Swirl, Swish And Swallow: Wineries

Achaval Ferrer

16 min read
Swirl, Swish and Swallow:  Participating Wineries
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A small, limited-production winery known for powerful high-altitude Malbecs. Located in Argentina’s famed Mendoza region, terroir-driven Achaval Ferrer has been the winner of multiple international awards, including Wine & Spirits magazine’s Top 100 Wineries. (JB)

An all-female run, limited-production boutique winery in Spain’s gorgeous northwest province of Galicia, renowned for stellar Albariño wines—the country’s most sought-after varietal. (JB)

For 26 generations (since about 1385), the Antinori family has been making Tuscan wines. Among experts, the Antinori name is synonymous with distinction and excellence. (JB)

From Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Argyle Winery is one of the most respected names in the U.S. wine industry. Its wines, mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, are made from grapes grown in vineyards using the most advanced sustainable farming techniques known today. (JB)

From the Veneto region of Italy, the Bertani winery is among Italy’s most highly lauded producers and was instrumental in the conception of Italy’s famed Amarone wines. (JB)

The king of the American Merlot market, Blackstone is one of the biggest selling wines in the U.S. Today it produces a variety of very affordable and highly regarded wines made from grapes grown throughout California. (JB)

A great Argentinean winery from the Mendoza region known for its Malbecs, Bodega Uno consistently garners rave reviews from American wine drinkers. (JB)

Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Bonny Doon is known as much for its innovative, iconoclastic winemaker (Randall Grahm) as for its handcrafted-quality wines. Grahm is driven to create wines that express a sense of place, using uncommon grape varieties and biodynamic growing techniques. (JB)

By the Dolomite Alps in Trentino, Italy, this winery is strategically located so that the warm breezes blowing off Lake Garda create the perfect conditions for growing the world’s best bottlings of Pinot Grigio. It also produces wonderful examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. (JB)

A small, family winery that practices sustainable agriculture (with some of its vineyards in the process of organic certification) is seated on Napa’s prestigious Howell Mountain. Burgess focuses on creating hand-crafted, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, and offers them all at affordable prices. (JB)

There can be no argument that winemaker John Calvin produces some of New Mexico’s most elegant wines at his spectacular North Valley winery. Although he makes a large variety of superb wines, his Cabernet Franc is the most lauded and is the winner of multiple awards throughout the U.S. (JB)

Sonoma’s Alexander Valley is home to Clos du Bois winery, which for 30 years has made luscious wines in both affordable and pricey offerings. In his career, winemaker Erik Olsen is known for having created some of America’s highest scoring wines. (JB)

This Washington State winery’s 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was named Wine Spectato r’s No. 1 Wine in the World in 2009, and has won countless other awards in its 25-year history. No matter what price level of wine you taste, Columbia Crest wines are made with the same care for quality. (JB)

Santa Barbara’s prestigious Santa Ynez Valley has become America’s premier region for creating Rhône-style wines. Curtis’ wines are made primarily from estate-grown grapes such as Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier, and are known for clearly expressing vineyard characteristics (due to the light-handedness of stellar winemaker Chuck Carlson). (JB)

Cuvaison has spent 40 years crafting some of California’s finest and most classic examples of Napa Valley wines, sourcing from grapes grown at both its Carneros and Mount Veeder vineyards. (JB)

With a setting framed by the snowcapped Andes Mountains, the grapes of this Argentinean winery are fed by snowmelt 5,500 feet above sea level in the Mendoza region’s Uco Valley. You cannot find a better selection of wonderful everyday drinking wines. (JB)

This winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills has been producing Pinot Noirs since the mid-’60s, and its 2006 Estate Selection was named as one of Wine Spectator ’s Top 100 wines. Although it makes a few other select wines, Erath’s focus still remains Pinot Noir. (JB)

With grapes from throughout California’s Central Valley (Paso Robles, Monterey), this winery consistently makes likable wines from a wide variety of classic grapes, offered at reasonable prices. (JB)

Founded by actor Fess Parker (of Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone fame) in 1969, this Santa Barbara County winery has churned out great samples of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah, many of which have been highly rated by wine critic Robert Parker. They’re also incredible values. (JB)

Located in Italy’s Campania region, Feudi di San Gregorio is considered one of Italy’s most progressive wineries. Treating native grapes (Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, Aglianico and Falanghina) with contemporary styling has revolutionized Italian winemaking, and it’s brought notoriety to an under-appreciated area and its unusual varietals. (JB)

Established in 1972 by Brooks Firestone (as in the tires, but also a California wine industry innovator), Firestone’s grapes are grown in both Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles. The winery is widely lauded for traditional varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay) offered at both high and less expensive price points. (JB)

Using certified organic farming practices, Frog’s Leap consistently makes award-winning Zinfandels and Cabernets in Napa’s prestigious Rutherford district (it was awarded Wine & Spirits magazine Winery of the Year in 2008). This ecologically minded winery works to lessen its environmental impact by being 100 percent solar-powered, using dry-farming techniques and harnessing geothermal heating and cooling, as well as observing LEED-certified green building standards. (JB)

