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Nectar of the gods

By From page A8 | February 02, 2014

It’s hard not to be impressed by the prospects for Solano County wines based on news from that particular agricultural sector.

Chuck Wagner of Caymus Vineyards in Napa County wooed a Fairfield audience when he spoke Thursday at the Solano County Economic Development Corporation’s 31st annual meeting.

His massive Wagner Family of Wine project on Cordelia Road, at the former Hopkins Ranch, will upon completion include a winery along with a bottling and distribution complex, and related activities, according to county-approved permits.

They’ll begin planting a vineyard within a few weeks, Wagner said.

The project is scheduled for completion in phases through 2018. The operating capacity will hit 5 million gallons of wine annually, by far the largest in Solano County.

The new Wagner Family of Wine operation will be in fine company.

Wine grapes rank sixth in value on Solano County’s annual crop report for 2012 – the latest available – at nearly $19.8 million. Indications from last fall are that the 2013 grapes should produce fine wines, perhaps enough to push wine grapes into the county’s top five million-dollar commodities.

Meanwhile the Buzz Oates project on Cordelia Road continues apace. Wine bottle supplier Encore Glass is on track to lease a nearly completed 318,000-square-foot building there. Meanwhile Saxco International, which provides packaging for the wine, beer, liquor and food industries, has signed on for a 473,000-square-foot warehouse.

Simply smooth

We have a slew award-winning wines from right here in Suisun Valley, based on the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. It’s billed as the largest competition of American wines in the world, so to win, place or show there is no small feat. Napa Valley wines were certainly well-represented, but so were our Suisun Valley wines.

Vezer Family Vineyard and Wooden Valley Winery cleaned up while a trio of other Suisun Valley wineries made solid showings.

  • Vezer’s 2012 Verdelho won best of class, its Jakes Cellar Master red blend won gold, and its 2010 Petite Sirah, 2012 Black Muscat and 2010 Zinfandel each won silver.
  • Wooden Valley’s 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and 2011 Merlot each won gold, its 2011 Petite Sirah and 2011 Zinfandel won silver, and its 2009 Lanza Cabernet Sauvignon and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon each won bronze.
  • Ledgewood Creek Winery & Vineyards won gold for its 2010 Syrah, silver for its 2010 Rhone blend and bronze for its 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • GrapeHeart Vineyards won silver for its 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and bronze for its 2010 The Beat red blend.
  • Suncé Winery & Vineyard scored bronze with its 2011 Suisun Valley Syrah.

Solano County’s Putah Creek Winery, meanwhile, earned five silvers: for its 2011 Syrah, its 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, its 2009 Tannat, its 2012 unoaked Chardonnay and its 2011 Barbera.

For those who are interested, the public tasting is scheduled Feb. 15 at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.


Discussion | 1 comment

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  • Mike KirchubelFebruary 02, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    Suisun Valley is producing some excellent wines. Do yourself a favor and try some.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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