The lure of the East Bay urban winery scene is as simple as five P’s — Proximity + Promise + Price = Plenty of Pleasure.
There are 23 members of the East Bay Vintners Alliance which has been active since 2005.
I recently enjoyed a lovely Pinot Noir from the group’s newest and smallest member, Stomping Girl Wines. The husband-and-wife team of Uzi and Kathryn Cohen are owner-operators
I discovered the wine — a blend of fruit from Petaluma Gap, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast — at the annual Passport to the East Bay Wine Trail tasting last weekend. The event featured tastings at 10 different member wineries.
The Stomping Girl 2010 Unhinged Pinot Noir is a cherry bomb, with vivid red fruit to spare. There’s enough acidity to keep the fruit from overwhelming the palate. I’d pair this with something simple, especially smoked meats and mild cheese.
White Wine Standouts
Two white wines stood out from the pack.
Stage Left Cellars 2006 Viognier presented a pleasantly floral and fruity take on this shy varietal.
I like the citrus highlights and wildflower nose from this Viognier, which is made from grapes grown at Kiler Canyon Vineyard in Paso Robles. Only 73 cases were produced.
The winery is only open to the public on the first Saturday of each month. The tab is $5 and the next chance you have to visit is June 2.
The 2007 R& B Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is another great white wine and a great value, too!
Winemaker Kevin Brown , whose primary focus is vibrant red wines, was direct in his intent with this paler varietal.
“When I think of Sauvignon Blanc, I want to drink French,” he said. “I want that crisp French style.”
The wine is crisp with a nice citrus core — perfect for a late Spring picnic or as an aperitif
Supplies are low, so check with the winery to see if there’s any left at the $10 a bottle/$60 a case price.