On Monday the team at Sonoma State took a trip to St. Francis in the Sonoma Valley. We met with President and CEO Christopher Silva to see the operation from start to finish.
What is striking at St. Francis is the degree to which the winery focuses on cleanliness. Talk to winemakers and they tell you firsthand, making wine involves lots of cleaning. While that is not as sexy as hosting winemaker dinners, it is vitally important to the quality of the wine in the bottle.
A focus on cleanliness allows the wine to shine as it really is, taking the grape from the vine, translating the flavors in the fruit into an expression in your glass that retains all of the potential that the grower produced.
Among the wines that we tasted was a delicious Chardonnay that embodies this theme.
St. Francis, Sonoma County, Intatto, Chardonnay 2009 This wine sings with freshness. Comparing notes among the group, we were remarking on the overtly fruity character, even bringing in a sense of flowers and candy. I realize that is an atypical remark for Chardonnay and one that you might find more closely associated with my notes on Riesling. Yet the grape itself, unencumbered by the bells and whistles in the winery, can be fresh fruit personified.
The key to this wine’s production is stainless steel rather than oak, thus the name Intatto or untouched in Italian. Winemaker Tom Mackey. Executive Chef David Bush.
You might enjoy this wine as we did, with charcuterie on the patio, taking in the Mayacamas on a warm day. Or you might enjoy a bottle purchased and brought home, as I am tonight. I made a seafood terrine on Sunday that I think will sing with this Chardonnay.
Produced and bottled in Santa Rosa 14.5% purchased at the winery where it retails for $22. St. Francis Winery