This Friday at the Hopey & Co. Black Mountain, we will be tasting Catena Chardonnay from the vineyards of Family Catena Zapata. Twenty years ago, 3rd and 4th generation vignerons Nicolas and his daughter Laura, embarked on a journey of experimental grape planting and vinting… a true labor of love. Planting in respect to various altitudes and microclimates throughout the valleys of Mendoza, Argentina. This wonderfully horticultural approach to creating world-class wines has paid off. Finding that Chardonnay has it’s best expression and acid structure when grown at 4757 feet above sea level at their Adrianna Vineyard. The beautiful and affordable wine we will be sampling is a blend of grapes hand picked from three of their vineyards to achieve the ripe tropical fruit flavors and rich texture of the La Pirámide vineyard (3117 ft elevation); the white stone fruit and citrus notes of the Domingo Vineyard (3675 f elevation); the lively floral notes, strong mineral character and excellent acidity of the Adrianna vineyard (4757 ft).
At Hopey and Co., we have been adding and will continue to add selections of Cabernet Franc. This interesting grape is a strangely unrecognized varietal, yet it is widely planted in France, as well in nearly every other wine producing country. In the past 100 years, it has taken a back seat to the illustrious Cabernet Sauvignon, which is actually a cross between Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
We have added several selections from Ancient Peaks Winery at the Black Mountain store and will be soon carry them at all 3 Hopey and Co.’s. Ancient Peaks wines are supple and delicious. Located within the Paso Robles appellation and nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains of central California provides their Santa Margarita Vineyard with a particularly fantastic soil and microclimate.
What really makes Ancient Peaks stand out is the business practices. They are SIP (Sustainability In Practice) Certified, which means the agricultural practices are sustainable, and it is mandated employees receive competitive wages. Ancient Peaks takes it a step further and pays all of their employees Living Wage. Within the winery is one thing… for vineyard workers, in particular, that is almost unheard-of!!
There is always a lot of focus on pairing wine with food, but we should start talking about pairing beers. Now, with beer, it is easy to just grab your favorite style and enjoy it along side almost any meal. Yet, choosing a well paired beer can elevate your experience from a great meal and a delicious beer to enjoying a little slice of heaven.
So, I would like to start with the incredibly versatile and under-appreciated Brown Ales. Firstly, their brown sugar sweetness is great for balancing spice and earthy tones. Top your burger or portobello with Tillamook smoked black pepper cheddar or a Buffalo sauce cheddar. While you’ve got your grill out, cook up some sweet potatoes and prepare a topping or glazing butter with a touch of vanilla extract and molasses. Brown Ales pair wonderfully with all things barbecue sauce… from pulled pork to BBQ glazed tempeh. Having barbecue chicken with simple vegetable sides? Try a softer English brown ale… if you’re putting that BBQ chicken on a pizza with a bold sauce, go with a bolder and dryer American Brown.
Hopey and Co. now proudly carries Broadbent Vinho Verde. This crisp, exciting, and effervescent wine from Portugal is offered at the fanastic value price of $8.49. Vinho Verdes have become a summertime favorite for many Americans in recent years. Broadbent, in particular, produces one which preserves quality and flavor of those being enjoyed throughout Portugal. They achieve this through several means. Firstly, Broadbent uses the floral Loureiro, the steely Trajadura, and the minerally Arinto (Pederna) grapes and do not include Alvarinho (Albarino). Secondly, the trademark fizziness comes from the traditional use of malo-lactic fermentation as opposed to the forced carbonation of lower quality producers. And lastly, Broadbent ships their Vinho Verde in refrigerated containers so that the heat of the Portuguese Coast doesn’t negatively effect the wine before it gets to your glass.