The Wood Family Vineyards recently introduced their second white wine — an Albariño! Rhonda Wood received a call from the Las Positas College in Livermore, which besides being a local junior college, has a program for winemaking and viticulturists. They had grown some Albariño grapes on their property and asked Rhonda if she would be interested in purchasing them. Rhonda agreed and went one step further in donating 10% of all Albariño sales back to the Viticulture and Winery Technology program at Las Positas College. A wonderful cooperative venture for both parties.
The Albariño Grape
Albariño is a well-known Spanish grape grown in Galicia in northwest Spain along the coast. It is also known as Alvarinho in Portugal. It was thought to have been introduced by the Romans in the 12th century. Key is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean or water ways reaching the ocean.
Typical Albariño grapes from the region have aromas of nectarine, lime with traces of honeysuckle and beeswax. The taste profile is mouth filling which is a heavier than expected in a white wine. It is known as a seafood lovers wine to enhance any meal with fish.
Wood Family Vineyards Albariño
The first thing one notices is that this label is different than their traditional label. With the cooperative nature with Las Positas College, they used the college mascot, the Hawk, embossed on the label. The second think you thing about with this Albariño, it is not grown on the coast nor near any river leading to the coast as previously mentioned by its heritage in Spain. Livermore Valley (with its west to east geography) is located just over a gap in the East Bay Hills from the San Francisco Bay. The Bay gets the cool ocean breezes almost daily. So while not directly on the coast, the ocean and bay bodies have tremendous impact. Albariño is also grown in California on the San Luis Obispo coast and Lodi (climate from the north SF Bay and delta) both of which are similar with geography and climate of Albariño’s homeland.
Here is where this wine is both unique and has many amazing characteristics. First on the eyes this is a light yellow to golden straw coloring. In the glass it possess a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, a truly powerful aromatic freshness of flowers apricot, peach and honeysuckle. Stone fruit, salinity and minerality lurk in the background. On the palate, honeydew melon, extremely soft citrus of lemon and lime round out the profile. The finish is refined and clean beckoning yet another sip. They produced only 90 cases and it is listed for $32 per bottle on their website.
Food and Wine Pairing
The food pairing was a garlicy lemon shrimp dish with broccoli and topped with toasted bread crumbs. The ingredients were extra-virgin olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, minced garlic cloves, canned chicken broth, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh lemon juice. The food with citrus, enhanced the citrus of the wine. The wine also was contrasting with the mouth filling viscosity and fruit, which wrapped the spice and flavors of the shrimp dish.
If you have never experienced tasting Albariño, this one is surely a great treat especially with shrimp!