Last Monday I got "kidnapped" by a friend taking me up to a local winery, Mt Vernon Winery, that I had not visited before. Getting up there we discovered that the tasting room was not open that day. Pulling out of the parking lot a man came up to us asking if he could help us. Turns out he is one of the owners, Jim Taylor. His son Ryan was working in the vineyards and immediately came in to open up and pour us some wine. The two of them are the team of winemakers that opened the winery in 1996. In 2002 they opened the doors to the tasting room at the estate, the first one in Placer County since the advent of Prohibition and the collapse of grape growing and wine making in Placer County.
Ryan poured a myriad of delicious wines and after tasting I bought several varieties to bring home, and tonight I opened one of their chardonnays and a barbera.
The 2004 Sierra Foothills Chardonnay, Breast Cancer Research ($18) has pineapple and ripe pear on the nose with medium body, light oak and a creamy finish. Tasty!
The 2003 Sierra Foothills Barbera (only 320 cases produced) has a vibrant dark red/purple color in the glass. You will find sweet berries and black tea on the nose. On the palate discover cherry, spices, nice acidity and medium/large tannins. A great value for a great wine.
The difference with this wine is that it not only tastes good but it feels good to drink as well. The reason?
Dr. Bodai, CEO of CureBreastCancer Inc. and a Kaiser Permanente surgeon, after several years of work to get approval from the Congress and the US Postal Service, asked the Taylor family to put a label looking like the Breast Cancer postage stamp on their bottles. He asked for a 5% donation but the family felt so strongly about the cause they offered 12.5% of the sales price of each bottle. And that is their contribution since 2005.
So drink up. Order more. Feel good. It is all for a good cause.