by Fred McMillin
for October 8, 1998

 

This Winery Is For The Birds


Prologue

Audubon Cellars Audubon Cellars Brochure: Each of our varietal labels features one of John James Audubon's incredible watercolors from his great work, The Birds of America...The winery supports with substantial donations the Audubon Society, founded in 1905 to protect birds.



The Rest of the Story

Richard Carey thought his winery was for the birds, too...but in a different way. He was losing money, so he sold it. The new secretary-treasurer was Dieter Tede, the new winemaker was Barry Grushkowitz. Soon, the new wharehouse winery in Berkeley, California, would be named Audubon Cellars (1984).

Today, Dieter is president, and Barry is still the winemaker...drawing his grapes from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County (Sangiacomo), Amador County (Picnic Hill), Napa Valley (Graeser on Spring Mountain), etc. The Carneros Chardonnay is a bargain $12, so let's start there.


Today's Wine

1996 Chardonnay
Sangiacomo Vineyards, Carneros Region, Sonoma
Audubon Cellars, 600 Addison St., Berkeley, CA.
Winemaking—Has all the bells and whistles: barrel fermented in French oak (clove flavors), sediment stirred for 9 months (adds richness) and malolactic fermentation (creaminess).
Alcohol Content—A resounding 14.4%
Cases - 1,900
Contact - Katie Calhoun, (415)346-2929
Price - $12


Postscript

Not so long ago Aussie critic James Halliday was visiting California and was impressed by the urban winemakers without vineyards. "Among them are some singularly talented makers, producing many fine wines." As you would guess, his list includes none other than Barry Grushkowitz.


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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