In Search of Lost Grapes
A Valdiguié by any other name tastes as refreshing
Lighter red wines pair with all of summer’s perks: barbecue, fresh vegetables and pool- or riverside drinking. The best typically come from France or Italy.
Then there’s the 2011 Broc Cellars Valdiguié ($20). Berkeley-based winemaker Chris Brockway discovered Valdiguié grapes growing on a hillside in Solano County, the vineyard planted in the mid-20th century.
Back then, California growers called the grape “Napa Gamay,” thinking it the dominant varietal in Beaujolais, though it has since been identified as Valdiguié, a grape with roots in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Valdiguié vineyards are rare in California now, having long ago been replanted with more fashionable varieties.
Broc’s Valdiguié does recall Beaujolais in one respect: Made with whole-bunch carbonic fermentation, the wine feels light on its feet, with lifted aromas and vivid fruit flavors. In short: perfect for warm-weather drinking.
You can pick up a bottle of this East Bay original at Broc Cellars’ new tasting bar, which is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. (There is a $5 tasting fee, which is waived with a bottle purchase.)
Broc Cellars, 805 Camelia St. (at Fifth St.), Berkeley, 510-542-9463 or broccellars.com; William Cross Wine Merchants, 2253 Polk St.
(at Green St.), 415-346-1314 or wmcross.com
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