Tasting notes: Cline Cellars North Coast Viognier 2019
Wonderfully fragrant with notes of stone fruits, bight jasmine and honeysuckle. The palate follows through with a richness of fruit including ripe peach and apricot. The finish is given finesse by the refreshing acidity
Food Pairing Cline Cellars North Coast Viognier 2019
Pairs well with Gruyere or Camembert cheese, sushi, or tarragon chicken.
Viognier is a tricky grape to grow in that it buds out early and is susceptible to frost. Also, it’s thick skins require patience to get the full flavour potential of the grape. The vines basked in the sun during the day and were cooled at night which contributes to this Viognier’s full-body weight and nice acidity. The grapes were handpicked and de-stemmed without being crushed then immediately pumped to the tank press where the juice was gently squeezed from the grapes. Juice was pumped to a stainless steel fermenting tank and the wine was chilled and settled overnight. The juice was then racked off the grape solids and inoculated with a pure strain of wine yeast. Fermentation proceeded at a cool 50 degrees F to preserve the lovely fruit character and kept in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
Cline Cellars is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Sonoma’s Carneros Valley. Established in 1982 by Fred Cline, a descendant of Italian US settlers, he originally founded the winery in Oakley, Contra Costa County, cultivating Rhône varieties and Zinfandel on vines dating back to 1906.
In the 1990s, the family moved their winemaking operation to a 350 acre ranch in Carneros Valley, adopting sustainable farming in 2000, and building the largest solar panelled winery in California. While others in California were focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Fred Cline saw the potential of Rhône varieties and Zinfandel in his vineyards and continues to produce focussed, terroir-driven wines.
A Note on Sustainability
Cline is proud to be a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. The program acknowledges a long-term commitment to continual improvement in the field of sustainable wine growing and business practices, from grape to glass. It is located in Sonoma County, which is committed to becoming the first 100% sustainable wine region in the US by 2019.
Fred Cline and Bob Cannard founded Green String Farm and the Green String method of sustainable farming in 2003. Green String Farm is a 57 hectare natural process, sustainable farm near Petaluma, California. The Green String method meets the highest standard of environmental sustainability practices, which is different from certified organic. The methods reduce soil erosion, pesticide dependency, and loss of biodiversity; and increase resistance to natural predators.
In 2005, Cline was one of the first wineries to fully adopt solar energy. In 2018 it upgraded the original array with the latest technology, designed to offset 100% of its winery’s electrical consumption.
Instead of herbicides, Cline has 1,500 sheep and 500 goats that roam its vineyards, tasked with removing invasive weeds and instead of harmful pesticides, Cline provides owl boxes and raptor perches in the vineyard. These birds of prey are the predators of gophers and mice and help to maintain ecological control.
Cline composts and re-uses all digestible organic waste and materials from its winery, including 3,000 tons of grape pomace per year, pruning from trees and vines, plus chipped materials from the landscape. This waste is turned into a biological stimulant and food for the soils.Cline also grinds its own volcanic rock and then spreads the crushed cinder onto the soil. Having a wide spectrum of mineralogy, these cinders provide the vineyards with a complex array of nutrients and trace minerals, ensuring that the vines have all the necessary components to build fullness of character in the wine.