I stopped by Alfaro Winery recently for a tasting and was smitten with the 2021 “Whole Cluster” Pinot Noir ($48). Fortunately, Ryan Alfaro, son of Richard and Mary Kay Alfaro who started their wine operation back in 1997, was on hand to tell me all about this wine. As winemaker of the “Whole Cluster” Pinot, Ryan certainly knows the ins and outs of it.
Ryan said the Pinot is selling at a brisk clip, not surprisingly. Gaining a wealth of knowledge from his winemaker father Richard Alfaro, the expertise that Ryan shows in his winemaking skills is certainly revealed in this well-made Pinot. The velvety-textured wine has well-integrated tannins and acidity, making it a perfect pairing with fatty foods such as salmon, or roasted chicken and pasta dishes.
The wine was made with 100% whole clusters, hence the name, with grapes from the Lindsay Paige Vineyard (named for Ryan’s sister). The inclusion of stems during fermentation leads to an abundance of floral and spice on the nose, and ripe Bing cherry and blackberry elements on the palate. It is aged for 10 months in neutral French oak barrels—the end result being an outstanding Pinot to enjoy right now.
It’s very easy to find Alfaro wines. They are sold in many local markets and restaurants and the family participates in wine-related events far and wide.
Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery, 420 Hames Road, Corralitos, 831-728-5172. Alfarowine.com
Chaminade’s Vine to View Dinner
If you have never experienced a Vine to View dinner at Chaminade, then the time is ripe! These seasonal dining extravaganzas are held outdoors, complete with a panoramic vista of the Monterey Bay. The next dinner is Oct. 20 featuring Calerrain Wines. Visit Chaminade.com for info.