The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity, as they always are during harvest season. It’s only now that the bins have been emptied, and the fruit is doing its thing at the winery, that it occurred to us that this year marks a major milestone for Estate 1856 – our 10th harvest!
With that first harvest in 2009, we set out to craft just one wine – a Bordeaux-style wine that would be a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. As Janice began working with the wines, it became apparent that the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were developing really beautifully and could be worthy of their own bottling. As a new brand, with an unproven sales channel, we were incredibly nervous to produce not just one, but three wines in year one. Thankfully, we went with our gut and began a tradition of producing single bottlings alongside our Bordeaux-blend.
In the ten years that followed, we added a Malbec and a Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon to our offerings. To date, Estate 1856 wines have won over 150 awards – including the Sweepstakes Award for Best Red Wine of Sonoma County – competing against thousands of wineries around the world. In 2015, we re-designed our labels to give them a more dynamic and artistic feel – echoing the creativity Janice brings to her winemaking. We also re-named the Bordeaux-blend to be called Duvall’s Prospect in honor of Duvall Drake Phillips, our pioneering ancestor who originally purchased the ranch in 1856.
In the spring of 2017, we were awarded the opportunity to share our wines with a broader group of wine enthusiasts when we were selected to join the Cellars of Sonoma Tasting room in downtown Healdsburg. As interest in our wines has continued to grow, we decided to re-open membership to the wine club with the launch of our Prospector Wine Club. Truly amazing to think back on how our little winery has grown in ten years!
It’s quite fitting that we’re heading into a weekend of pouring our latest gold medal winners at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, which celebrates the beauty and bounty of this amazing part of the world. How very fortunate we are to have had you – our customers, partners, family and friends – by our side these last ten years. Thank you for helping us get to our 10th harvest!
With love and gratitude,
Brian, Janice, Rob & Rachel Schmidt
Last month we attended the Vintners Market in San Francisco. We hadn’t participated in this event in over a year, so it was great to be back at historic Fort Mason, visiting with some of the other family wineries we always look forward to seeing.
This year we had the privilege of pouring our wines in the Reserve Room alongside a handful of other small, high-end producers. The more intimate environment gave us the opportunity to really connect with guests and share our family’s story.
One of the individuals we met was Bill McNabb, Wine Editor for the Piedmont Post, who recently published a review of the 2014 Petit Verdot he tasted at the Vintners Market.
THE WINE CORNER
“…it was exhilarating to encounter so many wineries, all new to me, that were quietly turning out some amazing wines. Almost every wine in this review is a new discovery and I am happy to share some of California’s undiscovered gems.”
– Pierre DuMont
“2014 Estate 1856 Petit Verdot Of the five major grapes of Bordeaux, Petit Verdot is the one least often bottled by itself. I have never really understood why as it makes a lovely drink all by it-self. This has a perfumed nose of violets and blueberries with lush black currant and plum fruit on the palate with a touch of mocha and caramel. As is typical for the varietal the tannins are fairly massive and a few years of cellaring will improve the already delicious wine.”
Read more here.
This wine that Pierre DuMont called one of the stars of the San Francisco Vintners Market has also received the following accolades:
91 Points & GOLD Medal Critic’s Challenge International Wine Competition
GOLD Medal Grand Harvest Awards
GOLD Medal Dan Berger International Wine Competition
Wine makes a perfect gift for friends, family, business associates, or to share with the host and hostess at a dinner gathering. Take advantage of our holiday shipping special— a flat rate of $5 within California, and $15 outside of California. The cost is the same for two bottles or twelve, so stock up!
Also, through the end of the year, Estate 1856 is donating 50% of all sales to Sonoma County fire relief efforts. Thank you for helping us support the recovery effort.
For any questions or assistance with an order, send us a message at email@example.com or call Rachel at 925-218-0668.
Brian, Janice, Rob & Rachel Schmidt
Estate 1856 wines now available for tasting at Cellars of Sonoma!
After six vintages and countless hours spent daydreaming about it, we are thrilled to announce that we finally have a tasting room!
Our Bordeaux-style varietals are now available for tasting at Cellars of Sonoma, a cooperative tasting room in our charming hometown of Healdsburg, CA. Located downtown, just off the plaza, Cellars of Sonoma features wines from a handful of small, high-end, family wineries.
Winemaker Janice Schmidt, with Scott Jordan of Cellars of Sonoma
Prior to this, our small-production wines were only available online, making it impossible to meet our customers’ requests to taste the wine. Cellars of Sonoma now provides an opportunity for you to get to know our wines in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.
Cellars of Sonoma is located at 20 Matheson Street in Healdsburg, open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This is an exciting time for the winery and we’re so happy to share this news with you.
We look forward to raising a glass of Estate 1856 with you soon!
Inspired by our recent participation at the California Artisan Cheese Festival (so many great cheeses at this fun event!), we sat down and pondered the influence of cheese on the perception of wine. We thought we’d focus on cheeses that are traditionally paired with deeply flavored red wines, specifically aged cheeses with some acidity, but then ventured into some aged sheep and goat cheese, to add some fun to the tasting.
Overall, we found that very young and fresh cheeses were best paired with the fresh flavors of approachable white and sparkling wines. With more complex white wines and medium bodied red wines, we liked medium aged dryer and more complex cheeses. More dense, aged cheeses, with more developed flavors, were complemented nicely by the richness and depth of flavorful and robust red wines like the ones we make. Here are a few cheeses we liked, that we thought be great alongside our own Estate 1856 wines.
Estate 1856 – 2013 MALBEC
Robust dark toned aromas offer hints of ripe berries woven with mocha and chocolate, but don’t disclose the delicious treat that follows. The velvety entry flows into a round mouthfeel and spicy texture that burst with flavors while caressing the palate. Lush blueberry and huckleberry mingle with traces of blackberry and baking spices, while a touch of violet joins the fruit near the long finish. Seamlessly integrated tannins and vanillin oak add structure and dimension to this concentrated beauty.
MIDNIGHT MOON by Cypress Grove – a smooth, nutty yet slightly crunchy aged goat milk cheese that allowed us to focus on the incredible fruit in the Malbec while allowing a smoothness and creaminess on the palate!
Estate 1856 – 2013 PETIT VERDOT
Savor the captivating aromatics of concentrated blackberry with traces of dark chocolate, caramel, fresh ground coffee, and coconut. The silken entry and lush monthfeel showcase layers of delicious dark berry and creamy mocha, along with hints of ripe dark cherry, Valrhona chocolate, and restrained black pepper. Supple tannins and fine-grained oak remain in the background, providing structure without interfering with the luscious, elegant flavors.
PURPLE MOON by Fiscalini Cheese Co. – a creamy cheddar cheese soaked in wine that enhanced the incredible fruit in the Petit Verdot and created complementary creaminess on the palate.
Estate 1856 – 2013 DUVALL’S PROSPECT Bordeaux Blend
Enticing aromas of ripe berries mingle with a hint of fine herbs and a mineral essence. A concentrated, velvety entry is infused with layers of black raspberry, dark cherry, currant, and a hint of blueberry. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee, and just a trace of eucalyptus appear mid-palate as the flavors expand and linger. Supple tannins and gentle oak notes are found among the flavors, staying in the background yet lending structure and weight to the wine.
BLACKSTONE by Bellweather Farms – a blended cow and sheep milk aged cheese covered with a thin coat of black pepper..earthy, peppery, spicy with lots of yummy that stood up to the complexity of this wine!
In the end, it comes down to what you most enjoy sipping and tasting…so pay a visit to your local cheesemonger, open your favorite bottle of Estate 1856, and bon appetit!