Alexander Valley Costello Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

About This Wine: Aromas that are bright and fruit driven with hints of green apple and pear<br/><br/> The Costello Vineyard is planted to Chardonnay on a precipitous 1,100 foot elevation site on Alexander Valley’s eastern slopes and overlooking the town of Geyserville. At this elevation, the vineyards have natural cooling and the vines produce wines of greater structure due to smaller berries with less vigorous canopies. The vineyards face North West assuring a slow maturation for full flavor and berry development, even on the warmest days on the valley floors, well below the Costello Vineyard.<br/><br/> This wine is pale straw yellow in color. The Costello Vineyard Chardonnay consistently produces aromas that are bright and fruit driven with hints of green apple and pear. Owing to it’s native yeast fermentation, there is a lovely and fragrant nuttiness, reminiscent of sweet almond on the nose. On the palate, a full creamy texture defines the wine’s full mouth flavors.<br/><br/> The Huntington Wine Cellar's Falcons: Clouds of starlings undulating low across the Wine Country landscape are a common sight during harvest time of year. Next time you see one, think of William Shakespeare and Huntington Wine Cellars.<br/><br/> Shakespeare’s single reference to starlings in Henry IV inspired Eugene Schiffelin to import some 60 of the European birds to New York’s Central Park in 1890. It seems Eugene held the haplessly romantic view that all birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works should be represented in the New World.<br/><br/> Over a century and 200 million avian offspring later, the European starling has become a virulent threat to the United States wine industry. Thousands strong, a flock of starlings can alight upon a vineyard and decimate it in minutes as the hungry birds tear apart ripening grapes to extract the seeds inside.<br/><br/> Huntington Wine Cellars is at the forefront in managing the threat posed by starlings in an environmentally sensitive way. In a twist on the ages-old sport of falconry, Huntington uses falcons to scare off—not kill—the starlings before they can inflict damage on the vineyard. As harvest approaches, Huntington contractor Jim Tigan who owns Tactical Avian Predators launches daily falcon patrols to guard vineyards at most risk to starling damage. Huntington commemorates this sustainable agricultural practice by using the falcon as its corporate symbol, included on the label of every Huntington wine.<br/><br/> Once harvest is finished, the falcons will be rewarded with time off and extra rations of fresh quail – purchased from a restaurant supplier – before returning to their other job of airport protection. The grapes go on to become wine, and all’s well that ends well.<br/><br/> The Vineyards and Winemaking: Based in Healdsburg, California, Huntington wines are produced from small lots of select varietal grapes from several unique vineyard sources throughout California. Vineyards such as Stuhlmuller in Alexander Valley, Mauritson and Preston Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Nelson Vineyard in Alexander Valley, Nevins Vineyard in Bennett Valley, Herrick Vineyard in Russian River Valley, Mettler Vineyard-Lodi and Doctor’s Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands are some of the vineyards that contribute to the production of Huntington’s world-class wines.<br/><br/> We are committed to crafting each wine with the utmost attention to detail, taking every step possible to ensure that our wines are the truest expression of both their variety and terroir. The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit.<br/><br/> Huntington wines have the richest, most intense flavors with unique character. It is fitting then that the visual identity of Huntington includes a majestic falcon on the label. Each vintage of Huntington wine boasts a unique label known as “Drinkable Art”, a reproduction of a work of fine art incorporating Huntington’s signature falcon painted by artist in residence Ken Schilling.<br/><br/> The Winemaker: <strong>Kerry Damskey, Winemaker</strong> - Bigger than life Kerry Damskey leaves a lasting impression on everyone he meets and is best described as the personification of lust for life. Kerry believes that wine is made in the vineyard and the winemaker is merely the "midwife" in the artisan process of winemaking. "It's the winemaker's job to articulate a definable style for a wine but you don't create an identity – that must come from the grapes.” Kerry is the founding winemaker of Huntington, having been personally involved with the brand since its beginning in 1989. He holds a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis, is a graduate of the intensive program for small business at Stanford University School of Business, and additionally is a candidate of the Institute of the Masters of Wine. He is one of California’s top winemakers and one of a very few to win twice, the coveted ‘Sweepstakes’ award from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.<br/><br/> Technical Information: <strong>Varietal:</strong> Chardonnay<br/><br/> <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.1%<br/><br/> <strong>Appellation:</strong> Alexander Valley<br/><br/> <strong>Year:</strong> 2009<br/><br/>

