by Fred McMillin
for April 15, 1997
Raising Syrah to New Heights
Prologue: "El Dorado takes Sierra Foothill winegrowing to a different level, vineyards being 1000 feet above their neighbors...Trial plantings have spurred deepening interest in Syrah...[However,) at the Sierra Vista Winery Syrah has graduated from tryout to permanent status"...by Bob Thompson in "The Wine Atlas of California"
The Rest of the Story: At 2,900 feet above sea level, the Syrah vines of Sierra Vista are among the highest in California. They have a breathtaking view of the snowcapped Sierra range, which must be quite a shock to a Rhone varietal. However, founder-owners Barbara and John MacCready certainly have done a nice job of helping them adjust to their new environment, so they make a full-flavored, medium body red with a pleasing aroma. My panel gave it high marks, and I think you will, too.
1994 Syrah, Red Rock Ridge, El Dorado County, CA
Postscript: If you would like to follow the evolution of winemaking in the region that once jump-started the California economy, contact Editor Jolene Teresi to obtain her paper, the Sierra Foothills Vine Times, phone (916)642-8902, FAX (916)621-1240.
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