Charbono was originally introduced to California in the Napa Valley by early Italian immigrants; the grape itself hails from France’s Savoie region. There is now very little acreage left in the state of this once widely planted variety, which accounts for its almost legendary cult status. We started making Charbono in 2007, buying from our friends who had an acre of it planted just down the road near Santa Teresa and Hecker Pass. That land was sold to build houses on, and we planted an acre of it on our estate. While our little estate Charbono was developing, we bought some from Pear Valley Vineyard in the Paso Robles area, where the bold heat gets Charbono very ripe and lighter in color. Beginning with the 2018 vintage, our Charbono is entirely estate grown and sees 18 months in 10% new French oak barrels.
The ’18 Charbono is inky purple and displays an intense fruit presence of dark cherries, blackberries, and plum. It is also showing hints of licorice, leather, and baking spice. Charbono pairs well with a wide range of foods from cedar plank grilled salmon to a hearty Italian meat and pasta dish.
Appellation: Santa Clara Valley
Vineyard: Sarah's Estate
Grower: Tim Slater