Solune Winegrowers: “Distinctive wines” from the foothills

SOLUNE WINEGROWERS combines the French words for sun (soleil) and moon (lune) to convey the premium grape growing climate in the Sierra foothills.

The name also reflects the roots of winemaker and co- owner Jacques Mercier, who grew up in Quebec, Canada, and now is a regular international wine tasting judge (his most recent was in Paris).

Solune’s other co-owner, Andrea Hamer, manages the business and takes care of the vineyard with Jacques.

Solune’s first vintage was 2003, and its tasting room opened in June 2006. About one-fifth of Solune’s grapes come from its 4-acre vineyard near Grass Valley, while most of the rest are from other foothill vineyards. All of the winemaking is done in-house.

Solune’s credo is “Distinctive wines with intensity, complexity, balance and varietal clarity.” Solune offers fourteen wines.

“We recognize that customers have their own preferences,” says Jacques. “So rather than imposing a wine style we personally espouse, we try to provide enough of a range so everybody finds something they like.”

“The only house-style signature is one of smoothness.”

Solune’s 2004 Cabernet Franc won a silver medal at Vinalies, France’s largest wine competition. Jacques has helped judged the competition for four straight years. “No, I didn’t judge my own wine,” he joked.

The winery just won a gold medal for its new Barbera Rosé at the Orange County Fair. Most of its currently released wines have received at least one award.

In his quest for quality, Jacques is open minded about his winemaking. For example, he uses oak staves and a new generation of “breathing” tanks created in Australia instead of traditional oak barrels.

“Tests revealed that using oak barrels did not produce superior wines and provided a lot less control in crafting the final product,” he says.

Solune’s winery is in a bucholic setting, providing an ideal wine picnicking spot.

“Our goal is that whenever you visit Solune, in addition to enjoying the wines you have previously discovered, you will also discover new ones,” says Andrea.

Solune Winegrowers
16303 Jewett Lane
Grass Valley

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