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Amista Vineyards

News from Amista Vineyards

Vicky Farrow
June 20, 2024 | Vicky Farrow

Everything You Need to Know About Rosé

What it is, how it's made, perfect pairings...Amista Rose de Tres - a Toast to Friendship

...and a special celebration with Amista Rosé de Tres

Rosés Have Exploded in Popularity

Dry, crisp rosés are surging in popularity across the U.S. Wine expert Liz Thach notes in Forbes that U.S. rosé sales volume skyrocketed by an incredible 1433% from 2010 to 2020. It seems I'm not the only one who loves rosés, especially as the weather warms and lighter foods dominate our plates.

What is Rosé Wine?

If you're reading this, you likely have some idea, but let's make sure we’re on the same page. Rosés, distinct from blush wines, are generally considered more premium. Those tracking rosé sales typically focus on wines priced at $7 and above per bottle, explicitly labeled as rosé. Like their European counterparts, these wines are dry.

How is Rosé Made?

Contrary to popular belief, rosé is not made by blending red and white wines. Instead, it is crafted entirely from red grapes using one of two methods:

  1. Limited Skin Contact: Red grapes are harvested and left to sit on their skins for only a few hours before pressing. This brief contact gives the wine its pink hue, unlike red wine, which develops a deeper color from extended skin contact lasting days, weeks, or even months.
  2. Saignée Method: Saignée, meaning "bleeding" in French, involves pulling juice from a tank of red grapes early in the maceration process when it is lighter in color. This lighter juice is then fermented separately as rosé. While some consider this method a byproduct of concentrating red wine, others use saignée intentionally to produce both red and rosé wines.

What Pairs Well with Rosé Wines?

Rosés pair beautifully with a variety of dishes. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Steamed mussels with crusty bread
  • Greek salad
  • Chicken and avocado salad
  • Grilled shrimp
  • Linguine with pesto
  • Thin spaghetti with cherry tomato and garlic sauce
  • Seafood paella

Does Amista Make a Rosé?

Yes! Our Rosé de Tres is our current release, and it has quickly become my go-to wine for many recent evenings. Considered a Rhône-style rosé, as described by Wine Enthusiast, it is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Over our 20-year history, we’ve crafted several different rosés, starting with our first Rosé of Syrah, which came about serendipitously.

That initial wine inspired the creation of our first sparkling wine, Sparkling Syrah. Today, we offer four sparkling rosés: Sparkling Syrah, Sparkling Grenache, Sparkling Mataró (made from Mourvèdre grapes), and Sparkling Tres. But let's return to our Rosé de Tres.

What About Rosé All Day?

Our winemaker, Ashley Herzberg, often says she enjoys pairing our Rosé de Tres with a porch swing. It’s also perfect for the beach or lounging by the pool on a hot afternoon. Last Saturday, my friend Miriam and I enjoyed rosé—not all day, but all evening. The following Monday would have been my late husband and co-founder Mike’s 81st birthday, so Miriam and I celebrated in his honor. Mike’s favorite Amista wine was Tres, our red blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, but on that hot day, I chose the Rosé version for his birthday celebration.

A Special Celebration - Cheers to Mike!

Miriam and I began our evening on the back deck where Mike and I used to sit in the same director’s chairs, watching the dogs play in the yard. It was a truly “sparkling moment” as we gazed out over the vineyards, the sun setting over the hills, with a glass of wine and a good friend. Miriam kept spreading her arms, looking at the view, and exclaiming, “This, this; need I say more?” We enjoyed simple hors d'oeuvres—roasted potatoes, cucumber wedges, and pita chips with a red pepper dipping sauce—that paired nicely with the rosé.

After a happy hour (or maybe longer, since we had a lot to catch up on), we put on our aprons and got to work. Miriam wore Mike’s Fire BBQ apron, which brought a small tear to my eye (I miss cooking with him). She made Mike’s favorite dessert, strawberry shortcake with a twist: chocolate shortcake, a variation he discovered several years ago. He served it for the first time at a breakfast meeting with winemaker Ashley, who has never forgotten the treat.

I was in charge of sautéing fresh corn and grilling salmon. Mike loved salmon and was a master at the grill; I am now teaching myself how to use it. The Rosé de Tres was amazing with the grilled salmon, offering fresh berry fruit, citrus notes, and wonderful acidity.

Amista Rose de Tres Paired with Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

After dinner, we assembled our strawberry chocolate shortcakes, added candles, and proposed another toast to Mike’s birthday. The Rosé was with us the entire evening, a delightful companion to the back deck, the sunset, every course (including dessert), several toasts, and, most importantly, a precious friendship.

Still Thirsty?

