Release 22 - July 2018
Foot of the Bed Cellars 2016 Chalk Hill Viognier
On Its Own Terms
Although we have released a couple of blends featuring small amounts of Viognier, this is our first bottling of varietal Viognier. This is largely because Viognier is a tricky grape to get right. It is susceptible to a range of diseases and also to spring frosts. For these reasons, the number of planted vineyards in California remains low. If a winegrower does decide to work with Viognier, they must treat it carefully. The grape is naturally lower in acidity so preserving freshness is paramount. It must be picked at exactly the right time. Picking too early or late, even by just a few hours, can lead to bitter textures and flavors. When everything goes well, however, the grape is extremely expressive, with fruit notes of mandarin, persimmon, and yellow peach prevailing. It is also highly floral, with aromas of jasmine and white flowers wafting from the glass.
A Quiet Corner
Tucked away off Highway 101, just east of the town of Windsor, Chalk Hill is one of two officially recognized subregions of the famed Russian River Valley. Home to only a small number of wineries, it is an area skipped over by most Sonoma wine-country tourists, despite maintaining a reputation for high-quality wines. Although the soil here isn't technically chalk, the appearance of the white volcanic ash gives the area its name. This unique soil gives white wines, including this rich, fruit-forward Viognier, a tense, mineral sensation on the finish. Cool ocean breezes allow for nice, even ripening conditions for Viognier in this off-the-beaten path locale.
Foot of the Bed Cellars 2014 Mendocino County Grenache
Always Bee Huntin'
Based in the heart of Anderson Valley, Ali Nemo and Andy DuVigneaud scour Mendocino and Sonoma counties for tiny vineyards that are farmed sustainably, organically, or biodynamically.
One of their favorites, Eaglepoint Ranch, is located just outside of Ukiah, California. The vineyard is home to a range of grape varieties that are well-suited to the intense heat that builds daily in the valley during the summer growing season. Like a bee, they are most at home in a small garden, ideally one where world-class wine grapes are grown.
Grenache is one of the world’s most planted grape varieties. Covering large swaths of vineyard land across Spain and the South of France, it has also found new homes in both Australia and the United States. On the island of Sardinia, the locals call it Cannonau. In all of these sunny locations, it is known for producing wines that have a light color, yet are big on body and flavor. Because it does well in very warm locations, Grenache classically shows a very ripe fruit profile of macerated strawberries, red cherries, and roasted plum. Lower in tannin and acidity than many other
grapes, the soft structure makes for a wine that is very easy to drink while still featuring plenty of
complexity. We are excited to release our first varietal Grenache, a great example of what this
underrated varietal is all about.