Onward Wines

2017 Carignane

Complex and layered but greets you the way a beloved grandmother would, with open arms!

About this wine

The aromas open with fresh fruits: sun-drenched brambleberries and plum, moving into spiced fruit compote, warm plum upside-down cake, while hints of rose wood and violets dance about the palate which is velvety, with lush tannins and a vibrant acidity to bring it all together. This wine is full of plush, dark fruit and baking spice. She is complex and layered but greets you the way a beloved grandmother would, with open arms. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with this heritage field blend site. It is the oldest vineyard in the area, sustainably and dry farmed and planted in the late 1800s (!). This vineyard lies along the edges of both the San Francisco and Suisun Bays. Walking in the vineyard is like walking on a beach, as it sits on 100% sandy soils, giving rise to smaller, hardy bush vines. The vines have been trained so the fruit is shaded from the wind and sun and the result is an intensity of flavors that opens to black fruits with a soft lushness due to the maturity of the tannins and the intensity of the site. The cool breezes from the bays result in a wonderful retention of acidity that is often lost in warm climates. While this block is predominantly Carignane, it has some Mourvèdre and Malvasia Nero interplanted in it. The vineyard is leased and farmed by Dan Gonsalves. It is affectionately called Casa Roja, named by the locals years ago. A layer of whole cluster was placed at the bottom of the fermentor, then the remaining fruit was de-stemmed and the whole berries transferred to the open-top fermentation tanks to cold soak prior to native fermentation, which allows for delicate extraction and adds complexity. Gentle extraction was ensured also by performing punchdowns to mix the must, while higher temperatures are encouraged here to soften tannins. After fermentation, the wine was pressed and sent to neutral French oak barrels, where native malolactic fermentation was encouraged (by keeping them cozy with some stirring).

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Meet the Winemaker

Faith Armstrong Foster


Onward Wines

As refreshing as the Pétillant Naturel she makes of Malvasia Bianca, many of the words used to describe Faith Armstrong Foster’s wine could be used to describe the winemaker herself. Honest, vibrant, unfiltered, true to her origins, bright, complex. To get to know Faith, taste one of her wines and then ask her a question about how it is made. Sit back and relax. You are about to be introduced to her passion.