At Pine Ridge, we’re renowned for our Cabernets, but we are firm believers that man cannot live on red alone. The evolution of my career with Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and then Bordeaux varietals, coupled with the sheer excitement of trying new things compels me to experiment with fruit, vineyards and different terroir. It was 20 years ago that we married Chenin Blanc with a selection of Viognier, and our knees buckled when we tasted how deliciously these two varietals worked together. White blends are becoming a popular choice these days, and we’re proud to be a pioneer with this unique and irresistible wine.
— Michael Beaulac, Winemaker + General Manager
SOURCING & WINEMAKING
In France, Chenin Blanc and Viognier are grown in different appellations on opposite sides of the country and are never blended together. In California, however, we take a more relaxed and experimental approach.
Our Chenin Blanc hails from Clarksburg, which is located in the Sacramento River Delta. This locale experiences temperatures in excess of 90° during the day but a much cooler climate in the evening. This kind of differential creates ideal ripening conditions where the fruit can develop lush, ripe flavors but retain enough natural acidity for excellent balance. Here, the loamy mineral rich soils give Chenin Blanc a “honey” character, which is one of its defining characteristics.
Southeast of Clarksburg is Lodi, where our Viognier is grown. Lodi experiences a Mediterranean climate, and because of ancient river sediment, the vineyards contain large stones similar to those found in France’s Rhone Valley, the original home of Viognier.
We harvest our Chenin Blanc early to ensure the fruit retains a good amount of natural acidity. The Viognier, on the other hand, is harvested once the fruit fully ripens. These selections are pressed, cold fermented, and then blended in different percentages until we find just the right balance: citrus notes and honeyed apples and pears from the Chenin Blanc, and tropical fruits, floral notes and spices from the Viognier.
Learn more about our current release.