Spotlight Winery: Mellowood Vineyard
To Linda Neal of Mellowood Vineyards, wine is a way of sharing her love of the vineyards with other people. Lately, Linda has been sharing her wine all over the world! When I recently had a moment to sit down and chat with her about this article, she had just flown in from the East Coast, where she was making contacts and building relationships with vendors who will carry her Mellowood Vineyard wines and her Napa Valley label, Tierra Roja Cabernet Sauvignon. This trip was on the heels of another road trip to Southern California where she not only pours her wines but acts as a tireless advocate for the wineries of Fair Play. All this travel is paying dividends because her wines are becoming known on the national and international market. This success circles back to her love of her vinyards, where all this awesome fruit grows!
Linda's background was in the vineyard, and after running a successful vineyard management business in Napa for many years, she now spends her time split between her Oakville cabernet sauvignon vineyard and her Mellowood vineyard in Fair Play. Tending to these vineyards is a passion that Linda loves to share. She regularly schedules vineyard clinics and offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to come and work in the vineyards at specific times of the year. She offers a pruning class and a suckering class at both her vineyards for groups of up to 15 people, but classes fill up fast!
Linda believes that the terrior should show through in her wines, and her winemaker David Dasante is tasked with bringing the local character to life in each of the Mellowood wines as well as her Napa Cabernet. The Mellowood Zinfandel is simply a classic Zinfandel that should be in every Zinfandel wine-lovers cellar. Not a highly extracted fruit bomb, it is made in a more European style, very elegant and meant to be served with food. As it opens up in the glass, it begins to show more and more layers of flavors and reveals its Fair Play, Sierra Foothills pedigree. Syrah is another variety that thrives in the foothills and becomes an approachable, beautiful wine at Mellowood. Linda combines both varietals into a delicious multi-vintage blend called Red Hat, which is a nod to the Red Hat Society. Mellowood is an ultra-boutique winery that is helping to introduce the Fair Play appellation to a broader market, so be sure to head over and taste what Mellowood Vineyards is all about!
For more information visit www.mellowoodvineyard.com or call (530) 306-9454.