New Wedding Wine: Sebastopol’s Agavé Garden
Sonoma County is celebrated for its fine wines of nearly every grape variety, from Albarino to Zinfandel. Yet how about something truly different for a Wine Country wedding – agavé wines, in refreshing flavors of tropical, cranberry, ginger, peach, or passion fruit-orange-guava?
While traditional Sonoma County grape wines likely will take their rightful place at the reception supper table, for something new and exciting, a wedding couple can consider an aperitif of Agavé Garden wines, handcrafted by Owl Ridge Wine Services of Sebastopol. The appeal is a fruity, semisweet, lower alcohol refresher, with distinct, bright flavors to match the joyful mood of the celebration.
The idea has been long in the making. “After testing the market for the past couple of years, we are now ready to expand production and national distribution,” said Owl Ridge president and CEO John Tracy. The Russian River Valley company sources premium, organic Blue Weber agavé grown in Mexico, using the heart of the plant containing aguamiel or “honey water.”
A wedding reception might offer high-proof tequilas and mescal, but for a lighter, sassy sipper, the agavé wines come in at 11 percent alcohol. As Tracy noted, they’re made like a cross between tequila and wine, with the agavé nectar highly refined into a light syrup, which is blended with a bit of water and fermented like a quality white wine, for a long cool stay in stainless steel tanks at temperatures below 70 degrees.
In fact, Owl Ridge is best known for its grape wines, under the labels of Owl Ridge and Willowbrook Cellars, both made at their Russian River facility.
For the agavé wine, sweetness comes in gently, as with a dessert wine, to be enjoyed as an aperitif, over ice, with a splash of soda, or mixed into an agavé wine cocktail. And they’re just the quaff to go with wedding cake.
Just like other fine wines, agavé flavor profiles are complex, including:
- Agavé Garden Tropical wine has intense aromas of fresh pineapple, followed by bright flavors of coconut, ripe banana and a hint of mango.
- Agavé Garden Cranberry wine displays a beautiful garnet color with aromas of cranberry. On the palate, the mouth is filled with fresh cranberries, hibiscus herbal tea and lingering hints of grapefruit.
- Agavé Garden Ginger wine has a fragrant nose of freshly grated ginger, followed by vibrant bursts of ginger and lime flavors; ideally paired with spicy Asian cuisine.
- Agavé Garden Peach wine has a creamy golden hue and intense aromas and flavors of fresh peaches with subtle nuances of orange and mango.
- Agavé Garden Passion Fruit-Orange-Guava wine reflects aromas reminiscent of the Hawaiian Islands with ripe passion fruit and guava flavors, framed with orange zest and citrus.
For a fun, custom touch, the wines reflect bright, jewel hues of gold, ruby and peridot, with capsules in royal rich tones of gold, green, red, orange and purple. A bride can select colors to complement the wedding theme.
Recipe for Agavé Garden Cranberry Cosmo
- 1-1/2 oz. vodka
- 2 oz. Cranberry Agavé Garden Wine
- 1/2 oz. triple sec
- 1/4 oz. Rose’s lime juice
Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake well. Rim an iced martini glass with sugar and pour into a glass.
Details: Agavé Garden Wines, P.O. Box 1514, Sebastopol, 707-823-0149, agavegarden.com.
Planning a wedding? Get free wedding assistance from Sonoma County Tourism.