What sparked Amista to make sparkling wine?
By Vicky Farrow, Proprietor
First, I've always loved bubbles!
My favorite aperitif is a glass of sparkling wine. Plus, I’ve discovered that sparkling wines pair well with almost any kind of food, especially spicy dishes that are often hard to match.
It started with a class project - Rosé into Sparkling
When our consulting winemaker asked if he could have some of our Rosé of Syrah for his Santa Rosa Junior College class to make a sparkling wine, we were quick to say yes! When we tasted it, we knew we had to make more for ourselves and our friends.
Next came an experiment – Amista Sparkling Syrah
We took one barrel of a blend of 2007 and 2008 Rosé of Syrah to Rack and Riddle, a winemaking facility specializing in sparkling wines. They helped us make it “sparkle” using the classic method for making French Champagne.
The result was incredible - a glittering raspberry-colored Sparkling Syrah that makes me happy just looking at it. I call it “joy in a bottle”. Since we made only 60 cases, we kept it quiet - sharing it only with our club members - and it became an instant hit.
Celebrating the Debut of Amista Sparkling Syrah
During the 2009 harvest we picked three tons of our estate grown Syrah just for sparkling. The wine was fermented in its own bottle according to the traditional method for making French Champagne.
The result was cause for celebration! We released it at our Sparkling Holiday party where Mike performed his first sabrage, opening the bottle with a saber. It only took six tries! Now he’s mastered the art and does it regularly by special request for club members.
Presenting Amista Blanc de Blanc!
One day I was thinking, I really do love bubbles and we grow Chardonnay, the varietal used to make Blanc de Blancs. I asked Ashley Herzberg, our new winemaker, if she thought we could make a Blanc de Blancs from our vineyard. Her answer was, “Absolutely!”
The inaugural release of our Amista Blanc de Blanc scored 91 points and won a gold medal in the Press Democrat’s 2013 “Best of the Best” North Coast Wine Challenge.
Once again Mike marked the release with his now famous sabrage at our Sparkling Holiday party in Dec. 2012 to the cheers of our club members. We then had two sparkling wines to complement our variety of classic wines.
Saluting Amista Vineyards Sparkling Wine
We are proud to be the premiere producer of Dry Creek Valley sparkling wines. We were the first winery to make sparkling wines from Dry Creek Valley grapes. We have been crafting sparkling wines using the traditional methode champenoise since 2008.
Sparkling Grenache Comes to Dry Creek Valley!
In keeping with our tradition of making single varietal sparkling wines, in March 2015, we added a delicate Sparkling Grenache to our collection. It was the perfect toast to our 10 year Amista Vineyards anniversary. It was also cause for celebration for our "Amista Sparkling Friends", the only sparkling wine club in Dry Creek Valley.
We Keep on Sparkling at Amista!
At our Sparkling Holidays Party in 2015 we released the two newest gems in our collection of sparkling wines. The first is a Vintage Blanc de Blanc and the second is our first sparkling blend, Fusión, made primarily from Chardonnay grapes with a kiss of Grenache and Syrah. We made less than 50 cases of each of these two precious gems. They are currently available only to members of our sparkling wine clubs, but you can try them as part of our Sparkling Wine and Cheese Pairing.