- Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 01:05
- Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff
Known for hosting boutique wineries, the annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival attracts wine aficionados from throughout the Bay Area.
As in past years, the festival features selections from six Bay Area wineries. Five of them are returnees - Fernwood Cellars, Naumann Vineyards, Page Mill Winery, Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards, and Martin Ranch Winery - along with newcomer Domenico Winery.
"We hope that you enjoy the wines we have selected for this year’s festival," said Nancy Dunaway, executive director of the Los Altos Village Association, which sponsors the event.
A rundown of each of the participating wineries follows.
Fernwood Cellars returns to the festival for the seventh year. The Gilroy-based winery makes a variety of estate wines, including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah. Fernwood aims to produce wines that reflect the vineyard’s unusual microclimate, while showcasing the inherent characteristics of each variety.
Second-generation winemaker Matt Oetinger founded Fernwood Cellars in 1999. The property that his vineyard occupies has been in his family for six generations, stretching back to 1863 when his great-grandfather, Charles, built the family’s first home there.
His father, Lew Oetinger - owner of Hummingbird Hill Vineyards - introduced Matt to winemaking at a young age.
Matt graduated from UC Davis in 1995 with a degree in biology. After college, he worked at several vineyards, learning each vintner’s winemaking style. He managed the vineyard at Clos LaChance Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains before founding Fernwood.
At this year’s festival, Fernwood Cellars plans to pour a 2012 Dry Riesling, a 2012 Chardonnay and a 2010 Sidecut. The Fernwood booth is located at State and Fourth streets, near sponsors’ row.
For more information, visit fernwoodcellars.com.
Naumann Vineyards is pouring for the ninth consecutive year at the festival. Vintner Don Naumann grows grapes on Montebello Road in Cupertino, 2,000 feet above the Silicon Valley floor.
Naumann has experienced much success with his wines - particularly the popular Tre Rosso Cali, which he will pour at the festival. The wine earned a Double Gold award at this year’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, N.Y.
Naumann’s Estate Grown Merlot is grown atop the mountain on an eastern-facing slope. All work in the vineyard is performed by hand, which produces low-yield, high-quality fruit.
This year Naumann Vineyards representatives will pour a 2008 Merlot, a 2013 Rosé, a 2012 Chardonnay and a 2010 Tre Rosso Cali. The winery’s booth is located at the corner of State and Second streets. Naumann Vineyards also will pour 6-8 p.m. at the Main Stage during the Saturday evening Sage concert.
For more information, visit naumannvineyards.com.
Page Mill Winery
Page Mill Winery has participated in the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival since its inception. Dick and Ome Stark founded Page Mill Winery in 1976, when the family decided to excavate a large cellar under their home in Los Altos Hills. The Stark family has steadily expanded Page Mill Winery in the years since but remains committed to producing a small quantity of high-quality wine.
Dane Stark, son of the winery’s founders, now runs the family business. He studied the craft in France and California, which he said gives him a unique perspective on the art of making fine wine.
For 28 years, the winery was located on Page Mill Road in Los Altos Hills, just a short drive from downtown Los Altos. Its new, expanded location in Livermore allows the family to continue to serve as an integral player in the local wine scene. Page Mill Winery’s tasting room is located in the heart of the wine trail in Livermore, and its wines are available at restaurants in downtown Los Altos, grocery stores on the Peninsula and online.
This year, Page Mill Winery representatives plan to pour a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, a 2013 Chardonnay and a 2013 GPS, a blend of Grenache, Petite Syrah and Syrah. The Page Mill Winery booth is located at the corner of Main and Second streets.
For more information, visit pagemillwinery.com,
Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards
The story of Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards is well known.
Dr. Thomas Fogarty was a cardiovascular surgeon and noted inventor when he first tried at-home winemaking in the 1970s in a cabin high above Palo Alto on Skyline Boulevard. He planted his first grapes in 1978 and established a commercial winegrowing operation in 1981. That property is now home to the 325-acre Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards. What began as a hobby is now a Peninsula powerhouse in the world of wine. The vineyards themselves are located 2,000 feet above the Silicon Valley floor, which provides the ideal cool climate for growing grapes.
Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards representatives plan to pour their Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay, Skyline Central Coast Riesling and Skyline California Red at their booth at the corner of Main and Third streets.
For more information, visit fogartywinery.com.
Martin Ranch Winery
This marks the fourth year that Martin Ranch Winery has poured its wines at the Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival. Founders Dan and Therese Martin said they share a passion for great wine - and that is at the heart of Martin Ranch Winery. They added that the joy of sharing the grape-growing and winemaking experience with friends and family keeps their endeavor going strong. The Martins’ 17 acres in the southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains provides the ideal microclimate for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2003, they built a small winery building and increased production to 2,000 cases. They have since produced several award-winning red and white varieties.
Martin Ranch Winery representatives plan to pour a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, a 2009 Zinfandel and a 2011 Chardonnay at their festival booth, located at the corner of State and Second streets.
For more information, visit MartinRanchWinery.com.
Founders Dominick and Gloria Chirichillo said they chose the name Domenico for their winery to reflect their commitment to their Italian heritage and the tradition of family winemaking. Dominick’s nonno (grandfather), Domenico Giovinazzo, introduced him to the traditions in 1955 in New York. Nonno guided Dominick down to the family basement to show him a winepress passed down from one generation to the next - along with a love of handcrafting wine.
A move to California enabled Dominick to choose his grapes by hand from select vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma’s Central Coast, Alexander Valley, the Russian River Valley, Amador County and Lodi. Dominick is a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, where he sources Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Domenico’s wines have won more than 300 medals since fall 2010.
At the festival, Domenico Winery representatives plan to pour a 2010 Santa Cruz Chardonnay, a 2012 Sirene Rosé and a 2007 Amador Barbera.
For more information, visit DomenicoWinery.com.
For more information, call the Los Altos Village Association at 949-5282 or visit downtownlosaltos.org. m