a lot of changes in the California wine industry. Blue grew up as a winemaker when grape growing was just part of the overall agricultural profile of Napa Valley, in a time before it was an established, world-renowned wine-producing region. "I was right at that beginning of where Chalone, Acacia, Montelena and Mondavi started doing things, taking it to a new level, and the whole wine business exploded," he recalls. "It's so amazing to reflect back on it now, more than 30 years ago, where the California wine busi- ness was back then . . . I came up through that era of not having a lot of resources." Whether in the grapes they grew or the methods they used to make wine, this wine brings all of these histories together. "There was this real openness to try different things," as Blue puts it, and the rise of Napa is a real "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" story, exemplifying the best ideals of American entrepreneurship. It's difficult to imagine today, but at one time winemakers in California couldn't get their hands on the latest Italian or French equipment, including French oak barrels. Instead, many produc- ers turned to American oak, which at the time were predomi-

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - August 2016