Tasting notes: Nevada City Winery sparkler, Naggiar’s golds and Katoa Cellars startup

NEVADA CITY WINERY SPARKLER
Sparkling wine is becoming an everyday wine. In the foothills, Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery, Sierra Knolls Winery and Pilot Peak Winery offer sparkling wines, among others. Now Nevada City Winery has released two sparkling wines: Blanc de Blancs and Brut. The Blanc de Blancs is a Chardonnay sparkling wine with green apple notes. The Brut is made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

NAGGIAR WINS FIVE GOLDS
Naggiar Vineyards & Winery of Grass Valley won 11 medals, including five golds, for its wines in the prestigious 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition—the most golds for a winery in our region. Other wineries that won medals included Avanguardia, Bear River Winery, Ciotti Cellars, Fawnridge, Montoliva, Mt. Vernon, Popie Wines and Secret Ravine, among others. Ciotti, Popie and Secret Ravine belong to the “Loomis Loop” wineries, and Bear River, Fawnridge and Mt. Vernon belong to the Sip wine tasting room in Auburn.

KATOA CELLARS ON COLFAX HWY.
We enjoy wine tasting at Solune Winegrowers and Montoliva Vineyard & Winery on Hwy. 174, or the Colfax Hwy. It runs along an historic railroad line, as well as the famous 49er Fruit Trail. Now Solune and Montoliva soon expect to get a new winery neighbor, Katoa Cellars. Winemaker/co-owner Riki Pollock is from New Zealand. Katoa is the native New Zealand word for “everyone.” “We hope to make good wines for everyone,” says Riki. We’re excited that Riki plans to release a Pinot Noir wine, unique for our region, along with a Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel.

FINE WINES BY THE GLASS
A cool gadget called the Coravin Wine Access System that allows wine enthusiasts to pour wine without pulling the cork is catching on. It allows you to drink fine wines by the glass in restaurants and tasting rooms. Carpe Vino has been using it and sells it.

Once you pull the cork from a bottle to pour wine, oxidation begins. The Coravin gadget leaves the cork in place. First, a thin, hollow needle passes through the foil and cork to access the wine.

Then the bottle is pressurized with argon, an inert gas that winemakers have been using for years. The argon pressurization pushes the wine through the needle so that it flows into your glass without letting any oxygen in the bottle. Once the needle is removed, the cork naturally reseals itself.

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