Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery - Barbera

Barbera Wine Information

Barbera is an ancient variety with its historical roots in Italy, where today it remains the second most widely planted red variety, after Sangiovese.

The highest quality Barberas come from the Piedmont region. Barbera is also produced in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Sardinia. Barbera is also grown in Slovenia and is the fifth most widely planted variety in California.

Barbera vines are popular with growers, vigorous and reliably productive in a wide variety of soils and also highly resistant to fungal diseases. The fruit is naturally high in acid, which it retains very well, even in hot climates. Barbera grapes are also high in anthocyanins, but only low to moderate in tannin content. The resulting wines are deep, purplish black in their youth, but tend to early browning and lightening as they age. Tannin from oak aging can help somewhat to stabilize color.

Although normally indistinct in aroma, when cultivated in temperate areas and cropped for quality, Barbera can exhibit an attractive ripe aroma of red fruit, currants or blackberries that can be enhanced by vanilla, smoky or toasty notes added by barrel aging. On the other hand, neutral aroma, high color and acidity are all good characteristics for blending with other grapes and this is how Barbera is most frequently used.

Most California Barbera is grown in the Central Valley and finds its way into generic or proprietary blends. The Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles, Santa Clara and Sonoma, where very warm days are moderated by cool nights, produce some of the state’s best varietal Barberas.

This Barbera is so very intriguing that you just can’t put it down. A medium-body wine with crisp fruit flavors sherry, strawberry and hints of raspberry – it’s smooth and luscious core of fruit offers a balanced, yet lingering finish that keeps bringing you back for just one more taste. Enjoy!

Cabernet Franc Wine Information

Recent studies in ampelography, using the relatively new application of DNA fingerprinting, have determined that cabernet franc is one of the genetic parents of cabernet sauvignon (the other is sauvignon blanc). Both cabernet varieties are among the five major grapes of Bordeaux. The differences between franc andsauvignon become apparent when grown and fermented in close proximity.

Cabernet franc vines bear thinner-skinned, earlier-ripening grapes with lower overall acidity, when compared to cabernet sauvignon. Yields are similar, although cabernet franc normally buds and ripens somewhat earlier. Consequently vineyards in climates where rain is a harvest-time threat often plant this grape, in place of or in addition to cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet franc vines survive cold winters better than cabernet sauvignon, but are more susceptible to being damaged by Spring frosts.

Depending a great deal on vineyard practices, the flavor profile of Cabernet Franc may be both fruitier and sometimes more herbal or vegetative than Cabernet Sauvignon, although lighter in both color and tannins. Over-cropping and underexposure each tend to accentuate the vegetative flavor elements. Typically somewhat spicy in aroma and often reminiscent of plums and especially violets, Cabernet Franc is more often used as a secondary or tertiary element in varietally-blended red wines, such as Bordeaux or Meritage, instead of as a stand-alone varietal bottling.

Renowned for its elegance and floral aroma, Our Cabernet Franc is a medium-bodied soft wine which enhances almost any entree.

The Northern Sierra Foothills warm, dry days and cool nights provide the ideal growing environment to nurture and mature Cabernet Franc. We have produced a wonderful example of what this wine can offer with lots of red fruit, hints of spice, lavender and sweet earthiness. Enjoy with friends and family!

Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery - LiVedo

RED –  Ripe plum and red grape on entry,  with smooth berry flavors mid-palate – lingering darker red fruit on the finish – Blend of Barbera (47%),  Cabernet Franc (25%), Petite Verdot (22%), Petite Sirah (6%)

This years red blend with its rich flavors, medium body and lasting finish will endear you to it. LiVedo literally translates from Italian to “I See You!”. It is a play of words in the whimsical game of “PEEK A Boo” and the brand PEAK A Boo produced by Pilot Peak Winery. Enjoy this wine with Food, Family & Friends – Have some Fun!

Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery - Odyssey

This limited vintage is a delicious red wine that represents the fusion of the “Fun & Friends” that we have been so fortunate to make at the PEAK!

Enjoy the fruit & smooth lingering finish while following our adventures as we continue to celebrate life & the journey that awaits us!

This limited vintage is a delicious red wine that represents the fusion of the “Fun & Friends” that we have been so fortunate to make at the PEAK!

