Oro En Paz is located on Treasure Island, smack in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. You’d be correct in guessing that no grapes are actually grown on Treasure Island. Instead, owners and longtime friends Ben Herod, Nate Clark and James Davids source fruit from small, family-run farms in largely overlooked corners of California’s Wine Country. The wines they make are extremely limited, vinified naturally and made to showcase food, not overpower with excessive alcohol or tannin. In short, these are precisely the wines we seek out for Members, and we are thrilled to introduce this micro-produced Sémillon—one of the finest renditions of this unrepresented grape we’ve ever tried.
The palate of this Lake County Semi is defined by crunchy minerality and lean citrus, which opens gradually to reveal exotic and ripe tropical fruits balanced by hints of lemon and fresh-crushed herbs. Fermentation in stainless steel and maturation in steel and totally neutral oak preserved this white’s fresh, breezy personality. For those unfamiliar with Sémillon, it’s similar to Sauvignon Blanc, and like SB, this white is perfect for poultry and seafood. Just 270 cases were produced in 2015.
· The 2015 vintage was defined by extremes: record-breakingly high temps in the Spring, proceeding record rainfall, and the more than occasional wildfire in the region, adding its own influences.
· This is a single-vineyard Sémillon comes from Luchsinger Vineyard in Lake County. Luchsinger is owned and managed by Bernie and daughter Pilar. Originally from Chile, Bernie has farmed wine grapes both in California and Chile since 1968.
· The soils of this highly specialized terroir are rich in volcanic material, which produces small berries with serious intensity.
· Oro En Paz sources fruit from sustainably farmed vineyards only, and maintains a non-interventionist philosophy in the winery.
From the winery:
Sustainably farmed on volcanic soils, this bright Semillon opens with notes of pomelo and citrus blossom leading to lemongrass and tropical fruit on the palate. Crisp and mineral driven, it exhibits strong acidity and a lengthy finish from a mix of stainless steel and neutral oak fermentation.
From the winery:
Oro En Paz is a small San Francisco winery founded by Ben Herod, Nate Clark and James Davids. San Francisco was once rich with more than a hundred small wineries. Now there are only a few, but we are proud to continue this tradition. Our name, meaning gold in peace, is taken from the old San Francisco motto and it is a symbol of our roots and our passion for great wine. Our truly hand crafted wines are grown on small, family run farms, then fermented and aged naturally like they were in the olden days. For us, Oro En Paz is about friendship, having fun, enjoying the moment and sharing with all the amazing people we meet. It is simple, genuine and delicious wine that has been cultivated and cared for with respect for the land and the people we love. The way it should be.
The story begins as Ben and James were united by the same passion and the same stubborn dreams. We were both studying Enology at Davis where we started making garage wine in glass carboys and plastic buckets. We like to wrench on things, to build and create like our fathers had taught us. Our families are full of artists, builders and musicians and through our collaboration we satisfy that deep desire and drive within our blood to craft and mold, to express and share this creation. Determined to learn as much as we could, we both went abroad in search of more traditional techniques and styles. Old-world winemaking is so much simpler and much more natural than what we were learning in Napa. In 2009, we found an old friend, Nate, who was eager to get his feet wet and his hands stained. We put him to work during harvest and the very next year we launched our first commercial vintage. Nate brought in a new perspective and skill set which helped us transition out of the garage and onto a greater stage. It was clear that Nate shared those same values and that same dream, forging a tight friendship and an even greater determination.
We are located on Treasure Island, right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Our mission is to preserve and promote the natural flavors of the vineyard site and grape varietal through careful, well timed harvesting and simple hands-off winemaking. Our wines have natural acidity and a low, balanced amount of alcohol. Most importantly we spend a lot of our time with the small farmers that grow our fruit, helping out as much as possible so that we understand our vines and the families that tend them. There is something magical that happens when generations of the same family watch over and care for the crop. The wines we make and the vineyards they come from pay homage to the style and values we found in Europe. They are elegant, restrained and food friendly. Since all of our wines are made from one grape varietal and are grown in a single vineyard, you can truly experience the uniqueness of both the vineyard and the vintage. We are proud that our wine doesn't taste the same wine every year. That's something which is hard to find in an industry that often sacrifices genuine flavor for the sake of following trends. We bottle real, natural wine that has a lot of love and attention poured into it.
This will taste amazing alongside some spicy Asian cuisine, seafood, or a poultry dish.