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Alta Colina Releases Its First Vin de Paille

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Always pushing the envelope, the estate winery’s release of the dessert “straw wine” comes on the heels of Alta Colina’s launch of Lynn’s Cuvee, the winery’s first-ever sparkling wine.

Dec. 5, 2019 (Paso Robles, Calif.)Alta Colina is proud to announce the release of its very first Vin de Paille, painstakingly crafted from Alta Colina’s estate Viognier.

Known as “straw wine,” the ancient French winemaking practice involves picking grape clusters and placing them gently on a massive bed of fresh straw where they dry and concentrate for weeks before being pressed. The straw dehydrates the fruit without sacrificing acidity.

From the vine to the straw bed, the grape skins can’t be broken. This means the work is done slowly, carefully and by hand. And because the grapes are picked when ripe – when the skins are at their most fragile – the plucking and placing process is essentially performed one cluster at a time.

“Put another way, it’s a real pain in the you know what,” says Bob Tillman, Alta Colina’s owner and winemaker. “Still, I’ve wanted to make a vin de paille style wine for years, and we wanted the challenge. When we were picking it and laying it down in 2018, we had our doubts. But, tasting it now in the bottle, we think it was worth the work.”  

Indeed. The golden dessert wine has mouthwatering acidity, is slightly sweet and has a rich mouthfeel, with subtle tropical, ripe citrus and macadamia notes.

Always looking to experiment and innovate, be it in the organic vineyard or cellar, 2019 marks a pair of firsts for the 16-year-old estate winery.

In addition to launching the Vin de Paille, Alta Colina released its first sparkling wine, called Lynn’s Cuvee. Keeping with the winery’s Rhone focus, the bone-dry bubbles are made from the winery’s estate Grenache Blanc. The wine is named after Bob’s wife, Lynn Tillman, to commemorate the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary.

“Lynn and I drink our wines at dinner,” says Tillman. “Now, with the sparkling and the Vin de Paille, we can drink Alta Colina at every step, from aperitif to dessert. Not too shabby.”

To celebrate these two firsts, Alta Colina is offering the Vin de Paille and Lynn’s Cuvee in a single decorative package for $100.

For more information, or to order, please visit altacolinawine.com/altacolina-shop.

About Alta Colina

Alta Colina produces preeminent Rhône wines from its organically-farmed estate vineyard in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles. For more information, please visit, altacolinawine.com, or visit the tasting room at 2825 Adelaida Road in Paso Robles.

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