“What should we plant?”
When we decided to plant grapes at Folded Hills, we chose the western face of the hillside overlooking the Nojoqui Valley. While the California sun bathes the hillside, the magic is the glorious coastal fog that blankets and teases the grapes in a diurnal dance. Folded Hills is the southernmost winery on the Central Coast, so we were taking a big chance planting here.
“What should we plant?”, we asked a number of people in the wine business. The response was always, “Plant what you love to drink.” Well, Andy liked beer, so that was no help, and I liked Pinot Noir. As we tested the soil, the climate, the sun, fog, and rain, we learned that we could make a mediocre Pinot Noir. Definitely not what we were after. So we decided instead to listen to the land. What did the land in this organic valley want to grow? The answer came back definitively – Rhône varietals.
But what were Rhônes? Andy and I didn’t know much about them. As we talked, I mentioned to our winemaker that I loved Châteauneuf du Pape. Guess what? CDP (as the cool kids call it) is the quintessential Rhône wine. A Châteauneuf du Pape is a GSM, a blend of lovely French grapes: Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
From that moment on, I knew we wanted to include a classic GSM wine in the Folded Hills lineup. It took a while, but we insisted on taking the long road, an ambitious and fastidious process. The vines were young, and our best grapes went into the single varietals of Syrah and Grenache. Also, we didn’t grow Mourvèdre – growing Mourvèdre on the Central Coast is a challenging proposition. We needed to source excellent organic Mourvèdre. We found fabulous Mourvèdre grapes at Thompson Vineyard, and off we went to create a Central Coast, French-style GSM.
The blend of these three grapes is a match made in heaven. Grenache brings the delicate, almost feminine, red fruit notes of raspberry. Syrah lends its tannins and spice. Mourvèdre, full-bodied and brooding, offers a lovely balance with savory plum.
Our Folded Hills GSM drinks well alone and pairs beautifully with grilled red meats. It will delight with difficult-to-pair Mexican dishes like mole and roasted chicken. My tip? Save a sip for dessert and try a bite of chocolate or brownies with the last of your bottle of GSM.
My favorite is serving the Folded Hills GSM alongside complex, sweet, and savory Moroccan spiced dishes like Garam Masala Roasted Chicken with Fig Jus. Click on the image below for a printable recipe courtesy of Food and Wine.
Folded Hills Executive Chef Mark serves this comforting dish with a delicious side dish: Pearl Couscous with Moroccan spices. Click HERE for recipe.
This new release marks the fourth vintage of this outstanding wine, and we are so excited to share it with you.
Hope you enjoy!