Pour the Stars: It’s Bogle Winery’s Media Night.
A Blanc de Blancs Welcome
We started sipping on sparkling wine shortly after we descended from a carriage2 that whisked us from the rush hour of Downtown Sacramento and transported us into the midst of slowly swaying3 vines of Clarksburg Wine Country. In the shuttle, I met a fellow wanderluster Megan MacNee of Traveling Nine to Fiver. Megan’s elegant writing reflects her personality – lighthearted and insightful. In the shuttle, too, were Josiah Velasquez of Common Space Sacramento; and Haley Titus of Colour Me Classic, among other attendees. Josiah is a gifted photographer4 and Haley, a charismatic creative with whom I had an inspiring conversation with. They were my preview to the cast of other wonderful characters in the evening’s festivities.
The Blanc de Blancs accompanied an exchange of social grace in a space iconic of the wine region. The bubbly inspired laughter and levity; and with its effervescence, silently prophesied of stars to canopy an elegant dinner party. Although I adore all three of Bogle’s Chardonnays, the fruit’s transformation as Blanc de Blancs is particularly memorable. While sipping on my bubbly, I met Ashley Newell, another local Blogger. Ashley wore a dress with a recurring watermelon print, which I found so cheerful. I chatted with others and was spellbound by Sady‘s positively infectious energy.
Chenin Blanc’s Elegy to Departed Potatoes
Just as my sparkling wine disappeared, Jody Bogle appeared5 and shared her family’s story. Her words queued the pouring of Chenin Blanc to accompany a somewhat whimsical tale of Clarksburg Wine Country’s birth from a field of dead potatoes. In the 1960s, Jody’s grandfather planted potatoes, which did not survive. Their demise lead to the discovery that the killer soil would exceptionally grow grapes. In 1969, the family planted vineyards and from a potato graveyard Chenin Blanc was born to become the flagship grape of this region. Clarksburg Wine Country is known as “The Chenin Blanc Capital of the World6.” The Chenin Blanc we tasted had an aroma and flavor profile of tropical fruits – guava, little chunks of pineapple, a little squeeze of lemon, and a splash of peach. It makes you imagine pairings with sweet cheese, sweet and sour Asian food, and a lemon bar; and it presents itself as poolside cocktail alternative.
From Pink to Red to a Sustainable Future
After sips of Chenin Blanc and a swift journey through the Bogle family history, we hesitantly surrendered our glasses and followed Bogle siblings Jody and Ryan to the courtyard overlooking the vineyards. There, a gallery of wine glasses glistening with pink juice welcomed our approach: The Rosé was ready to present its ravishing self. The vintage we tasted is Bogle’s first7 pink, a truly fabulous first. It was everlasting spring and summer in a glass. As we pursued our pinks, Ryan Bogle prompted a pondering on environmental stewardship as he spoke of their extensive sustainability program. In drinking Bogle wine, not only do you bring bliss into your life, but you also contribute to bringing hope for saving what we can of the earth for future generations. With such benevolent thoughts, we transitioned to the reds with the Reserve Pinot Noir, the mother grape for the Rosé wine. Bogle sourced the grapes from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma but crafted and aged the wine in Clarksburg. The resulting gift: velvety flow of dark cherries, herbal notes, and an expressive elegance. While I sipped on the Pinot Noir, I chatted with Ryan about how proud I am as a Sacramento transplant to have Bogle Winery as a local Sacramento winery. For a long time, I drove visiting family and friends to Napa Valley, as it was the only Northern California Wine Country I was intimate with; and the only region my guests wanted to visit. That changed when I “discovered” Clarksburg about two years ago. Since then, I have made it a habit to introduce visitors to Bogle’s special wines. I told Ryan, too, of how it delights me that despite the fine wine level of craftsmanship and exceptional quality of their wines, they have remained approachable and welcoming to everyone. This is a remarkable feat for a brand with such high level of integrity and global distinction attached to it, and demonstrates the down-to-earth nature of this wine house.
