California

Domestic Selection: Midnight Cuvee, 1988. Van Der Kamp

Martin Van der Kamp, a native of the North Coast wine country, was a home winemaker there for many years. In his youth he had done a stint as an employee at Napa’s famous Schramsberg Champagne Cellars. Bitten by the bug, he took several trips to some of the top Champagne houses in France. It… read more »

Domestic Selection: Colombard, 1989. Carmenet

In opening, let me first ask you to notice the small print section of this wine’s label which reads “A Chalone Property”. Any discus­sion of the Carmenet Vineyard must include a discourse on its parent company. Chalone Incor­porated is the only publicly-held company in the U.S. whose prin­cipal business is producing and marketing premium wines…. read more »

Domestic Selection: Zinfandel, 1988. Glenn Ellen

The Benziger family moved to Glen Ellen California in 1980 from White Plains, New York to set up a boutique winery. The rest is truly California wine making history. The 1981 crush came before construction of the winery was fin­ished. There was no electricity. There were no wine storage tanks. The crush went on through… read more »

Domestic Selection: Chardonnay, 1989. White Oak

White Oak winery is no new­comer to the Wine of the Month Club. In fact, White Oak is the first winery to have been selected for both the Limited Series and the Regular Series with two wines from the same grape. Our ship­ment #2 in 1990 featured the Myers Limited Reserve Chardonnay that promptly sold… read more »

Domestic Selection: Charbono, 1979. Inglenook-Napa Valley

Note: Please do not confuse the wine maker Inglenook-Napa Valley with the jug wine maker Inglenook-Navale. Founded in 1879, the Ingle­nook-Napa Valley winery was the hobby of the great seaman Gustave Niebaum. Not only a diligent student, re­ceiving his ships papers by attend­ing merchant marine school in Fin­land, he was a brilliant businessman. At age… read more »

Domestic Selection: Muscat Canelli, 1990. Santino Winery

Matt and Nancy Santino, along with Nancy’s father, Joseph Schweitzer, founded Santino Wines in 1979. Mr. Schweitzer remained as owner when the younger couple left the operation some time ago. The winery is located in the heart of California’s Shenandoah Valley in Amador County, adjacent to the oldest known producing Zinfandel vineyard in California. This… read more »

Domestic Selection: Pinot Noir, 1988. Austin Cellars

Anthony Austin’s roots go back to the very early days of Cali­fornia wine… literally. His ances­tors were granted a homestead in 1881 in Sonoma County, and are said to have planted the first Ca­bernet Sauvignon vines in the Rus­sian River Valley. After attending U.C. Davis’ viticultural school, Austin became a protege of the country’s most… read more »

Domestic Selection: Rsv. Sauvignon Blanc, 1986. Concannon

The Concannon Vineyard is factually a piece of California his­tory, California Historical Land­mark No. 641, to be exact. Over 100 years ago James Concannon founded this venerable operation 50 miles east of San Francisco in the Livermore Valley. This area distinguishes itself from other wine regions of California by its striking similarities to the great… read more »

Domestic Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1985. Jekel

This month’s domestic selec­tion has to be the bargain of the century! This is Limited Series wine that we can all enjoy. The Jekel Vineyard was origi­nally planted in 1972, the year WOMC was founded, so it is, like us, no new-comer to the industry. Back then winemaker Bill Jekel, with his twin brother, Gus,… read more »

Domestic Selection: Sauvignon Blanc, 1989. Cask One

American Wine Merchants’ Cask One Sauvignon Blanc is yet another one of those “negociant” wines which we happily wind up with every now and then. The closest way to describe a negociant wine accurately is to call it a “brand”, as it is not a winery. Some of the most famous wine-makers in France are… read more »