Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Big White House Winery, were winemaking is an art


Big White House Winery is a family adventure and the Marion family is a very creative family. John the Elder has been a diamond expert for over 32 years and you will see much of his diamond rings set in gold or platinum for sale at their Blacksmith Square. He started as a home winemaker in 1992 in his big white house along Greenville Road in the eastern side of Livermore. And he opened his commercial winery in the late 90’s. He began winemaking to learn more about wine and share his love for wine and considers winemaking an art.

His son, John Evan Marion, head winemaker for almost 10 years, launched his own label called John Evan. He literally hand-crafts his wines with processes customized for each varietal focusing on the vintages unique qualities. All of the wines are barrel aged, and like said by Orson Welles many years past; they take seriously the cliché, of “No Wine before Its Time”, often holding onto the big reds for 4-5 years before releasing them for sale. He studied Chemistry at Cal Poly and in his spare time works on web development, construction and is even working on a patent!

The rest of this creative family includes John Evan’s mom, Diana, a local artist and teacher, who established the Bothwell Art Center, Livermore’s own art center, and assisted in the formation of the not for profit art association, the Tri Valley Artist’s Guild. John Evan’s younger sister, Laura, a trained actor, singer and performer; provides all of John Evan’s labels as original oil paintings.

The 2008 Viognier from Ripken Vineyard in Lodi has a complex nose of perfumed tropical fruit, honey and pear. On the palate you experience a rich nectar of pear, honey, guava, and lychee leading on to a crisp finish. The acidity helps this wine go well with a variety of foods.

In addition to this Viognier they have also produced a 2007 Late Harvest Viognier called Liquid Amber, a botrytised desert wine with a rich amber color and pronounced pear, honey, apricot and butterscotch aromas and flavors.

An unusual delight is the Big White House 2006 Dolcetto from Clement Hills in Lodi. This Italian varietal has intense bing cherry aromas with plum, violet, licorice and almonds. The palate continues to deliver these intense fruit flavors leading to a great finish.

The Peche Mignon Peach Sparkling Wine is infused with Peach juice after fermentation. It exhibits a nose of lot of Peach flavor with a bit of jasmine on the palate with a creamy mouth feel and crisp dry finish. .

Big White House and John Evan have a wide variety of wines. The John Evan is their premium wines. They have a tasting room at Blacksmiths Square in downtown Livermore as well as at the winery at 6800 Greenville Road.

For more info: Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars

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