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Fine Wines of Fine Wineries
by Fred McMillin

What We're Learning at S.F. State

Prologue: "I hear Winery X is good. Which of their wines should I try?"

The Response: We're answering that question in my current S.F. State University course. Here are some highlights.

    Grgich Hills Cellar—Miljenko Grgich is a recognized master of Napa Valley Chardonnay, which first gained international recognition by winning a high-profile 1976 tasting in Paris.

    David Bruce Winery—Dermatologist Dr. David Bruce long ago moved from the Stanford Medical School up the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where his estate Pinot Noir can realign the planets.

    Steele Wines—Jedediah Tecumseh Steele's skill with Chardonnay established Kendall-Jackson as a major player. When total sales hit a million cases a year, Jed chose to go small with his own winemaking. of course, he took his Chardonnay skills with him, and you must try them.

    Clos Du Val—After exquisite education and training in France, Bernard Portet brought those skills to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, where his first Cabernet Sauvignon sold out before it was released. That was 25 years ago, and his Cabs are even better today.

    Soda Canyon Vineyard—Selecting John Fortado's best wine is a slam dunk. Located east of the Silverado Trail, John grows the grapes, makes the wine, and turns out the lights at night. His 10-plus acres of vines produce 2000-plus cases of carefully- crafted wine, all Chardonnay.

    Frey Winery—Physicians Paul and Marguerite know a lot about sanitation, so they can make their wines without use of sulfur dioxide. Try their organic Zinfandel.

Postscript: The class asked if wine improves with age. My answer: Definitely. The older I get, the more I like it.
 
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