Enjoy the fruit & smooth lingering finish while following our adventures as we continue to celebrate life & the journey that awaits us!

Petite Sirah Wine Information

Widely grown grape variety in California. Thought by some to be the same stock as the minor french Durif grape, but originally cultivated and labeled as Petite Sirah only in California, its origin was unknown and identification uncertain and could only be speculated upon, until late in 2003.

Historically, the majority of vineyards plantings identified as Petite Sirah were actually mixed varieties of a dozen or more distinct types, but often including grapes with confusingly similar characteristics, such as Durif, Peloursin, and Syrah.

Just over 3,200 acres of grapes identified as Petite Sirah were planted in California as of year 2000. Although only a portion of these vineyards have been surveyed, recent DNA evidence from research led by Dr. Carole Meredith at the University of California at Davis has confirmed most plantings to be the same grape as Durif. About 10% however, is Peloursin, which, observed in the field, is practically indistinguishable from Durif, even by expert ampelographers.

This grape produces a dark red, tannic wine in the warm regions of California, used mainly as backbone for Central Valley “jug” wines for color and mouthfeel.

In the cooler northern regions (like us), it can be made into a robust, balanced red wine of some popularity.

This deep, ruby red Petite Sirah conveys flavors of dark blackberry and black cherry riding on a light toasted oak. Rich texture, complexity and just plain lushness – take the time to swirl it in your glass and enjoy its lingering finish. Our Petite Sirah will leave your taste buds smiling seductively – begging for more.

Fresh raspberries and blackberries, prunes and quince, black pepper, leather and even tar are the descriptors that identify this variety, typical of France, which today finds its highest expression in Australia

Sirah Wine Information

Syrah is the only grape used to make the famous Rhône wines of Côte Rotie and Hermitage, but also forms the backbone of most Rhône blends, including Chateauneuf du Pape.

Although cultivated since antiquity, competing claims to the origin of this variety gave credit to it either being transplanted from Persia, near the similarly-titled city of Shiraz or to being a native plant of France. Starting in 1998, combined research of the University of California at Davis and the French National Agronomy Archives in Montpellier proved syrah is indeed indigenous to France. DNA profiling proved syrah to be a genetic cross of two relatively obscure varieties, mondeuse blanc and dureza.

More than half the world’s total Syrah acreage is planted in France, but it is also a successful grape in Australia (called Shiraz or Hermitage), South Africa and California. Syrah is a fairly new variety in California, first introduced in 1971. Some of the state’s vines were propagated from Hermitage and some from Australian cuttings. It is also one of California’s most rapidly increasing varieties. In 1984, there were less than 100 acres. Syrah now accounts for 12,700 vineyard acres, almost half of which is less than three years old and not yet bearing fruit.

Syrah vines are relatively productive, yet not too vigorous. Like Merlot, it is sensitive to coulure, and although Syrah buds fairly late, it is a mid-season ripener. Syrah requires heat to get fully ripe, but can lose varietal character when even slightly overripe. The berry is thick-skinned and dark, almost black.

Syrah forms intense wines, with deep violet, nearly black color, chewy texture and richness, and often alcoholic strength, with aromas that tend to be more spicy than fruity. 

Our AWARD winning Syrah’s are special in so many ways – nicely ripened aromas & flavors of big dark cherries & blackberry fruit – the finish lingers in your mouth, waiting for you to fully realize what this special wine offers. Reward yourself with an Award Winning wine – You deserve it!

Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery - Tempranillo

Tempranillo Wine Information

Tempranillo is avariety of black grape widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native spain. It is the main grape used in rioja, and is often referred to as spain’s “noble grape”. Its name is the diminutive of the spanish temprano (“early”), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most spanish red grapes. In the last 100 years it has been planted in south america, usa, south africa, australia, and canada.

The tempranillo grape, also called “tinta del pais” or “tinta roriz”, is the key in most spanish wines. It is unusual to find this variety in mono-varietal wines out of spain because although it produces a colored wine, its acidity is very low and is low in tannins.

This wine is Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon and it helped us produce a wonderfully drinkable, deep colored, full-bodied wine with characteristics of red berries, sweet spice & hints of fresh tobacco. The wine is rich and offers an essence of earthiness that demands a great steak. Don’t disappoint it or yourself – Go for it!