Follow Dep Lifestyle Magazine:
So this month, we got the honor to attended the Santa Lucia Highlands Gala 2016, only one a year, more than forty stellar wineries pouring some of the world’s best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah – all from the Santa Lucia Highlands. For many of our artisan vintners, this is their one public tasting of the year. We got to visit the lounge which offers the tasting and includes additional Wagner Family Wines, including Caymus from Napa Valley.
This year’s Gala will be in the barrel cellar at dramatic Mer Soleil Winery, a venue not normally open to the public.
The winegrowers and vintners of the Santa Lucia Highlands welcomed us with open arms. We got to try a lot of wines: August West, Belle Glos, Black Kite, Hope & Grace, Joyce, Kosta Browne, Lucia, Luli, Miura, Morgan, Pelerin, Roar, Siduri, Wrath and more. The SLH is California’s premier cool-climate winegrowing district. Its fifty famed mountainside vineyard estates and associated award-winning wine labels set the standard for New World Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
We got to tour the Mer Soleil Vinyard, Charlie Wagner II, the eldest of Chuck’s children and owner and winemaker for Mer Soleil winery in Santa Lucia Highlands. He personally gave us a walking tour of the Mer Soleil vineyards and production site. We got to see the production, how he makes their wines. We got to meet his beautiful family, and talked to him about his passion and how much love puts in to these bottles of wine.
The Mer Soleil Vineyard is 450 Acres and the majority of it is Chardonnay, the rest are other grapes – mainly Viognier.
The Viognier goes into making the Conundrum wine.
The vines of Mer Soleil were first planted in 1988, most of the vines are not grafted and planted on their own rootstock. Their vines neighbor Talbott Vineyards.
You could really feel the ocean breeze in the afternoon that blows away all the fog, clearing the sky, and also keep the vines cool. The grapes retain natural acidity thanks to the ocean winds. It’s such a beautiful vineyards with hundreds of lemon trees planted around the estate.
2004 Mer Soleil – It was very truffle and spicy wood nose. Textures was almost oily and rich. Also hints of saffron.