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Amista Vineyards

Amista Vineyards
June 20, 2024 | The Amista Blog | Amista Vineyards

Amista Vineyards - Sonoma Sparkling Wineries - Discover 10 Of The Best

Amista Sparkling Wines

We are thrilled to learn that Amista has been recognized as one of the top sparkling wineries in Sonoma wine country by Grape and Barrel. When asked to recommend a tour of the best sparkling wineries in Sonoma for a group of friends, Grape and Barrel eagerly shared their top ten picks, saying, “…we want to personally introduce our readers to the incredible creators who strive to make the best sparkling wine in Sonoma County.”

In addition to the Top Ten list, the article delves into the fascinating history of Champagne, debunking the myth that it was invented by the monk Dom Perignon. It also explains the unique method used to make Champagne and sparkling wines, highlighting the key difference from still wines: sparkling wines undergo a second fermentation process, which creates their signature bubbles.

Amista: One of the Top 10 Sparkling Wineries in Sonoma

We are truly honored to be included among this all-star cast of sparkling wineries. The description states, “Amista’s owners had their minds set on producing sparkling wine when they acquired the winery…” To be completely honest, we didn't even consider making sparkling wine until several years later. Our first releases were Chardonnay, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet.

Amista’s First Sparkling Wine: Sparkling Syrah

The idea of making sparkling wine first occurred to us in 2007, thanks to a class project by our then consulting winemaker. We are forever grateful for his initiative, as he and his class created a Sparkling Syrah using the Methode Traditionnelle (also known as Methode Champenoise). When we tasted it, it was love at first sip. Inspired by this success, we produced our first Sparkling Syrah for Amista in 2008.

A Collection of Unique Sparkling Wines at Amista

Over the years, with the enthusiastic encouragement of our current winemaker, Ashley Herzberg—who loves bubbles—we have expanded our collection to seven unique sparkling wines. While traditional Champagnes and many sparkling wines worldwide are made from a few classic varieties (only six grape varieties are permitted in Champagne, with most wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier), we have become trailblazers by crafting sparkling wines from mostly non-traditional grapes, just as we did with our Sparkling Syrah.

We honor tradition with our Blanc de Blanc and Amistara, both made from Chardonnay. However, our other sparkling wines, crafted using the traditional Champagne method, are made from Rhône varieties or unique blends. This showcases our innovative spirit and commitment to creating distinctive wines.

What is Estate Grown?

The grapes for all our sparkling wines are grown right here on our estate, Morningsong Vineyards. Here's an insider tip: the names of the wineries that produce the wine and the names of the vineyards where the grapes are grown are often different, even when the estate belongs to the winery, as in our case. This can be confusing. Wines can be referred to as vineyard designate wines, meaning that 95% of the grapes must come from the particular vineyard listed on the label. It’s similar to how a department store like Bergdorf Goodman sells brands identified by the supplier’s name, such as Prada or Ferragamo.

For example, our Amista Vineyards Zinfandel is a vineyard designate from a neighboring vineyard, Saini Farms, while our Sparkling Syrah is a vineyard designate from our own estate, Morningsong Vineyards.

Amista Sparkling Syrah – A Daring Move

Grape and Barrel highlights, “…they launched their sparkling Syrah – a pretty daring move in Sonoma but a longstanding practice in Australia, where Syrah grapes are made into sparkling Shiraz." Truth be told, it didn’t feel daring, although we knew it was unique. We had never tasted a sparkling Syrah until our consulting winemaker's class created one. Before that, we had been producing a rosé of Syrah, also the result of a happy accident, which served as the base for the class’s sparkling wine.

In Australia, Sparkling Shiraz is quite different. Unlike our Sparkling Syrah, which is technically a rosé, Sparkling Shiraz is a sparkling red wine, much deeper in color. Despite the difference in name, Shiraz is simply another term for Syrah, and both wines are made from the same grape variety.

Plus an All-Sparkling Amista Wine Club

“The Farrows were so obsessed with sparkling wine that they founded the Amista Sparkling Friends wine club in 2014,” the article continues. By then, we had enough sparkling wines—our collection of sparkling "gems"—to create a sparkling-only wine club. As lovers of bubbles, we knew other enthusiasts would want the same option. While we already had a wine club for our red and white wines, we launched “Sparkling Friends” at Passport to Dry Creek Valley, the premier wine and food event in the area, showcasing our Blanc de Blanc with freshly shucked oysters!

We want our sparkling-loving club members to have first “pop” at our limited production, estate-grown sparkling wines. We are a small “grower sparkling house,” much like the small grower Champagne houses in France. Our production is extremely limited, and our sparkling wines often sell out before the next release.

We like to joke that we make sparkling wines for ourselves and love to share! That’s what friends do—share their discoveries with their friends! Amista means making friends, so it just makes sense.

See the whole list in Sonoma Sparkling Wineries Discover 10 Of The Best in Grape and Barrel


Still Thirsty?

If you want to learn more, here is a curated list of resources.

What is Sparkling Wine: Sparkling Wine Defined

Traditional Method for Making Champagne & Sparkling Wines: Méthode Champenoise

Sparkling Shiraz: Sparkling reds & why you should be drinking them!







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