Sunday, September 27, 2009

Page Mill Winery - Excellence for three decades

Page Mill is one of the newest wineries in Livermore Valley, yet they have been producing wines for 3 decades. Winemaker Dick Stark and his wife Ome started making wine in 1976 along Page Mill Road in Los Altos Hills at the base of Santa Cruz Mountains. He even excavated a large cellar under his home and planted vines in his yard. In 1992 his son Dane joined the team. Since a private home in Los Altos Hills was not the best place to grow a commercial winery, in 2004 Page Mill moved to their new location in Livermore Valley. Two years later they opened their tasting room at the winery.

Page Mill believes that great wines start with great grapes. Each vineyard Page Mill winery works with has dedicated a portion of the vineyard to Page Mill so that the grapes come from the same vines each year. Dane makes the decision as to when to pick and personally supervises each harvest. He trucks the grapes in small lug boxes so that the grapes are completely whole when crushed at the winery.

Page Mill has been producing Cabernet Sauvignon since the beginning. Some of the Cabs are from Napa and some from Alexander Valley in Sonoma. With a reputation of high quality Cabs, Page Mill wanted to continue that tradition with Livermore Valley fruit. After searching various premium vineyards in Livermore, they found a selection of Livermore vineyards that met their high standards and this wine is the result.

The Page Mill 2006 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an intense nose full of dark fruit and spice. As you taste this wine, you should detect black cherry, Cassis, dark currents, licorice and spice. While many Cabs have huge heavy tannins, this Page Mill Cab is built with finesse with an eye towards complexity. The finish is long with flavors peeking at the end.

The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is clean and well balanced with a touch of honey and floral on the nose and a little grassiness. It has nice acidity and goes well with foods.

Page Mill 2006 Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley is a very special wine from this cool climate area of Santa Barbara County where the fog layer burns off by noon creating the ideal climate for Pinot Noir. The bright fruit of strawberry and a bit of raspberry has overtones of earthiness reminiscent of old world Pinot Noir.

The winery is located on Livermore Road near the corner of Concannon and Livermore to the east of downtown Livermore. Pulling into the winery on its gravel driveway you feel like you are arriving at a private home. But then you see the vines and the large stone Barrel Room that at one time served as an auto repair shop. In the front portion of the Barrel Room is the quaint, friendly tasting room, surrounded by velvet curtains, dusty old bottles of wine, and a comfortable couch. You will usually find Gary Brink behind the tasting bar greeting the visitors and offering a selection of wines.

For more info: Page Mill Winery

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