Foggy Bridge Winery
2007 Classic Zinfandel
California: Sonoma County
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Mission Codename: Under the bridge
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Wine Spies Operatives demand great Zinfandel, but they also love a great wine at a great price. Send Agent Red to the Foggy Bridge Winery to retrieve a great Zinfandel – with a great QPR
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Foggy Bridge Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 Zinfandel – Sonoma County
Winemaker: Daryl Groom
Winery Backgrounder: Reports have been flooding in to Wine Spies Central Command about a unique winery, opening soon – in San Francisco – and their passion for crafting distinctive artisan wines. Today’s wine was made in partnership with another Operative favorite, Dry Creek Vineyards, who assisted in the crafting of this fine Zinfandel.
Varietal Backgrounder: Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Sonoma County Zinfandels are among our favorites, and for good reason; So many great California wines are made in this region. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep burgundy with an inky heart, with color that remains concentrated right to the edges of the wine. This wine has a tight and shimmery surface and skinny, branching legs that streak down the glass when swirled
Smell – A deep whiff delivers a succulent rush of layered fruits of juicy raspberry, blackberry, and plum, currant, licorice and a wonderful spice with cocoa and subtle earthen components
Feel – Ultra-soft and velvety up front, then mouth-coating and supple with great medium tannins that dry your mouth – and make you want to smack your lips!
Taste – Delicious, bright and bold without being over-the-top, with layers of berry jam, ripe plum, cherry, star anise and mild spice
Finish – Beautiful layers of flavor taper slowly, leaving behind a slight dryness and sweetness that makes your mouth water
Conclusion – A great surprise from this relative newcomer, who has managed to craft a very approachable and fun to drink wine. Long on great flavor and a supple feel, we enjoyed this bright wine with BBQ chicken. It maintained a perfect balance with the food, without overpowering it as many Cali zins can tend to do. This wine is made to be enjoyed with food, but we also enjoyed sipping it on its own, making it a very versatile libation.
In conducting my investigation of today’s winery, I was able to spend a few minutes with Holly Myers, who gave me a tour of the Foggy Bridge winery which plans to open its unique San Francisco facility in 2009.
HOLLY MYERS: Agent Red! Welcome.
AGENT RED: Wow…
HOLLY: We get that a lot. Pretty spectacular location, right?
RED: Right. I have been driving through The Presidio for more than 20 years and when I heard that it was being transitioned from military ownership to private, I was really excited. I have to admit, though, that I never considered that a winery would be located here. Genius!
HOLLY: Thanks! It’s had its challenges, but we’ve been working hard with the Presidio Trust to develop our urban winery in ways the fit perfectly within the Presidio.
RED: Well, I’ve seen the plans and my background check on the owners of Foggy Bridge tell me that everything is right on track. I’m sure that the fact that your building – an airplane hangar – is a historical landmark makes the review and permit process a careful one.
HOLLY: True on a counts, Red. At this point, were awaiting approval on our renovations plans so that our final construction can proceed.
RED: You have quite a team here, Holly, from your owner John Kontrabecki – himself an accomplished businessman and vineyard owner, to Daryl Groom, your winemaker, to General Manager Joyce Stewart, to yourself, the Director of Marketing. You are all principals in this winery which I take to mean that you are all deeply and personally committed to the winery and to making world class wine. It probably also means that you wear many hats each day.
HOLLY: Yes, our team is devoted, that’s for sure. And, speaking for myself, I have quite a few roles here at the winery.
RED: Tell me, besides making and selling great wines, what else can people expect from Foggy Bridge?
HOLLY: Well, as San Francisco’s only true “Urban Winery”, our winery will be a wine destination. In addition to our beautiful tasting rooms, where people can taste our full line of wines, we’ll also have a cafe and a restaurant.
RED: And, one of the most exciting things that I learned about the winery, you’ll also offer wine education classes.
HOLLY: We’re really excited about holding those classes, Red. As you know, there are wine drinkers of all experience levels and, like The Wine Spies, we want to make wine more accessible to drinkers of all levels.
RED: So, you’ll have beginner classes and more advanced classes?
RED: Daryl Groom, Foggy Bridge’s winemaker, is legendary. Don’t tell him, but I, myself, am a big fan. Under a pseudonym, I am a registered Groomy, and receive his wine club shipments. Daryl makes fantastic wines!
