who grows the grapes? who makes the wines?
Charlie Barra sat down with us in Chicago a few years back to chat about the winery, his family history, and his place in the history of California wine. You can watch the short video here.
what wines do they make?
The latest addition to the Girasole lineup is Hybrid Red, a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet, Merlot and sometimes Petite Sirah. It’s bolder than any of these grapes individually, yet has interesting layers that keep it interesting in the glass.
when did the winery start? when might you open a bottle?
As California wine came of age over the last fifty to sixty years, the Barra’s have been in the thick of the industry’s growth, selling grapes to other pioneering families like the Mondavi’s and the Wente’s while introducing innovative viticultural practices to protect grapes from frost, to improve the efficiency of hand harvesting, to preserve and promote grower’s rights, to collect and reuse water, and many more. The family launched their own winery at the end of the 1990′s, completing the path from farm to bottle.
Girasole Vineyards’ wines, as clean as they are, they tend to work in all sorts of situations, from a stand alone glass of wine with friends to rather elaborate preparations where they support the quality of ingredients without overwhelming them. This is a rare ability, especially for inexpensive wines, but it’s hardly surprising given the decades of knowledge that the Barra’s press into each bottle.
where is the winery?
The Barra’s 200 acres of fruit are tucked into this green, well preserved country. They have three main vineyard sites, all of which they own and farm themselves, meaning that the wines are made exclusively with organically grown, estate grown fruit.
why is it a Candid Wine? why might you want to taste?
One reason the wines are so affordable is the same reason we are proud to be associated with the family: the vines are watered with reserves from a reservoir the family built among the vines. Instead of buying water each year from the State of California and taxing and already strained supply of clean water, the Barras use water that collects in their reservoir system each year. That keeps the bills low and contributes to a truly sustainable farming model that is rare in the wine world.
Year in and year out the wines they bottle reflect the work they do and the choices they make in the vineyard and they seem to grow in popularity with each public tasting we host. As a restaurant buyer or retail manager, you might want to taste these wines because they represent an almost unheard of price to quality ratio for domestic wines, with a track record for consistency to match. Most of the people who buy wine from Candid Wines purchase them based entirely on wine quality and price. Some of our customers also focus on offering wines made from organic grapes, wines that contain no genetically modified organisms, and Vegan wines. Girasole Vineyards’ wines cover all these bases, should they be important to your customers
how is it made?
No animal byproducts are used in making the wine, and they are vegan friendly.