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Guarachi Family Wines: A new year, a new vineyard for great wines

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On New Year’s Eve we say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Appropriately, we chose to celebrate New Year's with Guarachi Family Wines 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir because Guarachi Family Wines is starting anew with the purchase of Sun Chase Vineyard in Sonoma while at the same time saying farewell to sourcing grapes for their Pinot Noir. This new venture will be their first vineyard in Sonoma County.

Sun Chase Vineyard is a 248-acre lot that is located in that portion of the Sonoma Coast AVA known as the Petaluma Wind Gap. Sun Chase got its name because in this area of Sonoma County, the sun is “chasing the fog”. The name is apropos because this natural gap between the coastal range mountains and the inland valley is blanked with fog in the mornings until the sun breaks through bringing in the warmer temperatures. In the late afternoon the cool winds and fog return resulting in a microclimate that has a 40 – 50 degree variation.

The vineyard is situated on the south side of Sonoma Mountain. This is an ideal area to grow Pinot Noir due to the influence of the cool ocean breezes and the elevation, which is 1,400 feet.

Although Guarachi will produce its first single vineyard wines from the Sun Chase Vineyard with the 2013 Vintage, Sun Chase is not new to this wine producer. They have sourced grapes from the Sun Chase Vineyard for several years including the 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. In addition, this Pinot Noir is sourced from Gaps Crown and Goldrock Ridge.

Guarachi Family Wines are not newcomers to the wine Industry. Alex Guarachi, a native of Chili was very influential in bringing Chilean and Argentine wines to the United States. He founded TGIC Importers in 1985. In 2007 he founded Guarachi Family Wines to created Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from what he considers the best grape growing regions, Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast. Enlisting winemakers Paul Hobbs and Julian Gonzalez to create the wines and sourcing the grapes from what they considered the finest vineyards has proven to be a winning combination.

The Guarachi Family Wines 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a medium bodied smoothly balanced with a dark purple color. The bouquet is fruity. One immediately savors cherries with a hint of lavender as the wine opens to a long silky finish. This Pinot Noir is handcrafted and is aged eleven months in French Oak.

This well-balanced Pinot Noir complemented our grilled veal chop nicely making our New Year's feast a memorable one.

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