HOLLY: He’s also a pretty fun guy as well. Serious about his craft to be sure, but in typical Aussie fashion, he’s a great guy.
RED: Who made this beautiful young Zinfandel that we are enjoying today. Foggy Bridge grows its own estate grapes, but I found that you also source grapes from some of the finest vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties. This Zin, for example, was made in partnership with Dry Creek Vineyard. I’ll tell you this: We Wine Spies – and our Operatives – are huge fans of Theirs. It seems that you have found quite the magical formula to making your wines.
HOLLY: Foggy Bridge may by a new winery, but we are blessed with great pedigree and industry relationships that span decades.
RED: The experience shows. Foggy is making some really exciting and really great wines!
HOLLY: Thanks, Red. Here’s to all of your Wine Spies Operatives. I hope that they love the Zinfandel!
RED: Cheers to that, Holly! Thanks for the tour – and for your time today.
HOLLY: Cheers, Agent Red!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Foggy Bridge Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Bursting with aromas of cherry and licorice, this Sonoma County Zinfandel has a bright ruby color. On the palate, its blackcurrant and red fruit flavors are balanced with 10 months of French and American oak aging. The round, soft tannins make this a versatile wine that is ready to enjoy now or can be cellared for a few years.
About The Winery:
Watch the video by clicking the play arrow above.
A new urban winery in the Presidio of San Francisco, Foggy Bridge Winery will be an idyllic location to learn about and enjoy California’s range of wine varieties, a venue for friends and family to gather for celebratory events and a premier place to savor gourmet cuisine and relish in the panorama of the City by the Bay.
Housed in a former 1920s airplane hangar and Army machine shop located on Crissy Field, Foggy Bridge Winery will offer an authentic winery experience including a working winery, tasting room, casual café and 110-seat restaurant, all overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.
Just steps from the breathtaking expanse of the Golden Gate Bridge and overlooking San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz, Foggy Bridge Winery will be an authentic urban winery located at the gateway to Northern California wine country. The first urban winery in a U.S. national park, Foggy Bridge encompasses the vibrancy of San Francisco: a fabled history, an idyllic location, a sense of community, fine wine and gourmet cuisine.
Foggy Bridge will open its Canteen in late 2008, a 3,700 square foot taste of what is to come, which will feature a cozy tasting room with fireplace, a casual café, traditional tasting bar and outdoor patio seating. In 2009, Foggy Bridge’s 7,000 square foot working winery, large tasting room, barrel rooms and 110-seat restaurant will open, completing the experience. By harvest of 2009, winemaker Daryl Groom will be crushing, fermenting and blending wines at Foggy Bridge Winery.
Regarded for their sophisticated style of design and experience in Northern California wine country, the team at Backen Gillam Architects is rehabilitating and enhancing the former military buildings—both on the National Register of Historic Places—as Foggy Bridge Winery and Canteen.
About The Winemaker:
Quarterly Review of Wines – Winemaker of the Year
San Francisco Chronicle – Winemaker of the Year
Dallas Morning News – Publishers Award, Winemaker of the Year
Houston Chronicle – Winemaker of the Year
Los Angeles Times – Winemaker of the Year
Mead on Wine – Winemaker of the Year
Food & Wine – One of 11 Visionaries to Change the World of Wine
Dallas – TV Munson Award for International Accomplishment
IWSC – International Winemaker of the Year
Generally, it takes Daryl Groom less than five minutes from his first greeting to have someone laughing. His innate wit and contagious laugh, coupled with his world-renowned winemaking talents, make him not only the best person to saddle up next to at the dinner table, but also a natural fit for Foggy Bridge Winery.
Daryl resides in the USA. In addition to being “Flying Winemaker” for Groom, Daryl is Winemaker and Principal of an exciting new winery project in San Francisco, Foggy Bridge Winery. Prior to this he has held numerous positions in the Wine Industry including Vice President of Winemaking & Operations for Peak Wines International and Beam Wine Estates and both Senior White Winemaker and then Senior Red Winemaker for Penfolds Wines in Australia.
His foundation was producing Penfolds famed red wine, Grange, which he oversaw from 1984 until his move to the USA in 1990. Daryl makes regular trips back to South Australia to oversee all winemaking operations for Groom to ensure the highest quality product.
Daryl’s passion for wine sees him judging and 5 international wine shows. He has been a guest speaker on the Queen Mary 2 and Seabourne cruise lines. He has also been a repeat guest on E television in the USA.