I'm buying wine for a new shop called Rosewater Wines & Spirits on Martha's Vineyard focused on "Coastal Wine." My premise is that every great wine is a 100-point wine if enjoyed in the right environment. I'm trying to increase the incidence of memorable drinking experiences by creating resonance between where the wine is made and where it is consumed. My other motivation is that I want the shop to have an identity distinct from the unaffiliated restaurant, Atria, I buy wines for just down the street.
The main parameter I've set for myself is that the majority of the fruit must be grown within 100 km of the ocean. Any further than this and it gets tough to justify a marine influence. Of course, each region must be taken individually. Take Italy: 100 km excludes very few regions with the painful exception of Piedmont. Even western parts of Montalcino experience cooling maritime winds. In France, the obvious loses are Burgundy and much of the Loire Valley (I’m going to carry Champagne as my one exception to the rule). In the US, the Willamette Valley is in, particularly AVAs like McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills affected by the Van Duzier Corridor. One could argue that nearly all of Napa Valley fruit is affected by its vicinity to the bay, but I’m going to highlight AVAs in southern Napa that see more of that cooling effect. Sadly none of those great mountain wines will make the cut.
So I am seeking your top 5-10 coastal wines. General ideas and suggestions are also welcome.
Ultimately the 100 km parameter is a lose marker. The goal isn’t to split hairs, but rather to celebrate wines that express a coastal character, however that may be defined. So bring on Sicily, Corsica, Santorini, the Sonoma Coast and any other region that produces wines that suggest sea spray and fresh ocean air. And don't forget about reds!
Thank you all,
Chile does have some of the best "Extreme Maritime" influenced wines for the $, Casa Marin represents coastal influence as well as any wine that I've ever tasted from a new world region.They have vineyards that are as close as 4 km from the ocean in Lo Abarca (San Antonio Valley, just SW of Casablanca Valley). Pretty challenging environment to grow vines, this is coming from someone who works in the Willamette and Uco Valleys. One of my favorite winery visits in South America.
- 'Cipreses Vineyard' Sauvignon Blanc - One of the best Sauvignon Blanc for the price - 'Lo Abarca Hills Vineyard' Pinot Noir *comes from Limestone soils just off the coast- 'Miramar Vineyard' (Syrah and Riesling) Both are exceptional examples of coastal influence and world class Riesling and Syrah.
Plus a few other examples like their 'Literol Vineyard' Pinot Noir and 'Casona Vineyard' Gewürztraminer.
In the Maldonado region of Uruguay, Bodega Garzon has started to refine their production towards quality with some interesting 'Single Vineyard' wines, they have a nice 'Single Vineyard' Albariño that comes from less than 20 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. It's a very young project, but their wines are 100x better now than their first few vintages and wholesale pricing is typically less than $13/bottle.
If 100km is your inclusion variable, then the majority of the Willamette Valley falls into that category as well, I can think of about 5 wines just from here the in Dundee Hills that could be in that top 10.
Have fun with this project!
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