Hello faithful readers and welcome to the 2012 season of WINE:30! This season has brought significant changes to both of us, as you will see in our bios, and with that some small changes to our articles.

First, our theme this year will be leaning toward grapes that are less heard of or up-and-comers to the wine world. Second, we will be contributing a few less articles this season; however, in those weeks we don’t have a full article we will still be providing a wine tasting along with a food pairing, as we will still be drinking our share of wine!

So, with no further ado…Colombard!

Colombard is a white varietal that was traditionally planted in western France and used for the making of Cognac, although considered to be inferior to Trebbiano and Folle Blanche. While this is what Colombard is more known for, it is also one of the permitted varietals for Bordeaux along with Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, Sauvignon Gris, Ugni Blanc, Merlot Blanc, Ondenc and Mauzac.

While the phylloxera epidemic and its’ inferior status symbol caused nearly half the plantings in France to be pulled, the grape made great strides in California. In the 1970s, Colombard (French Colombard there) became widely planted in Central Valley for use in the production of large quantities of inexpensive, usually sweet, commercial white “jug wines.”

At one point it was the most-prominently planted varietal in California, also being used in the production of Brandy (a substantial amount being supplied to the state of Wisconsin).

In South Africa and Australia, Colombard is being used more and more as a blending grape with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. This style of blending gives these grapes a neutral crispness, allowing the main grape’s characteristics to come through without other manipulation processes such as the over use of oak.

“A grape of many names” could be Colombard’s moniker. It has a multitude of synonyms that it is know by, including: Bardero, Blanc Emery, Blanquette, Bon Blanc, Chabrier Vert, Charbrier Vert, Colombar, Colombeau, Colombie, Colombier, Coulombier, Cubzadais, Donne Rousse, Donne Verte, French Colombard, Gros Blanc Doux, Gros Blanc Roux, Guenille, Kolombar, Martin Cot, Pied Tendre, Quene Tendre, Quene Vert, Queue Tendre, Queue Verte, and West’s White Prolific.

Seven Daughters Winemaker’s White Blend NV California

Appearance: pale straw color

Aroma: notes of melon, orange peel and apricot

Flavors: fresh citrus flavors with lychee and mandarin oranges

Finishing Notes: crisp and balanced with a hint of spice on the finish

Perfect Pairing: A great wine for a meatier fresh fish, such as red snapper or grouper finished with a fresh citrus salsa

WINE:30 is written by Karl Bradley and Jody Wuollett, who are both longtime residents of Door County. Jody is the owner operator of Chop Restaurant in the Sister Bay Country Walk Shops and Karl is the General Manager and Executive Chef of the Mission Grille in Sister Bay. They have both been awarded the first level of certification from the Court of the Master Sommeliers.