It’s all too common these days for wine producers to play a game of one-upmanship when it comes to the extremity of the growing conditions in which they make their wine. And none of these games is more prominent than the chest thumping of “my-climate-is-cooler-than-yours.”
Yes, yes, cool climate viticulture is super exciting, and yields some of the most interesting and dynamic wines around, especially in California. But sometimes it seems winemakers trumpet their lack of growing-degree days (an esoteric measure used to classify grape growing regions) to the exclusion of the things that really matter when it comes to grape quality.
Besides, once you’ve visited enough wine regions, you get to understand the difference between marginal climates, and those that are truly extreme. Which brings me to Marin County. For all the talk of the “extremes” of the Sonoma Coast or the fog influenced ridges of Mendocino or the Santa Cruz Mountains, few places in California can match some of the sites in Marin County for sheer… frigidity. Ironically, Marin County winters can be somewhat warmer than either in Napa or Sonoma Counties, but when it comes to summer, all bets are off.
Inundated by the same fog effects that are responsible for San Francisco’s bone-chilling summers, the grape growers and winemakers in Marin County can sometimes live their lives on the very edge of viability as the growing season stretches later than just about anywhere in California. But when the wines are good, they can be truly exceptional. Yet few people manage to get their hands on them. This is due to the fact that the grape acreage in the county remains quite sparse, and because those who do farm these windy, foggy patches of vine are generally extremely small producers.
But on Sunday June 26th, you’ll have the opportunity to taste nearly all the wines made from Marin County grapes should you care to make your way to Mill Valley for the 2016 Marin County Wine Experience. Hosted by the small-but-growing Marin County Winegrowers association, this event features 16 different winemakers who are currently bottling wine with Marin on the label.
The wineries presenting their wines include: Kendric, Pey Marin, Bailiwick, Dutton-Goldfield, Brooks Note, Pacheco, Pt. Reyes, Deloach, Burning Bench, McEvoy, Thackrey, Couloir, Ernest Bloom, Skywalker, Easkoot, and Terrien.
The event includes a walk around tasting of these wines, as well as charcuterie, cheeses, breads, olives, and oils from some of the top producers in Marin County. What’s more, the proceeds from the event will benefit the Arts and Education program at Mill Valley’s Throckmorton Theater.
What’s not to love? If you count yourself as a curious California wine lover, and want to get in on a local secret, go taste yourself some Marin County wines.
2016 Marin County Wine Celebration
Sunday June 26th, 2:30 PM
142 Throckmorton Avenue,
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tickets for the event cost $50, and should be purchased in advance online.