- The Oceano 2017 Chardonnay was recently named “Wine of the Year, Domestic,” “Best of Show,” “Best of Class,” “Platinum Medal” winner and awarded an overall score of 95 points at the 2019 San Diego International Wine Challenge.
- We can now ship directly to consumers in 40 states.
- Oceano Wines was recently certified as a “Women’s Business Enterprise” by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the largest such organization in the Untied States and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Oceano is now also a corporate member and “Certified Woman Owned” by Women of the Vines & Spirits, a group that helps empower women involved in the wine and spirits industry.
- I recently made an appearance on Scott Greenberg’s soon-to-drop podcast, “The Vine Guy,” recorded at WTOP’s studios in Washington, D.C. We discussed my history in wine, my tenure as Executive VP of Winery Operations at Boxwood Estate Winery and why I decided to start over with Oceano. We tasted the 2016 and 2017 vintages of Chardonnay, and premiered the first vintage of Pinot Noir, the 2018.
- Oceano was a sponsor at the RAMMY Awards Gala on June 30th. At this annual event, members of the D.C. area’s restaurant and food service community are honored for exceptional accomplishment.
- Oceano sponsored a concert at The Jane Hotel in New York’s West Village given by multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ross Golan on June 20th. He performed his album “The Wrong Man,” which he is turning into a musical that will debut on October 7th at MCC Theater, an off-broadway incubator of cutting-edge theater located in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Ana Paula Galvani, Sherry-Lehmann
Ana Paula Galvani has been at Sherry-Lehmann since 2007, where she has developed a significant Brazilian clientele that relies heavily on her extensive knowledge when it comes to making buying decisions. Before settling in New York City, she studied wine extensively and began her wine retail career in Boston. She met Rachel at a wine event in New York City in 2008 and they have been friends ever since.
Friendship aside, Sherry-Lehmann is one of the most prestigious wine stores in the world. What made you decide to carry Oceano Chardonnay?
“I have always respected the work she’s done at her family’s Virginia winery, so I knew that when she decided to make her Chardonnay it would be great. It’s true that this store is very unique. Oceano definitely fits our mission of selling the very best wines in the world.”
What sets Oceano Chardonnay apart from the many others in the category?
“For me, her Chardonnay is very different from the others. Its freshness speaks to its cooler coastal terroir. Even with no malolactic, it’s creamy on the palate. I’m a white Burgundy lover and I love hers!”
Michael Perricone, Bergdorf Goodman
Michael Perricone is the Director of Restaurants & Food Services for BG Restaurant and Palette. He has been with Bergdorf Goodman for 12 years, and was with the parent company, Neiman Marcus, for 25 years before that.
Given the store’s prominence, and thus, desirability for wine placements, how did Rachel approach you about Oceano?
“Interestingly, Rachel didn’t do the regular sales call thing. She happened to be in the lounge one afternoon with a sales rep having a glass of Champagne. We were introduced, and she told me about starting up Oceano. Rachel had such a passion for her wines that once I tried them, I knew they would be a great fit for BG.”
What made you decide to carry her wine after you tasted?
“Our customers are used to having the best of things and like to try new things—it doesn’t get much newer than Oceano! Because we sell a lot of wine by the glass, anything we carry has to be yummy enough to entice the customer into having a second glass, and Oceano does just that. We have a large female customer base so we want to support businesses started and owned by women if they have a great product.”
How does Oceano complement your menu?
“Rachel did a tasting of the 2017 Chardonnay for the staff and they were thrilled to have a great California Chardonnay with European elegance to offer our customers. We do a huge lunch business, and the Oceano Chardonnay is a perfect match for our salad and seafood dishes and it also stands up to rich cream sauces.”
Chef Arie Pavlou, Bistro Été
Liz and Arie Pavlou initially opened Bistro Été as a popup in 2016, but within a few short weeks, it became clear that it was precisely the type of restaurant that Water Mill wanted, so in the Spring of 2017, the popup became permanent. Chef Arie’s nuanced take on coastal bistro fare reflects his classical training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and a stint honing his skills under the tutelage of Michelin 2-Star winner Philippe Da Silva in the South of France.
How were you introduced to Oceano Chardonnay?
“Two of our regulars are really into wine, and they recommended that we try it. It’s such a unique version of California Chardonnay. It’s super fresh and crisp, but still creamy in a way.”
What made you decide to carry the wine?
"It’s amazing and domestic, something we were looking for. The label is gorgeous, and the wine shows the ocean’s proximity in the nose and on the palate.”
What on the menu does the Chardonnay pair exceptionally well with that might not occur to diners?
“Believe it or not, the escargots are a beautiful match!”
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE CELLAR
On May 30th, we bottled our third vintage of Chardonnay and very first of Pinot Noir, both from small parcels in Spanish Springs Vineyard the exclusive source of fruit for Oceano) and both from the 2018 growing season.
For the Pinot, we chose to use fruit from two different clones of this difficult-to-grow grape: Swan (named for the legendary California grape grower and winemaker) and 115 (often referred to as Dijon 115 because of its place of origin). I think these two particular clones—there are a number of others as well—impart pinot’s more elegant qualities to the finished wine. In California, and elsewhere in the New World, Pinots often are meatier and more full bodied. There are many reasons for this but vineyard temperature is probably the most significant factor. That is why our vineyard’s proximity to the cooling air from the Pacific Ocean is so important. The style of Pinot I prefer—and wanted to make—is more about freshness, red fruit and moist tobacco aromas and flavors. Because it was our first attempt, we only produced 230 cases.
Because we had two vintages of Chardonnay out, we were able to make some adjustments when it came down to the final version of the clonal selection we ultimately bottled. We settled on a blend of Clones 17, 809 and 96 and chose not to include any of the Clone 4 that we had used previously because we wanted more detail in the high-tone profile of our signature style. Again, our cooler growing conditions let us make a wine that has body but considerable freshness. We maintained our production of 620 cases.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE VINEYARD
Our vineyard crew just completed leafing and then hedging will be next. Unfortunately, some of the pinot noir is suffering from short shoots and very weak vines. We don’t want that fruit to end up in the wines, so we’ll have to make sure that those clusters are dropped before the picking begins. In general, the pinot noir is very light, so it was a good decision that we went to four clones rather than two, which should round out the profile of the finished wine.
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