Good day and happy wine Wednesday wine lovers! I certainly hope your week has started off to be a good one for you. I started my week with a drive up to the Okanagan Valley to Penticton for a two day stint on the BC VQA tasting panel. As I was without my little family this time, I took the opportunity to listen to my iTunes on ‘shuffle’ mode and had one of my more memorable car dancing journeys. When those first few bars start to play from a song you LOVE but haven’t heard for far too long comes on – well – I call it ‘car music ecstasy’. It was sunny outside and the drivers on the road were not horrendous. I think I got a few side glances from drivers and passengers when I passed by them doing my very best Janis Joplin impersonation to her brilliant song “Move Over.” Good times.
Alright Campbell, onto the wine please! Indeed. When I was down in Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Valley for the Wine Bloggers Conference I had the good fortune of literally running into a winemaker and his business partner as we were looking over the conference schedule. We struck up a conversation and the next thing we knew we pulled chairs up to a table in the lobby of the hotel and started an impromptu interview.
Greg Scheinfeld and Jay Levy launched Uproot Wines in 2013. Greg worked on Wall Street in NYC yet knew the key to his future happiness was a move to Napa Valley, California. There, he worked with some great winemakers and learned his new craft and passion. Greg ‘uprooted’ his family to come with him, hence the name Uproot Wines. Jay, as the co-founder, has his background in finance and business and has paired with Greg to create a modern wine brand.
Uproot Wines source their grapes from high end vineyards and manage a low cluster count to ensure a great bottle of wine. What I noticed first about the bottles of wine in front of me was the clean, colourful and smart wine label. Uproot Wines have used a specific colour palate for their wine labels to give their consumer a better grasp of what is inside the bottle.
With more of an artists’ paint panel of colours, Greg and Jay have devised a colour palate to match the flavour profile of their wine. Each colour means something different. For example, their rosé, which I did not try, has colours for: maraschino cherry, strawberry, rose petals, watermelon Jolly Rancher and pink lemonade. I don’t know about you but I would LOVE to try this wine!
Currently, Uproot Wines produces 1,400 cases of wine and are selective where they sell their wine. Scheinfeld and Levy call their wines “life experience wines” and their label is “a conversation starter”. I agree, 100%, on the label comment. I was and remain quite impressed.
I asked the two fellows their favourite Uproot Wine and food pairing. Scheinfeld, winemaker, said, “Our 2012 Grenache from the Santa Ynez Valley paired with roasted pork and heavy root vegetables.” Levy replied, “Our 2013 Rosé. We only produce 110 cases. I love this wine and pairing it with a fruit plate on a hot, sunny day is delicious.”
Uproot sent me home with a bottle of their 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2011 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. My tasting notes for the wines are as follows:
Uproot Wines 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon 14.4% abv. – deep ruby red. with aromas of mocha, tobacco, jammy fruit, spice, cherry and vanilla on the nose. Medium acidity, not too tannic, quite mouth-watering, with a nice medium-plus finish. This wine is VERY easy to drink and has a great fruity flavour profile on the palate. It is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Petit Verdot and has been aged for 22 months in both new and neutral French barrels. Retails for $78 USD. Hell Yes.
Uproot Wines 2011 Sauvignon Blanc 14.5% abv. – pale straw with flecks of gold in the glass, I love the aroma of this wine with notes of asparagus, green pea, green grass and citrus. On the palate, there is a similar flavour profile to the nose but on the palate I pick up lots of melon (honeydew). This Sauvignon Blanc was aged in barrels as well for 8 months and is medium plus in body. This is a “In the Mood?” wine for me. I enjoyed it but thought that it tasted better with food. Retails for $42 USD.
I remain impressed with Uproot Wines and I look forward to being able to purchase their wines in Vancouver soon. Greg and Jay said that their wines will be available in the Lower Mainland, namely Vancouver, hopefully this Fall at Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street.
That is it for me this week. My time in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez this past July continues to inspire me. I am so glad I had the fortune to run into both Greg and Jay – keep an eye on these two talented men…they are going places.