“We are happy with the wine that we put in the bottle, with this wonderful award, and that the wine-drinking public continues to recognize the quality of our wines.”—Craig McAllister, head winemaker
La Crema Winery has long been popular with wine drinkers who are lovers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but this year it’s their Sauvignon Blanc that’s won over the palates of our readers.
“We’re delighted and pleasantly surprised to have our Sauvignon Blanc win,” says Craig McAllister, head winemaker. “We are happy with the wine that we put in the bottle, with this wonderful award, and that the wine-drinking public continues to recognize the quality of our wines.”
McAllister, a native of New Zealand who has traveled around the world and was drawn not just to the wine industry, but to the lifestyle because it pairs perfectly with his love of cooking, traveling and being outdoors.
He’s been with La Crema since 2007, and in 2017 was promoted to head winemaker. He believes the best wines are those shared with family and friends over a delicious meal.
“La Crema is always looking for new appellations to source fruit for our wines. Our team talks about how we can meet the needs of wine drinkers and we regularly have discussions about current wine trends, both in the U.S. and internationally,” says McAllister.
Being part of Jackson Family Wines means La Crema has access to the absolute best resources for their winemaking, from stellar grapes to dedicated staff. They apply the same principles about putting the best of the vine into every type of wine they make, from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to Sauvignon Blanc.
When asked what makes their Sauvignon Blanc stand out from others, McAllister says, “I think what makes the difference is that we have a long history of barrel fermentation that builds richness and texture. There is a high percentage of barrel fermentation that builds layers of texture into the wine.”
Another key to the uniqueness of their wine is that they pull from a number of particular appellations including Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Knights Valley that are a great representation of preferred areas for Sauvignon Blanc.
This spring La Crema released a new Rosé of Pinot Noir made with grapes from Saralee’s Vineyard. This release helps tell the story of making wine through the lens of Pinot Noir.
“There has been an increase in the drinking of Rosé in the last years. Rosés are becoming more complex,” says McAllister. Though they used to be more of a seasonal wine sipped during warmer weather, they are now being consumed year-round. He notes that Rosé is a good choice even for Thanksgiving dinner, a wonderful compliment to turkey and all the fixings.
The winery’s website even has a recipe for a purple potato salad with peas, dill and tarragon that is an exquisite accompaniment to their spring release 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, described as a juicy, crisp, and exotic sourced from distinct vineyards spread across some of Sonoma County’s warmer sub-regions, including Knights Valley, Alexander Valley, and Dry Creek Valley.
The La Crema estate venue is open daily by appointment. Nestled within Saralee’s Vineyard in a historic barn dating back to 1900, wine tasters have a number of options to chose from. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic and sit outside to enjoy the beautiful Russian River Valley views or take a guided walk through the property.
Photos courtesy of La Crema Winery