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Alexander Valley Vineyards:
Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley was mostly prune orchards and pastures when, in 1962, Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased a large portion of a homestead built by Cyrus Alexander, the valley’s nineteenth century namesake. Here, in a rural community of family farms and ranches, the Wetzel family settled. They raised livestock, cultivated bountiful gardens and restored Alexander’s original home, ma... Read more
Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley was mostly prune orchards and pastures when, in 1962, Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased a large portion of a homestead built by Cyrus Alexander, the valley’s nineteenth century namesake. Here, in a rural community of family farms and ranches, the Wetzel family settled. They raised livestock, cultivated bountiful gardens and restored Alexander’s original home, making it the center of family life. With an eye to their neighbors in nearby Napa Valley, the Wetzels boldly planted premium grape varieties, among the first in the area. Then the family built a small winery. Hank Wetzel, oldest son of Maggie and Harry, produced Alexander Valley Vineyard’s first wine in 1975. His wife Linda set up the books and managed the winery office. AVV quickly established a reputation for estate grown wines with distinctive varietal character. Acclaimed for crisp Chardonnay and luscious Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards brought recognition to the appellation and became a leading winery in Sonoma County. Hank’s younger sister, Katie Wetzel Murphy, joined the family business in 1979. An enthusiastic ambassador, she travels the country, fueling the family-owned winery’s reputation. Today the Alexander Valley is a prominent appellation known worldwide as the source of elegant, age worthy wines. The Wetzel Family Estate now grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager Mark Houser and Winemaker Kevin Hall work as a team to maximize fruit flavor in the vineyard and to create balanced wines that capture the grapes’ varietal characteristics. Hank Wetzel oversees the vineyard and winery operations, and his wife Linda continues to oversee administration. Now the third generation of Wetzels has joined the winery. Harry Wetzel, IV is assistant winemaker while younger brother Robert is the National Sales Manager. Alexander Valley Vineyards produces 100,000 cases annually, 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV’s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute roughly half of total production. Other varietals include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc. CYRUS, a limited production, proprietary red wine, named in honor of the pioneer Cyrus Alexander, is AVV’s benchmark, honoring the past while signaling the future. Hank Wetzel explains, "Cyrus is a statement, our ultimate achievement. With this wine, we express our history, tradition, and excellence". We invite you to visit our tasting room daily except major holidays. Tours are available by appointment. Tasting room hours: 10am–5pm Read less

About This Wine: Aromas that are bright and fruit driven with hints of green apple and pear<br/><br/> The Costello Vineyard is planted to Chardonnay on a precipitous 1,100 foot elevation site on Alexander Valley’s eastern slopes and overlooking the town of Geyserville. At this elevation, the vineyards have natural cooling and the vines produce wines of greater structure due to smaller berries with less vigorous canopies. The vineyards face North West assuring a slow maturation for full flavor and berry development, even on the warmest days on the valley floors, well below the Costello Vineyard.<br/><br/> This wine is pale straw yellow in color. The Costello Vineyard Chardonnay consistently produces aromas that are bright and fruit driven with hints of green apple and pear. Owing to it’s native yeast fermentation, there is a lovely and fragrant nuttiness, reminiscent of sweet almond on the nose. On the palate, a full creamy texture defines the wine’s full mouth flavors.<br/><br/> The Huntington Wine Cellar's Falcons: Clouds of starlings undulating low across the Wine Country landscape are a common sight during harvest time of year. Next time you see one, think of William Shakespeare and Huntington Wine Cellars.<br/><br/> Shakespeare’s single reference to starlings in Henry IV inspired Eugene Schiffelin to import some 60 of the European birds to New York’s Central Park in 1890. It seems Eugene held the haplessly romantic view that all birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works should be represented in the New World.<br/><br/> Over a century and 200 million avian offspring later, the European starling has become a virulent threat to the United States wine industry. Thousands strong, a flock of starlings can alight upon a vineyard and decimate it in minutes as the hungry birds tear apart ripening grapes to extract the seeds inside.<br/><br/> Huntington Wine Cellars is at the forefront in managing the threat posed by starlings in an environmentally sensitive way. In a twist on the ages-old sport of falconry, Huntington uses falcons to scare off—not kill—the starlings before they can inflict damage on the vineyard. As harvest approaches, Huntington contractor Jim Tigan who owns Tactical Avian Predators launches daily falcon patrols to guard vineyards at most risk to starling damage. Huntington commemorates this sustainable agricultural practice by using the falcon as its corporate symbol, included on the label of every Huntington wine.<br/><br/> Once harvest is finished, the falcons will be rewarded with time off and extra rations of fresh quail – purchased from a restaurant supplier – before returning to their other job of airport protection. The grapes go on to become wine, and all’s well that ends well.<br/><br/> The Vineyards and Winemaking: Based in Healdsburg, California, Huntington wines are produced from small lots of select varietal grapes from several unique vineyard sources throughout California. Vineyards such as Stuhlmuller in Alexander Valley, Mauritson and Preston Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Nelson Vineyard in Alexander Valley, Nevins Vineyard in Bennett Valley, Herrick Vineyard in Russian River Valley, Mettler Vineyard-Lodi and Doctor’s Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands are some of the vineyards that contribute to the production of Huntington’s world-class wines.<br/><br/> We are committed to crafting each wine with the utmost attention to detail, taking every step possible to ensure that our wines are the truest expression of both their variety and terroir. The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit.<br/><br/> Huntington wines have the richest, most intense flavors with unique character. It is fitting then that the visual identity of Huntington includes a majestic falcon on the label. Each vintage of Huntington wine boasts a unique label known as “Drinkable Art”, a reproduction of a work of fine art incorporating Huntington’s signature falcon painted by artist in residence Ken Schilling.<br/><br/> The Winemaker: <strong>Kerry Damskey, Winemaker</strong> - Bigger than life Kerry Damskey leaves a lasting impression on everyone he meets and is best described as the personification of lust for life. Kerry believes that wine is made in the vineyard and the winemaker is merely the "midwife" in the artisan process of winemaking. "It's the winemaker's job to articulate a definable style for a wine but you don't create an identity – that must come from the grapes.” Kerry is the founding winemaker of Huntington, having been personally involved with the brand since its beginning in 1989. He holds a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis, is a graduate of the intensive program for small business at Stanford University School of Business, and additionally is a candidate of the Institute of the Masters of Wine. He is one of California’s top winemakers and one of a very few to win twice, the coveted ‘Sweepstakes’ award from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.<br/><br/> Technical Information: <strong>Varietal:</strong> Chardonnay<br/><br/> <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.1%<br/><br/> <strong>Appellation:</strong> Alexander Valley<br/><br/> <strong>Year:</strong> 2009<br/><br/>

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