Geyser Peak Winery Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019

Medium straw color; peach, pear, honeydew melon, flowers on the nose; white peach, passionfruit, green apple, grapefruit, lemon, minerality on the palate.

Geyser Peak Winery Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019

Dry; clean, crisp, fresh. Tangy acidity (3.47 pH); creamy texture. Medium-plus body. Easy drinker with congenial fruit flavors. No extremes of acidity, herbaceousness, or alcohol. Some, very slight, oak influence from eight months in two and three-year-old French barrels. The visit in the wood contributed a nice layer of complexity, smoothness, and richness, especially for a wine at this price point. Robert L. Pepi is the Geyser Peak winemaker and consultant. 13.2% ABV

The Geyser Peak winery dates from 1880. EPR, an investment group, purchased it in 2008. Francis Ford Coppola purchased Geyser Peak Winery in 2013. Australia-based Accolade Wines has owned the Geyser Peak brand since 2012. To produce this wine, Accolade leased space in the Geyser Peak winery owned by Coppola. In 2018, The Carlyle Group purchased Accolade.

Vintage photo of Geyser Peak Winery

That’s plenty of churn for a once-noted brand. Founded in 1880, it is located on a hillside across from the Geyser Peak and its thermal steam clouds. It was the 29th bonded winery in California history. The winery has had multiple owners over the years including Stroh Brewing Company, Henry Trione, and the Penfolds Wine Group. In 1993, Geyser had the ninth-largest revenue in Sonoma County.

The brand has long played in the lower-price wine category. That segment has experienced rough times in the 21st Century. The winery closed its historic tasting room in 2019. Its fate appears to be being sold for parts. Coppola obtained the winery for its production facility, some of its land, and some of its permits, not for the brand or tasting facility. The facility and the permits were the real assets. Not only can the winery push out a million cases, the permits allow for building a hotel and restaurant; Sonoma no longer grants such permits in an effort to limit growth. The grandfathered permits will allow Coppola to develop the property.

Geyser Peak Winery (Jim Gateley–Panoramio)

Geyser Peak Winery Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019 is a delightfully tasty, fun, easy-drinking iteration of California sauv blanc. Delicate, delicious fruit. Crisp, fresh, food-friendly. Pair with grilled fish; shellfish; sushi; chicken; pasta with white sauce; Asian food; Greek salads; goat cheese, salty cheeses. $9-13

Geyser Peak Winery website

Geyser Peak winemaker-consultant Robert L. Pepi
Geyser Peak vineyard
Geyser Peak vineyard
Terminal geyser on Geyser Peak, Lassen Volcanic National Park (Eugene Zelenko)