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Farmhouse Wine, where the fruit takes the spotlight

You know that satisfying taste when you bite into a fresh love-at-first-bite peach at a farmers market and you think ahh yes, this is the way a peach is suppose to taste. It's undoubtedly organically grown, locally sourced and free from added pesticides and chemicals. Now imagine how good wine tastes when the farmer gets out of the way of the fruit take the spotlight. 

There is a growing desire for sustainably-farmed foods that connect us to nature, and few have done more to spread this message in Northern California than legendary soil expert Bob Cannard. In 2003, Fred and Nancy Cline of Cline Family Cellars teamed up with Bob Cannard to create the Green String Farm and Institute in Petaluma, CA, where students from around the world come to learn Bob’s farming methods that cultivate healthy, biodiverse, living soils. These students will undoubtably go on to partner up with Mother Nature to create amazing wines. 

Now allow me to introduce you to Farmhouse wines. I was charmed to make its aquaintance. The label depicts the schoolhouse at Green String Farm, which serves as the library and study room for students seeking to learn the Green String method of sustainable farming. The wines in the bottle reflect Fred and Nancy Cline’s commitment to natural and renewable farming. The grapes are grown using many of the same standards Bob Cannard has used to nurture organic produce for Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse for over three decades. The Green String method of farming advocates the long-term health and well-being of the planet and promotes and enhances biodiversity of the soil. Green String farming practices forgo the use of herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals, relying instead on the use of friendly insects to control pests, sheep and goats to remove harmful weeds from the vineyards, and compost tea to stimulate the biology of the soil. For example, Wooly Weeders or rather sheep are a sustainable way to clean up the vineyard rows and get some natural fertilizer 

Charlie Tsegeletos, Farmhouse's winemaker has been ushering grapes to wine in Sonoma for nearly three decades. His strategy to making remarkable wine is allowing grapes take center stage and tell their story. The mystery is that each vintage has a unique tale to tell based on the terrior of that particular year. Tsegeletos is purposeful in letting the fruit shine and is careful not to over-oak or manipulate the wines. Instead, Charlie is like a music conductor but with diverse grape varieties. Like a fine composition he blends the fruit to highlight and showcase the best that mother nature offers from each unique vintage. Lucky us, a symphony to drink.

Farmhouse was created from  the desire to create a clean, herbicide and chemical free wine while also sharing with future generations the spirit, the promise and joy of farming with nature as opposed to working against it. You know, the way Wine is suppose to taste. 

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know the 2016 Farmhouse Red (SRP $10.99) and 2017 Farmhouse White (SRP $10.99). I found them both to be remarkable.

Farmhouse Red 
Comprised of Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignane, Mourvedèdre, and petite Sirah this juicy, full-bodied red has the flavor of dark berries with a hint of black-pepper. The wine has smooth tannins and luscious fruit that predictably should age well into the future.  The wine is as smooth as it is charming with plush tannins complimenting the luscious fruit with the warmth of toasted French oak barrels
Ideal for pairing with medium to full flavored foods such as a good steak or a hearty pasta with tomato-based sauce.

Farmhouse White
Comprised of Palominto, Muscat Canelli, Roissanne with smaller amounts of Marsanne, Vioginier and a smidge of Reisling this white wine is slightly sweet yet precisely balanced. The bright wine has unmistakable tropical fruit flavors such as tangy tangerine, subtle melons, juicy pears and luscious peach. Yes, a fruit salad. Expect a clean and bright finish with zero essence of oak. 
Ideal for pairing honey baked salmon, spicy chicken or Thai food.

Blog Photo Credits: Farmhouse


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