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by Fred McMillin
for August 28, 2000

 

This Blanc Is Back


Prologue

Three years ago, Gary Heck, owner of Korbel and Kenwood Vineyards, bought the Valley of the Moon Winery, as well as 60 acres of vineyards attached to it. He has retained the splendid name, and spent a fortune [$13 million] upgrading the property. The first releases have been good, including the 1996 Pinot Blanc, a firm wine with notes of apple, pear and hazelnut.

...1999 editions of Stephen Brook's Wine of California and James Laube's California Wine.

Valley of the Moon

The Rest of the Story

We reviewed that 1996 Pinot Blanc in the Oct. 7, 1998 WineDay titled, "A New Moon'. We found it fit San Francisco critic Gerald Boyd's characterization of a good Pinot Blanc: "Richly structured, often made like Chardonnay, with spicy, creamy, oaky charm." Gary's second vintage, the 1997, is our...


Wine of the Day

Valley of the Moon 100% Pinot Blanc, 1997
Previous owners of the land:

  • General Mariano Vallejo, the first commercial vintner in Sonoma County.
  • Publisher William Randolph Hearst. He had lived there with his parents, Phoebe and Senator George Hearst, who purchased it in 1888. Oak—Its aged in French not American oak Source of Grapes— The Preston Ranch located along the Russian River in Sonoma County.
    Food Affinities—Pour with firmly-flavored fowl and fish dishes. My wife made a salmon souffle to enjoy with it.
    Contact—Margie Healy, (707)824-7715, FAX (707)996-5809
    Price—$20


    Postscript

    Volume 18, Number 1 of the American Journal of Enology contains a paper on Pinot Blanc PROANTHOCYANIDINS??? Just thought you'd want to know. (They're a category of tannins.)

     
    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

     
     


    This page created August 2000

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