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Keep it Cool With Quivira 2014 Rosé

The bloom is on the rosé. Spring came early to Sonoma County this year, so we’re making the best of the unusually warm weather by enjoying the first rosé wines of the 2014 vintage.

Traditionally, stacks of dry rosé wine from the south of France pile up in wine shops in later spring or early summer. Now, Sonoma County wineries like Quivira Vineyards of Dry Creek Valley are making Rhône-style rosé wines of equivalent quality, and we get them a few months earlier!

But this also a time of year when early morning frosts returns to menace vineyards in low-lying areas. Quivira is located in just such a frost pocket in the northwest corner of Dry Creek Valley. They used to protect their vines’ new growth by covering them with a continuous shower from the sprinkler system—half an inch per hour. When everything works correctly, this widely used practice is the “gold standard” of frost protection, said Ned Horton, vineyard manager at Quivira. 

But over dozens of acres, that’s a lot of water. After putting forward a compelling argument, Horton convinced Quivira owner Pete Kight that the sustainability-oriented winery could do the job with agricultural wind machines instead of water. The machines are expensive, but investments like these that Sonoma County winegrowers are making may be invaluable to fisheries and the future health of the watershed.

Quivira’s 2014 Dry Creek Valley Rosé ($22) has a light, orange pink hue (2013 bottle is pictured). A hint of green, freshly-broken twig spices up an aroma of orange rind and strawberries-and-cream. Quivira aims for a mainly Grenache-based rosé, with a little Syrah and Mourvèdre adding to the mix. Very dry, it’s chalky and crisp, with a balance of flavor and restraint that should appeal to Rhône rosé “purists” as well as those who enjoy any well-made, refreshing wine.


Wine and Food Pairing Recipe: Smoked Salmon Paté
From the Quivira Kitchen


1 small shallot
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch white pepper
generous dash Tabasco
1/2 pound dry smoked salmon, bones and skin removed


Chop shallot in processor, then add remaining ingredients and blend well.
Spoon into one or two crocks and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Serve with water crackers or thinly sliced cocktail bread.
This keeps well in the deep freeze for several months and is convenient to have on hand.
Makes about one cup.

Find more info about Sonoma County wineries.

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