Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fiddlehead Cellars: Onward, Upward, Sideways

Kathy Joseph started Fiddlehead Cellars 20 years ago on the premise, "It's the grapes, stupid," and decided to go after the ones she liked best whether they were growing in Santa Ynez or Willamette -- just as long as they were Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc.

Terence Livingston, Fiddlehead's national sales manager and general bon vivant, stopped by our neck of the vineyards a few days ago with some open bottles to taste over a lunch of salmon, stuffed rolled chicken breast and beef bourguignon at Susan Teiser's Centreville Cafe on the outskirts of Delaware. It was Fiddlehead's Sauvignon that got the big plug in the movie Sideways, but it was probably the movie's headlong, Limbaugh-like pummeling of Merlot and its flat-out praising of Pinot Noir that helped Joseph's Noir get more national recognition, along with other producers along California's Central Coast.

According to Livingston, Fiddlehead is planning a move soon out of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto into the fresh air of the nearby countryside with the construction of a new winery.

In the meantine, the wines continue to taste delicious, with the three Pinots I sipped reflecting the house style of ripe, but not overly extracted, fruit, with the spicy sassafras/root beer undertones.

And Teiser's food was pretty damn good, too.

Until next time....

Roger Morris

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