Steve & Linda Sherwin purchased 30 acres on top of Spring Mountain in 1996. In late 1999, Sherwin Family Vineyards released its first wine. Shortly after September 11th, 2001, the infamous terrorist attacks, a wine auction was arranged in Lake Garda, Italy. The proceeds of the auction benefited the families of the Windows of the World employees who had been lost. Many wineries from Napa and Italy donated magnums of wine to the commemorative event.
Steve & Linda created a special designed bottle for the occasion, a hand etched, hand painted bottle feature the American flag with the words “In God We Trust” and “United We Stand”. On the back of the bottle it also stated it was created “in remembrance of those lost September 11th, 2001”. It along with the famous 1985 Sassacaia, were among the top lots in the entire auction.
They wanted to donate more of these attractive bottles to raise additional money for the cause. But due to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms they needed label approval. A little know fact is that the Wine Institute told them that the “government would not approve the image of the American flag on alcohol or tobacco products”. Steve still sent a bottle along and to everyone’s amazement, it was stamped approved!
Since then the Sherwin Family Vineyards produces a limited number of the commemorative American flag bottles for various charitable events. Thus how they received their motto – Home of the Patriotic Pour!
Now about the wines. Recently, visiting the hilltop winery, we tasted three wines: The Chardonnay, The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and their irreverent “Cellar Scraps” (a blend). I want to focus on two of them. The 2015 Chardonnay is from Carneros region and had a distinct citrus flavor imparted to this bright and fresh Chardonnay. They only produced 250 cases but it a fine wine worthy of purchase.
The next wine was their 2013 Estate Cabernet that was 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This wine was smooth with soft & round tannins to drink now or hold for 5 years. They produced 800 cases and the Spring Mountain fruit is robust and full. Wine Spectator rated it 94 points and it was at underrated in my opinion. They also produce their “Cellar Scraps” (worthy of tasting and anything but “left overs”!), a Rose and their 2013 Estate Cabernet Reserve.
The Home of the Patriotic Pour is a fascinating story and their heartfelt wines are even more enjoyable.
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