I recently had the opportunity of sipping a wine I was aware of, yet had never had the experience of tasting. Being among other things, one of my favorite vices in the wine arena, this is a sparkling wine called Vernacci Nera, from Marche, Umbria Italy. While visiting with wineries in Southern California, I came across this spectacular sparkling wine in Temecula, California, at the Chapin Family Vineyards.
My knowledge and research of this grape has revealed that it in fact light skinned, and at least in Italy, used quite often with others to produce white wines, and is called just Vernacci, grown in the region of that name. The Vernacci Nera grapes are a darker variety used most often for production of sparkling red wines in the Marche Region, located east and central coast of Italy. In Italy, these are sold as Vernacci di Serrapetrona.
Steve Chapin had the foresight and professionalism, along with just wanting to produce the highest quality wines by doing something others could learn from him. He hired a consultant from Italy by the name of Marco Cavaleri, who in fact brought this grape to the Chapin Vineyards. The results are in the glass.
So here I am, sipping my way through the Chapin Family Wines, and becoming more impressed with each variety that passed my nose and lips. When Steve poured me some of this beautiful sparkling red, and I do mean beautiful, with a tempting deep ruby red hue of effervescence, I had the feeling I was about to reach nirvana. As I brought the glass up to my nose, swirling I caught a floral aroma along with ripe fruit. My first sip brought ripe red berry fruits, raspberry and a pleasantly mild sweetness to the palate. As the second sip passed my mid palate, along with a multitude of tiny bubbles, I was dreaming lounging on the deck of my ranch on a warm summer day, enjoying this beauty with light appetizers, or nothing at all. The fact is, I was so impressed with this wine; I would serve it before a dinner party, after a dinner party, or as a dinner party!
One very interesting note, as I sipped my second glass, and by the way, no “spit bucket” with this wine, my notes express that I could almost taste Grenache in this wine. I do have on of my favorite Southern Oregon wineries, Abacela, who produces some fine Grenache, providing me with keen taste memories. Since this tasting I have learned that these grapes were found to be a relative of the Grenache family. Score Gary!
I then leave you with this information. If you ever have the opportunity to try this varietal, do it. If you want to experience it for yourself, something I highly recommend, Chapin Family Vineyards will ship it to you, if your state approves of course. And when you get you case of it, be sure to serve your friends this tasty treat, serve it at 50 degrees F.
Clink Clink my friends,