One of the latest additions to our wine portfolio are the Ranch 32 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Scheid Family. The name Ranch 32 relates to the place where Al Scheid (pictured with the Scheid family and team) planted his first vines in California’s Monterrey County in 1972. At the time, winemaking was still in its infancy in California and it was understood that it would take time and patience for the vineyards to reach their full potential.
From humble grape-grower beginnings came an innovative grape-to-glass family-run business. Scheid now has twelve estate vineyards, covering over sixteen-hundred hectares located within the Salinas Valley in Monterrey County, and has been joined by son Scott and daughter Heidi.
Flanked by the Gabilan Mountain Range to the east and the Santa Lucia Mountains to the west, the Salinas Valley maintains its cool coastal conditions due to the influence of the Monterey Bay. Under these waters lies the deepest submarine gorge on the west coast of the United States, known as the Monterey Canyon.
As massive as the Grand Canyon, this steep, twisting phenomenon almost perfectly bisects the seafloor of the Bay and causes a condition called upwelling. Upwelling brings the frigid water of the deep sea to the surface, cooling the marine air that hovers over the Monterey coast. Each day, the rising hot air from the Salinas Valley pulls the chilled marine air down its corridor.
This cooling down effect allows grapes to ripen more slowly and evenly, resulting in a growing season which can be up to two months longer than other wine growing regions. Winegrowers call this lengthening of the growing season "hang time". Increased hang time leads to exceptional wines that exhibit intense fruit flavors, deep color extraction, and full varietal expression.
Grapes are sourced from two vineyard sites for this wine. which are set on rolling hills on the western shelf of the Salinas Valley. There are cool afternoon winds, which help to keep a freshness to the grapes when whole bunch pressed and fermented in stainless steel. Part of the wine was then transferred to 50% new French oak barrels to undergo malolactic conversion, softening the acidity and adding body and complexity.
The portions were combined before bottling resulting in a Chardonnay showing citrus and tropical fruit notes on the nose with an underlying hint of butterscotch. The palate is rich and complex but with a mineral, fresh fruit core and caramel notes on the long finish. This is a great wine to have with roast chicken or poached salmon dishes.
Grapes from the Arroyo Seco region of Monterrey County were used for this Pinot Noir. With a climate very much influenced by cooling afternoon winds which sweep right down the entire valley, this is almost the perfect place for Pinot Noir. Shale-loam soils, rich in nutrients give a great base for the vines.
Upon arrival at the winery and after sorting the Pinot Noir grapes are de-stemmed and cold soaked to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Yeast was then added to kick start the fermentation and the must was “punched down” from the top of the fermentation vats to allow for a consistent fermentation must. After fermentation the wine was racked off the lees and aged in French oak barrels for one year to give complexity to the finished wine.
This Pinot has spectacular notes of black cherries, raspberry and redcurrant fruit on the nose. On the palate it is medium bodied with steaks of red fruit and gravelly minerals running through it leading a mocha-chocca finish. This wine will go very well with pork and duck dishes.
Pick some of these up in store in Heswall, Frodsham or Chester, or order with us online.
Until Next Time,