Traditionally grown in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, Barbera is Lorraine Barber’s favorite grape. It was in fact a barbera made by a Dry Creek Valley producer (who would be the first vineyard we worked with to make wine) that started her love affair with wines. We call it “Prologue” as an homage to the inspiration that first wine gave our family to start our own winery. We always knew we were going to make a barbera, but finding the perfect spot to grow the grape was tricky.
Our hunt ended with the recommendation of another grower who knew of a fantastic vineyard in the eastern benchland of Glen Ellen planted exclusively to barbera. The ‘Madhaven’ vineyard of Sonoma Valley is a 25 year old head pruned vineyard hidden in the oak trees of a lower slope of Moon Mountain. Constantly cool, it produces barbera grapes at full ripeness with bracing acidity: very classic barbera.
The wine is fermented in used, open top barrels before being aged in Hungarian oak and then bottled unfiltered and unfined. It is an elegant, pretty wine with notes of lavender and strawberry with that lively, fresh acidity and toasty oak. Let’s call it a pinot noir alternative with more acidity than any pinot is capable of: a subtle wine that will work with salmon just as well as a rustic pasta, truffles, wild game, or ripe cheese.