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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards reigns the Year of the Horse



Wild Horse Winery, named for the wild mustangs that used to roam the hills above the vineyard, has been an icon since 1983 as California’s Central Coast luxury winery. California’s Central Coast is the largest American Viticultural (science, production, and study of grapes) Area with home to 360 wineries. Since Day 1, practicing sustainability has been a part of the process – weeding is done by their Barbados sheep and Floyd the llama, recycling winery wastewater for irrigation; planting covering crops to attract beneficial insects, control erosion, and increase nitrogen in the soil; mixing grape pomace (solid remains of grapes after pressing) with manure to produce high-quality compost; and providing homes for owls who patrol the vineyards for rodents and other pests.

2013 Viognier started with grapes from the Central Coast near Paso Robles. The 2013 growing season was 70% drier than average, yet temperatures and overall conditions were favorable. It produced a slightly higher than average crop with fruit from Wild Horse Estate, Nevarez, and Fralich. From bin to press, free-run juice was separated from the press fraction to maintain pH balance and avoid bitterness from the tannins. Fermented in tanks and transferred to neutral French oak barrels at 17° Brix to complete fermentation. The wine aged sur lie in neutral French oak for six months prior to blending and bottling. Tasting notes: Lychee, citrus, and stone fruit aromatics experienced; Peach flavor experienced on the front of the palate and lemon on the back end; Food pairing: Chicken and light pasta dishes. Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars!

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