Like Rosenblum Cellars on the San Francisco Bay, you can literally arrive by boat when you visit Ceago Vinegarden. The estate takes its name from a Pomo Indian word and is pronounced in the same way as Diego. It is situated in a gem of a spot on the northeastern shore of Clear Lake, in Lake County, California.
Jim Fetzer developed the property which is a tribute to the notion of sustainability. While I visited foremost to learn about the wines, I was quite simply stunned by the landscape, which features a variety of plants and trees, including a field of lavender which was just about bursting during my visit.
The vineyards nearby and in Mendocino are farmed biodynamically and have been certified so by Demeter. Like the Benziger family, the Fetzers also took the lead in sustainable practices and embraced biodynamic farming long before many had even heard the expression. Today winemakers around the world are extolling the quality of fruit farmed in this manner. Below is a recap of several of the delicious wines we tasted; notes on the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc can be found in an earlier post.
Ceago, Clear Lake, Del Lago, Estate Grown, Chardonnay 2007 This is delightfully refreshing Chardonnay – full of stone fruit. The wines sees no oak and did not go through malolactic. Bottled in Redwood Valley 13.5% $18 at the winery
Ceago, Redwood Valley, Camp Masut, Estate Grown, Merlot 2006 The nose is alight with fresh blueberries and plums and a nice hint of cedar and cigar box. In the mouth the wine is quite fruity and light-bodied – very nice. Bottled in Redwood Valley 14.5% $24 at the winery Ceago Vinegarden