Cheese with my Pinot Noir sounded good, so I walked toward the cheese spread and found Dan and Allie of Love and Risotto in the same area. I met this husband and wife Blogger team last year at the International Food Bloggers Conference, and it was wonderful to see them again. As I was chatting with Allie and Dan, I met Vania of Freud and Fashion and her sister Melanie of Therapy Seeds MFT, fresh from their little fashion photo shoot8.
Blending Bonding in the Barrel Room
At the cusp of late afternoon and sunset, we returned indoors to see the newly remodeled tasting room. Jake Castro, the artist, deconstructed old wine barrels into strips then wove them together to create a wall draping of warmth and charm. On another wall, still using re-purposed wine barrels, the artist depicts a pictorial history of Bogle Family Wines. The art is elegant, impressive, and immersive: You literally taste wine inside a wine barrel9. We continued our jovial time together and listened to the winemakers, Eric Aafedt and Dana Stemmler10, who gave us a little glimpse of the science and art of winemaking. We partnered with another guest and created our own Bordeaux blend. I was fortunate to pair with the lovely Juli Boggs of Juli Blogs who adores a similar palate preference. We stayed true to our palate’s craving and made a symphonic red heavily saturated with our favorite Malbec. We knew it would not be close to the winemakers’ blend and that the prize will not be our’s, but we stayed true to the dictates of our palate, and stubbornly blended, bottled, and corked our favorite cuvee.
Dine Under a Dashing Draping of Stars
As if the past few hours were not magical enough, we exited the barrel room and sat down to enjoy dinner under the stars11 For dinner, I sat with a new set of individuals – Angel, Juliene, and Rachel, all wonderful, all enchanted with the wine-drenched evening. To pair with dinner, we had a parade of three more wines – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and the limited release red wine blend named Reverence. I must admit, I snubbed the Sauvignon Blanc, not because I did not care for it, but because I liked the Reserve Chardonnay more. I love buttery Chardonnay, especially with food, and Bogle’s Reserve is a staple at home. By the time I made it to the Reverence, my palate, unfortunately, was already thick with happy stains of previous wines I tasted; and could no longer effectively discern from good or bad; although I was perfectly sure it was good, just not sure HOW good. Fortunately, my Red Wagon Wine Club shipment, which I picked-up before leaving the estate, contained two bottles of Reverence; and the next day, in Sin City, after pool time, and in a cool room overlooking an imposter Eiffel Tower, I selfishly experienced Reverence the way it should: by itself, by myself, and with a fresh palate. It was a glorious moment.
Bogle Winery’s Media Night invitational generously took us on a captivating immersion into their identity through a tasting of about a dozen of their wines paired with words, wonder, and whimsical moments. The progression of wine profiles although I’m sure, wonderfully calculated felt organic; and flowed perfectly with the movement of the sun, our moods, and the appearance of the stars12. Although I was already intimately familiar with their wines, I still left the event with new discoveries about the wines, the creators, and the family responsible for sustaining the brand’s humble and down-to-earth charm. I look forward to returning to be captivated all over again, with or without stars to end the night.
37783 County Road 144
Clarksburg, CA 95612
Tasting Room Hours:
Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
- Bogle Winery’s Public Relations firm invited local Bloggers, journalists, and other creatives to the winery’s first Media Night.
- A shuttle that Bogle generously provided.
- A little bit romanticized, I admit.
- And apparently, a magician, too, although I cannot speak of his magic tricks, yet.
- Ok, she was around the whole time welcoming everyone, but a grand entrance sounded more dramatic.
- The French of the Loire valley are protesting.
- If I remember correctly.
- I should have done that, too.
- Or many wine barrels, for that matter!
- Dana is one of the most beautiful winemakers I have met. Like a dork, I told her, “Thank you for all that you do.” What the…
- Yes, I am being romantic again. They were star-like lights.
- Ok, artificial stars