This great little family-run winery is often missed by the wine country tourists as they travel along the Silverado Trail. We hope you don’t pass it by, because there are a lot of reasons to like this wonderful winery. Owner William Harrison purchased his estate in the Rutherford AVA in the late 1970’s and sold his grapes until he decided it was high time to make his own wine. Today the winery is in its 19th vintage year.We visited William Harrison a couple of week ago and, as often happens with small family-run wineries, the owner or winemaker will take a stint in the tasting room. On our visit, we had the good fortune to have winemaker Jim McMahon hosting the tasting room for the day. Jim came from Luna Vineyards and became head winemaker at William Harrison in 2009.
Trefethen 2008 Fallow
First, I receive a bizarre miniature bottle called Fallow from Trefethen Vineyards. No information about why the bottle was sent, just a very hilarious winemaking note describing the aroma and flavors of this empty 50ml wine bottle. What’s up with this I thought. I don’t get it. Then, last Friday, my UPS guy rings the door and has me sign for a small box that he says is wine. I know better, no box that light or small can contain wine. Wrong, here from Trefethen again, is a small fancy box containing four 50 ml. wine bottles. But this time, the bottles are filled with wine. Yeah! Two each of their Double T 2008 Chardonnay and their Double T 2007 Red Wine. Now, I get it. This is a new concept for sampling wine that makes sense. Wineries using these small bottles can send out many samples instead of just a few regular-size bottles to wine bloggers, restaurants, and others without busting their PR budget. Although I would rather get a full bottle, this is a wise option for a winery that wants to introduce its wines to a host of people. Ggrich Hills, Patz & Hall, and Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley are also early adopters of this novel approach to wine samples. The company behind all this is TastingRoom.com and if you look at their website you can find out how they go about processing these miniature bottles of wine. Incidentally, I polished off the four bottles of wine that I was sent and have judged both the Chardonnay and the Red Wine to be of delicious quality, as are all the Trefethen wines I have tasted.