El Lugar Wines making wine
Food & Drink

A White Pinot Noir?

El Lugar peels back a favorite for Pinor Noir Blanc

MEET THE MAKER Coby Parker-Garcia (foreground), winemaker at El Lugar Wines. PHOTO: CAMERON INGALLS PHOTOGRAPHY

A delicious wine I tried recently was a Pinot Noir Blanc 2015 made by El Lugar Wines in the San Luis Obispo area—and also one of the more interesting wines I’ve had lately.

Pinot Noir Blanc may sound like an oxymoron, but the pulp and juice of the Pinot Noir grape is actually white, and most of the flavors, aromas and all of the color come from the skins. So that’s what makes this particular wine so interesting and unusual—it’s a white Pinot Noir!

Aromas of pear and lemon and flavors of green apples and toasted oak lead to a smooth and creamy finish—not quite what you’d expect from this challenging white wine. As some people say, it’s a white wine “masquerading as a red wine.”

Winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia has been making wine for about 12 years, and he and his wife, Katie Noonan, have a combined 25 years-plus in the wine biz—with a distinct focus on Pinot Noir. Grapes for this Pinot Noir Blanc came from Greengate Ranch & Vineyard in the Edna Valley, and Parker-Garcia made only two barrels. “In my opinion,” says Parker-Garcia, “the Pinot Noir Blanc is a perfect match with oysters or fish.” Others suggest pairing this wine with quiche or cheese-based egg dishes.

If you want to try this unique wine, then head to San Luis Obispo or order some online. With the ease of shipping these days, it will arrive in no time. It sells for $30 a bottle.

El Lugar Wines, 710 Fiero Lane, #23, San Luis Obispo, California. 805-801-0119. ellugarwines.com. (Visit by appointment only.)

Making Cheese

A friend of mine who makes cheese occasionally drops some off on my doorstep. Her cheeses are always bursting with flavor and unlike anything store-bought. If you’re interested in having a go at the art of cheesemaking, then sign up for one of Love Apple Farms’ classes on Nov. 13 and Dec. 17. Gift certificates to Love Apple’s many classes make wonderful presents. Visit growbetterveggies.com for more info.

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