Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA Exceeds Elevated Expectations

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Vintners of Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak AVA exceed already 'elevated' expectations at San Diego and Los Angeles Sonoma in the City events sponsored by the Growers and Vintners of Sonoma County.

Barry Hoffner (President PM-CP Winegrowers) and wife Jackie

"...wines made from grapes grown in the Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak AVA show intense color and concentrated fruit." Sandy Walheim, Winemaker, Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

The growers and winemakers from Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak exceeded expectations during their recent foray into the southlands of California. At succeeding events in Los Angeles and San Diego, individual wineries and AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) got to show off as part of the Sonoma in the City Series hosted by the Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Vintners groups. Sonoma in the City brings some of Sonoma County's finest vintners and grape growers across North America for educational tasting and dinners designed for trade, media and consumers.

Beginning in L.A., at the Montage Beverly Hills, members of the wine industry, buyers, press and sommeliers had the opportunity to sample many of the limited production premium wines produced from the high elevation grapes grown on Pine Mountain, a relatively new appellation in northern Sonoma County, California. The wineries representing the AVA included notable producers like Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Imagery Estates as well as other rising stars like Captûre, Ampère, Miro Cellars and Respite Wines. The approximately 300 attendees appreciated what high elevations produce for wines made from these grapes...wonderful fruit and softer, welled defined tannins.

Sandy Walheim, Winemaker, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, "Our wines made from grapes grown in the Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak AVA show intense color and concentrated fruit. The higher elevation produces wines with robust tannin. Pine Mountain AVA shows distinction and quality that expands the Sonoma County AVAs."

Continuing the next day to San Diego, at the El Prado in Balboa Park, the Pine Mountain wineries faced a much more consumer oriented crowd. As he did in L.A., Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, moderated a seminar focused on Sonoma County wines followed by the Grand Tasting. Again, the participants had high praise for these high elevation wines from Pine Mountain.

Although many of the Sonoma County participants offered both white and red wines, Pine Mountain was showcasing their highest production wines which were predominantly reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Tempranillo.

In addition to their wines, the AVA was pleased to offer tastings at both events, some of the exceptional olive oils pressed from the thousands of olive trees producing tons of olives on Pine Mountain each year. Like the grapes, olives grown in these extreme growing conditions, produce much more intense fruit with distinctive and highly desirable flavor profiles.

The growers and vintners from Sonoma County participating in the two southern California events represented all sixteen (16) of the county's growing regions (AVAs). Over 100 wineries including names like Williams Selyem, Siduri, Rodney Strong, MacPhail, Benovia, Flowers, Kosta Browne and Paul Hobbs were pouring their wines.

This event offered the first high profile exposure for the growers and winemakers featuring Pine Mountain Cloverdale Peak wines outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Barry Hoffner, President of the PM-CP winegrowers organization remarked, "It is a distinct pleasure to be a part of this great community of vintners and growers from Sonoma County. Having the opportunity to share the exceptional wines made from Pine Mountain grapes with the great wine aficionado's in southern CA was exciting and very rewarding. We're confident that our wines held up against the other great wines from Sonoma County."

Rest assured, there are more opportunities on the horizon for people to experience the nature of premium wines made from grapes grown in these higher elevations. Plans are in the works for a unique series of vineyard tours and tastings which may also include a winemakers dinner on the mountain. For additional information about Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak, contact the AVA at info(at)pinemountainava(dot)org or 707-894-1105.

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