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

Hot Brands And Instagram Are Fueling Rosé Wine’s Phenomenal Growth Rate In The U.S. Market by Liz Thach in Forbes

A Quick Guide to Rosé Wine in Wine Enthusiast

What Do We Mean When We Say Rhône-style Wine? in Wine Enthusiast

Raising Our Glass to Mike Farrow, Amista Winemaker Emeritus and Co-founder, 1943 - 2023


Discover Rosé: What it is, how it's made, perfect pairings, and a special celebration with Amista Rosé de Tres in Healdsburg, California.

Time Posted: Jun 20, 2024 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Everything You Need to Know About Rosé Permalink
Amista Vineyards
June 20, 2024 | 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!






Time Posted: Jun 20, 2024 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Amista Vineyards - Sonoma Sparkling Wineries - Discover 10 Of The Best Permalink
Amista Vineyards
June 12, 2024 | Amista Vineyards

Discover Amista Vineyards in Healdsburg - One of California’s Most Walkable Towns

Healdsburg Plaza by Amista Vineyards

Healdsburg is a fantastic place to visit and an even more special place to call home. One of its main attractions is the downtown area, centered around a charming town square filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels, all within easy walking distance. The Plaza, as it is called locally, features towering trees, a picturesque gazebo, and a bubbling fountain. It's the perfect spot to relax, watch children play in the water, and enjoy a snack from one of the nearby shops.

A recent article in World Atlas highlights seven of California's most walkable towns, noting, "California has many stunning small towns. Walking through these towns enables visitors to immerse themselves in and appreciate their natural beauty and culture up close." Exploring these towns on foot is indeed a delightful experience. Having visited all seven, we can say they are all worth the trip. Each has its unique charm, but we must admit, Healdsburg tops the list. It's home and the home of our winery, Amista Vineyards—but more on that later.

Why Healdsburg is So Charming

Healdsburg's downtown comes alive, especially during the warm months, bustling with both visitors and locals. Blessed with beautiful weather for most of the year, the town's charm is always on display. Locals know the best spots for breads and pastries, coffee roasters, ice cream shops, and their favorite restaurants. From April through November, the farmer’s market is a lively hub for finding fresh local produce, cheeses, and flowers, and catching up with friends.

Our Favorite Healdsburg Restaurants

Visitors enjoy exploring the shops and boutiques, tasting wine at the in-town tasting rooms and trying out the many excellent dining options. For a town of just under 12,000, we have a vast array of great restaurants. Some of our personal favorites are Baci, Guiso Latin Fusion, Bravas, Willi’s Seafood, Rooftop 106, Costeaux French Bakery and Valette.

Discover Healdsburg's Hidden Gem: A Delightful Walking Trail

If you want to take a walk away from the bustle, there’s Foss Creek Pathway that runs from downtown to the Community Center on the north edge of town. You’ll see runners, walkers, bicyclists and dogs (on leash) enjoying the trail. If you’re a local, you’re sure to see someone you know. Also on display are sculptures of metal or stone. A favorite is a life-size creation called Grazing Horse, sculpted of metal and driftwood by a local Sonoma artist. There is also a playful sculpture of a blue sofa complete with end table, lamp and a red telephone.

Sculpture on Healdsburg's Foss Creek Pathway, Photo by- Amista Vineyards

Edge Esmerelda Chooses Healdsburg for Its Walkability

Healdsburg's walkability received a glowing endorsement with its selection as the host this June for Edge Esmerelda,  a month-long event dedicated to building the future. This pop-up village is attracting visionaries from around the globe who believe in creating a better tomorrow and are actively working towards it. All lodging, workshops and communal meals are located within close proximity of Foss Creek Pathway to encourage walking and biking. The event planners brought in hundreds of bikes for guests to use during their stay.

Bicycles imported to Healdsburg for Edge Esmerelda Photo by Amista Vineyards

Discover Our Vineyard Walk at Amista Vineyards

The World Atlas article praises Healdsburg, noting, “Healdsburg is home to over 90 vineyards and wineries, including Amista Vineyards, which offers guided hikes and tastings.” Located just four miles from downtown, at Amista we feature a special walk of our own, with more to see than just grapevines! Stand beneath our majestic 200-year-old oak tree and imagine life in California when it was just an acorn.

Then check out our backwater pond on Dry Creek that was constructed in partnership with the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The project’s goal is to restore the habitat for the Steelhead trout and Coho salmon that inhabit these waters. When you return from the vineyards, treat yourself to a wine tasting on our solar covered patio and gaze over the vineyard up to the tree-studded hills above. You may want to start planning your next stop among California’s walkable towns.

See the whole list of 7 Of The Most Walkable Towns In California by Amanda Jennings in the Places section of World Atlas.

Time Posted: Jun 12, 2024 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Discover Amista Vineyards in Healdsburg - One of California’s Most Walkable Towns Permalink

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