Certified organic from the vineyard to bottle—and vegan. Girasole’s wines, whether red or white, are decidedly green. (MT)

Recognized mostly for its stellar sparkling wines, Gruet winery’s worldwide recognition catapulted the New Mexico wine industry into public awareness not attained since the early 1600s. Gruet is undoubtedly one of the best value sparkling wines on the market. (JB)

Merging history and innovation, Hall creates limited-production artisan wines, all with an eye toward being environmentally friendly. (MT)

An estate winery that values superiority and consistency—and beautiful wines, of course. (MT)

A California winery that places as much emphasis on the natural beauty and history of its surroundings as it does on the quality of its wines. (MT)

Hailing from the Mendoza area, this small winery sells a variety of varietals, but its Bonarda is a must-try—it’s an unusual and fruity grape whose popularity in Argentina is only surpassed by Malbec. (JB)

Great fruit, dedicated winemakers, an incredible climate and a serene setting all make their way into bottles bearing Lincourt’s label. (MT)

Creating balanced and lush estate-bottled wines that reflect the elegant depth of their cool-climate origins. (MT)

Knowledge and experience are combined with Mother Nature to produce grapes for Markham’s award-winning wines. (MT)

Award-winning wines from Mark Matheson, a fixture in New Mexico’s wine industry. (MT)

Owner and winemaker Aurelio Montes is considered one of South America’s premier winemakers and innovators. His Alpha Syrah is an incredible value that’s consistently been rated in Wine Spectator ’s Top 100, and premier wines such as Montes “M,” Foley and Purple Angel are also highly touted. (JB)

Chilean wines born from family tradition, culture and hard work. The Gras brothers’ desire to “do things right” has resulted in premium wines crafted with a personal touch. (MT)

Norton is a name that is synonymous with South America’s premier wineries, as it’s been making wine for more than 100 years. Whether using Bordeaux grapes or those native to Argentina, Norton consistently makes great wines. (JB)

Owned by nine generations of the Alvear family since 1756, this winery is a 20,000-acre facility in the Ribera del Guadiana region of Southwest Spain. It creates some of Spain’s mostly highly regarded wines, including Syrah, Tempranillo and Garnacha. (JB)

One of Argentina’s oldest wineries is known for stellar values and great wines, but Pascual Toso has also been making an amazing 130,000 cases a year of well-respected sparkling wines. Wine Spectator consistently raves about its incredible quality and great value. (JB)

Pedroncelli’s reputation is based on 80 years of tradition and heritage in Sonoma County—and you can taste it. (MT)

Pride of ownership, profound stewardship of the land and a relentless dedication to quality are the values that go into Napa Valley’s Pine Ridge wines. (MT)

Sicilian wines that masterfully blend terroir and grape type with daring winemaking. (MT)

Sonoma’s Ravenswood Winery can be summed up in three words: no wimpy wines! (MT)

Synonymous with California wine, Mondavi is committed to excellence, innovation and a creative spirit. (MT)

Producing single vineyard wines from Sonoma, Roessler is almost singularly focused on Pinot Noir. Each bottle is a testament to its commitment. (MT)

Pioneer of California Merlot, Rutherford considers quality to be a way of life, a belief that translates to intensely focused wines. (MT)

Conceived on a hilltop halfway through a bottle of Champagne, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard is proof that the best things in life begin and end with great wine. (MT)

Believing wine is history, culture, respect for nature and, above all, pleasure, Santa Margherita’s wines are terroir-driven and perfectly express all there is to love about Italy. (MT)

With the spotlight on single vineyards and specific sub-appellations such as Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Carneros and Russian River Valley, Sebastiani crafts small-lot, premium wines. (MT)

Below the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain’s Somontano region, this winery’s offerings are a true expression of the area’s character. Using Cabernet, Tempranillo, Macabeo and Chardonnay, Sierra de Guara has mastered the art of blending traditional and indigenous grapes. (JB)

Sustainability-minded wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. (MT)

Showcasing the Lescombes family of wines, Southwest pours glass after award-winning glass of St. Clair, Blue Teal and D.H. Lescombes wines. (MT)

Australia’s St. Hallett Winery crafts wines with fruit flavor, balance and softness that are distinctive of the Outback’s Barossa region. (MT)

Swanson products and philosophy celebrate decadence with a wink—the sublime mixing of the high with the low. Its frozen dinners got women out of the kitchen in the ’50s, and its wines (especially the Pinot Grigio) are one way to enjoy all that extra time. (MT)

From the foothills of the Andes to your glass, these are Argentinean wines you can be passionate about. (MT)

In the famed Cava region on the Mediterranean coast (Cava is Spain’s sparkling wine), this very small, limited-production winery produces Brut and Rosado using traditional Méthode Champenoise methods. (JB)

Brothers Jesse and Chris Padberg are on a mission: “To make the best wine possible and have a good time doing it!” Their Northern New Mexico boutique wines are handmade every step of the way. (MT)

The country’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Blending traditional and innovative winemaking techniques, Wente offers an outstanding portfolio of California wines. (MT)

Certified organic wines in environmentally friendly packaging from Argentina. Yellow+Blue = green. (MT)

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