by Fred McMillin
for October 20, 1999


Hurrah for Syrah



Frona Eunice Wait was born August 19,1859 in Woodland, California. She became a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, and later wrote "the first book about California wines" exactly 110 years ago. Here are two passages from her landmark Wines & Vines of California, 1889, that serve to introduce today's fine wine.

    The Syrah of Hermitage fame shows good promise, and is destined to be more or less planted in choice vineyards.

    The wines of El Dorado County, "many of which are of exquisite aroma and bouquet..."

The Rest of the Story

Hence, today's wine is an El Dorado Syrah. It's the best California Syrah we've tasted this year.

1997 Syrah, Red Rock Ridge (pictured), El Dorado County
Sierra Vista Winery, 4560 Cabernet Way, Placerville, CA 95667
Phone (530) 622-7221, FAX (530) 622-2413
My panel's comments:
Doris Hadley—"Excellent fruit"
Dr. Thor Rayward—"Opens up nicely in the glass."
Dr. Linus Hollis—"Rich, fruity, black cherry"
Lynette Peters—"Intense aroma. Great in the mouth."
Rating—A rare EXCELLENT!
Earlier WineDays about Sierra Vista...
4-15-97: Raising Syrah to New Heights
5-26-97: A Cab Lab
2-02-98: A Toast to Februarius
Price of the Wine—$18.50

Credits—Research by Diane Bulzomi


Ms. Wait was a tireless promoter of California wines, and early in her book notes that Golden State shipments to the Atlantic Coast already equal the amount of wine brought in from France.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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