Wattle Creek: A San Francisco Must Visit

It’s been awhile since I introduced you guys to a new product from San Francisco.  

When I first was introduced to Wattle Creek, G and I walked in randomly during a date night.  I fell in love with it instantly.  The wine was great, the atmosphere was awesome, and the person who was helping us was funny and personable.  These are all things that I look for when I am going to a winery.

Too often, I have gone to a winery and it’s been stuffy and the people stuck up.  I hate that, it makes me feel like I don’t belong there at all.

It doesn't hurt that this tasting room is in one of the most gorgeous locations of San Francisco. 

I contacted Wattle Creek recently, asking them if they would like to do a tasting and the history of the winery.

When I got the email back from Dan saying yes that they would love to do a blog with me, I was excited.  Not only would I get a tasting and share it with you, but I also got to pick up my wine club membership.

I have have been part of 3 wine clubs in the entirety of my life, even though I’ve been to loads of wineries over the past several years.

Wattle Creek is probably my favorite, they always give me such a diverse selection of wines.

Wattle Creek just recently got acquired by Jean Charles Boisset, who wanted to expand the Boisset family empire.  They have a plethora of wineries across the world.  I think the fact that they have so many wineries and styles of wines really adds to their unique flavors.

And boy do they have unique flavors.  I tasted everything from a Viognier to a Sparkling Shiraz.

I walk into the tasting room, it’s a busy Saturday afternoon.  Everyone was out this particular Saturday because it had been raining for about a week prior.

I, of course, am nervous about meeting someone new and trying to use my pallet without looking like I’m daft.

I chose a spot on their luminescent counter.

When Boisset took over, he completely redesigned the tasting room.  Adding his own jewelry and flare into it.

Dan greets me with the JCB No 21 which is a French Burgundy Brut.

Why thank you for all of the wine 

Why thank you for all of the wine 

This wine is fresh, perfect cleanser to get the pallet going for a wine tasting.

It has tart fruit taste to it and a generous mouth feel.

It’s also very affordable.

Actually, most of Wattle Creek’s products are affordable for this part of California.

The tasting room is located in Ghirardelli Square and was the first of its kind.  Prior to Wattle Creek, there were no wine tasting rooms in San Francisco.

You can tell that even though they have been acquired, they still run like a small family winery.  They take the wine seriously and they love their wine and want to share their love with other people.

They also all show their love for the Boisset brand by wearing pieces of his jewelry.

Dan pours me their 2015 Viognier next.  It tastes peachy to me, slightly oaky.  It is tart and then sweet.  This is perfect for a summer day to me.

This wine could be paired with so many foods, but Dan suggests crab and I can completely see it.  The sweetness from the crab will bring down the tartness.

Keep a lookout for a crab recipe to pair with this awesome wine in a couple of weeks! 

Most of the wines in the Wattle Creek lineup are from Alexander Valley.  Alexander Valley is located in the northern part of Sonoma.  

They sold their vineyard when they were acquired, but that won’t really show in their wines until the 2016 vintage.

However, they will keep with the Alexander Valley grapes and feel after that.

They source grapes for their Pinot, Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River.  And if you know your California wines, when you taste these wines you know that it is from Russian River.

Next he handed me, what is usually my favorite wine, a Chardonnay.

I’m always afraid of the Chardonnays that I taste being too buttery.  But this one is the perfect combination of crispness and buttery flavor.  

It’s a light to medium body, much lighter than I expected.  It tasted like green apples to me with a slight caramel tone.

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It stays on your tongue.

I loved it.  I definitely have to get a few bottles to keep for when I entertain.

We started on the reds after that with a Pinot Noir from Russian River.  

This wine was so light, so much lighter than I would expect for a red wine.

It’s a little more robust than most pinots.

It smells like berries and tastes like cherry with a little rose flavor.

I had this in my pantry from one of my wine club boxes and I literally opened it up the moment that I got home because I liked it so much.

The next wine that he gave me is called the Triple Play.  It was the official wine of the San Francisco Giants .  This is a red  wine blend from Alexander Valley.

This is literally the party wine, the wine that you bring when you go to someone’s house, the wine that everyone likes no matter if they are red wine drinkers or white wine drinkers.

It pairs with everything.

It has a medium to heavy body, much heavier to me than I expected.

It has a little bit higher mouth tannin than I would think of a blend, but I like it.

When you first get a drink it syrah and you finish with a sweeter petit sirah.

I can’t wait until my next potluck, I know what I am going to bring.

Dan hands me a Cabernet Sauvignon next.  It’s heavy, very strong.  

It’s from Alexander Valley and is a good example of what Alexander Valley is all about.

It’s very round.  Round means complete, everything is working together well.  The tannin is high.  It’s not too heavy and goes down smooth.  

This would be great with red meat.  Definitely having this the next time that I am making steak.

It tastes of dark cherries and dark chocolate.  I really liked this.

We move on to the Vintage Select Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is old world style and doesn’t taste like a Cabernet at all.  It’s not heavy.

Finally I try their Sparkling Shiraz, this is probably one of my favorite wine now.

It is a dark heavy red wine done Champagne Style.

Almost no one does this wine in the United States.  Wattle Creek is 1 of 10 to do it.

You smell yeast immediately.  It smells like a cherry sour beer.  It’s not done in a brut style.  

It’s very sweet and has 2% residual sugar.  

The tannin structure balances out the sweetness though and makes it much more palatable.

Dan said he would pair this with any holiday.

Dan was awesome for helping me out and knew his wines so well.  I loved his passion for his job and that really helps put Wattle Creek a head over other wineries that I have been to.

Because Dan was so awesome, I wanted to get to know him a little better, so I asked him a few questions.

What is your favorite wine? 2009 Chateau Montelena Estate Reserve Cab

Have you worked at other wineries? No, I was a freelance web designer prior.  I was a wine club member when opportunity arose and I never looked back.  I have official training and have read a lot of books on my own.

Do you cook? Yes, made fresh pasta from scratch last night.

What’s your favorite thing to cook? Gnocchi, pho, burgers.

Do you have children? Yes, a 1.5 year old.

What have you learned since having a kid? All of the nasty things that come along with having a baby.  Your first 4 months you have the ability to get up and do it, no matter what it is, you just get up and do it.  No why or if.  It sounds terrifying, but it was never hard for me or my wife.  Kids are fantastic.  They depend on you and love you so much, it’s great to take care of them.

If you are ever in San Francisco, go pay Dan a visit.  You will not regret it.

If you are looking for a great wine, check out their website!  This winery is one of the best wineries that I have ever been too.  I can’t wait for the opportunity to go back.