Women winemakers who know how to troubleshoot have a tool box of pure potential that will surprise you. Some can weld metal, fix equipment failures, and load a tractor trailer with full bins of fruit.
Katy Wilson is one of those winemakers who can do all of the above because she believed her dad when he said: “You can do whatever any guy can do.”
Wilson is behind our wine-of-the-week winner — the Anaba, 2017 Sonoma Valley Rosé of Grenache at $28. This is a gorgeous rosé with a lovely texture riding on crisp acid. It’s aromatic with notes of kiwi, peach skin, stone fruit and citrus following through on the palate. The grenache gives this refreshingly dry rosé a tangy twist.
The skilled woman who crafted this wine is just as clever out of the cellar, building a chandelier out of wine staves. Wilson grew up on a farm in Manteca with 15 acres devoted to a crop of walnuts.
“My dad instilled a love of farming and the cyclical nature of growing things,” she said. “I would replant, water, prune and mow.”
A pivotal moment came during Wilson’s freshman year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when she realized the potential and the pedigree of wine grapes.
“Wine was intriguing to me,” she said. “It wasn’t like walnuts where you take care of your land and your product. Then you send them out and you never see them again. With wine grapes, you create something with your product.”
Wilson ultimately graduated in 2005 with two degrees: one in agricultural business and the other, wine and viticulture.
“Winemaking drew me in because it’s farming, agriculture, the weather, a huge amount of chemistry and science, and then it’s social and creative,” Wilson said. “Wine is what brings people together. People will sit down with a glass of wine.”
The winemaker’s credits with Sonoma County wineries include Kamen Wines and Flowers. She joined Sonoma’s Anaba Wines in 2014. At Anaba, Wilson said she’s excited to be crafting a grenache rosé, sourcing her fruit from the foothills of the Mayacamas.
The most challenging part of making grenache rosé is finding the right window to pick, she said. If you pick too early, you could forfeit the layers of fruit and floral notes. If you pick too late, ripe flavors could obscure some of the subtle notes.
“With rosé of grenache, you can have a lot of complexity and the texture you’d find in a bigger white wine, but you still have the crispness and prettiness with aromas and flavors of stone fruit and citrus,” Wilson said. “It’s a very dynamic wine.”
Peg Melnik can be reached at 707-521-5310 or email@example.com.
BLIND TASTING: Rockstar Rosés
Anaba, 2017 Sonoma Valley Rosé of Grenache, 13.5% alcohol, $28. ★★★★
This is a gorgeous rosé with a lovely texture riding on crisp acid. It’s aromatic with notes of kiwi, peach skin, stone fruit and citrus following through on the palate. The grenache gives this refreshingly dry rosé a tangy twist.
Alexander Valley Vineyards, 2017 Alexander Valley Rosé of Grenache, 12.5%, $16. ★★★★: A lovely rosé with great minerality and high-toned fruit of strawberry, guava and peach. Bright acidity. Tangy finish. Pretty.
Ferrari-Carano, 2017 Sonoma County Dry Rosé of Sangiovese, 13.8%, $14. ★★★ ★: This rosé has a range with fruit flavors of rhubarb and pomegranate, along with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry and watermelon. Bright acid. Nice length.
Clos Du Val, 2017 Carneros, Napa Valley Estate Pinot Noir of Rosé, 12.9%, $30. ★★★★: This is a tasty rosé with notes of watermelon, lime and mineral. Finishes crisp. Refreshingly dry.
Decoy, 2017 California Rosé Wine, 13.5%, $20. ★★★1/2: A steal for the price, this rosé is well crafted. It has layered flavors of pink grapefruit, raspberry, honeydew melon and mineral. Crisp acidity. Nimble.