Demand for this white wine grape has some Napa, Sonoma vintners eyeing wider North Coast sourcing

in Business/Community/Drinks

Consumers’ thirst for sauvignon blanc are causing some vintners in Napa and Sonoma counties to look elsewhere in the North Coast appellation for high-quality fruit.

In Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, Ferrari-Carano Winery released its first wines in 1987, a fumé blanc and a chardonnay. Fumé blanc is a marketing name for sauvignon blanc coined by the late wine pioneer Robert Mondavi in the late 1960s.

As recently as the 2019 vintage, Ferrari-Carano’s fumé blanc had been labeled with a North Coast appellation, according to the company. By federal law, at least 85% of the grapes have to be grown in an approved American Viticultural Area. The North Coast AVA includes all or substantial portions of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Marin counties plus a sliver of western Solano County.

But after Foley Family Wines acquired the winery in August 2020, the Santa Rosa-based company moved sourcing for Ferrari-Carano fumé blanc back to Sonoma County for the 2020 vintage, according to Shawn Schiffer, Foley president.

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