Wine Buzz: Berryessa Gap scores in Rhone varietal championships

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

Last week in Vintages, Mike Dunne took readers to Berryessa Gap Vineyards, a Yolo County winery that emphasizes grape varietals closely associated with California history.

Here's a little extra news: Some of those wines recently nabbed a string of gold medals at the Rhone Varietal World Wine Championships. Berryessa Gap entered four wines in the competition and received scores of 90-plus points, earning gold medals for all: 2009 Berryessa Gap Durif, 2009 Petite Sirah, 2009 Berryessa Gap Syrah and 2008 Berryessa Gap Rocky Ridge Collection Tradition.

Though the syrah is sold out, but you can taste these other winning wines yourself at Berryessa Gap's two tasting rooms in Winters: 27260 Highway 128 and 15 Main St.

These wines are also carried at Nugget markets and Natural Foods Co-Op locations.

"We're very excited for our wines," said Corinne Martinez, a Berryessa Gap partner. "We've been at it for a while, and they're getting better and better, and getting recognition."

On another note, a taproom is in the works for the winery's sister company, Berryessa Brewing Co. Actually, make that a brother company. The brewery, which operates as a separate business entity from the winery, was founded by Martinez's brother, Dan. The brewery operations are housed in Berryessa Gap's winemaking facility in Winters, which will soon include a tap room for tasting beers.

Sips and the blues

Look for a weekly music series to kick off Saturdays starting at Rail Bridge Cellars Penthouse Lounge at the Elks Tower (921 11th St., Sacramento). It's an "unplugged" lineup of blues and jazz, which will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and debut with Clemon Charles.

Details are still emerging, but plan for a $20 cover charge that includes a glass of wine or beer along with the show.

We're also hearing talk of more performing arts coming this fall courtesy of Rail Bridge Cellars and the Elks Tower. Stay tuned for more on that, along with some new wine releases from Rail Bridge.

For more information: (916) 492-2530 or

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