Elegant Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. Leather, floral and fruit aromas with a velvety, crisp, medium-to-full body and finish. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels.
- Gaia is a red wine blend of vinifera grapes. The first vintage (2013) was a blend
of Cabernet Franc (85%) and Merlot (15%). The second vintage (2014) was a
blend of Cabernet Franc (81%), Merlot (14%) and Petit verdot (5%). The third
vintage (2015) is a blend of Cabernet Franc (55%), Cabernet Sauvignon (26%),
Merlot (13%) and Petit Verdot (6%). All grapes are European varieties that were
made famous in Bordeaux, France.
- Little known fact: Cabernet Franc is a parent to Cabernet Sauvignon.
- All the grapes in this blend were grown at our ARV and Woodfield Vineyards.
- As we started tending to the Cabernet Franc vines, we saw potential in the fruit
that made us want to make a new wine. Guided by research on growing
Cabernet Franc, we decided to try a technique that recommended plucking the
first leaf across from the forming grape cluster at bloom (around May).
- All grapes contain a natural chemical (methopyrozine) in the leaves around the
fruit that produce green unripe flavors. The chemical has a purpose. It travels to
the grapes during the growing season to protect them from being eaten by
animals before ripeness. When the fruit matures, and the seed is ready to be
dispersed, the green flavors are overpowered by true ripeness.
- Cabernet Franc has a larger amount of this chemical than other grape varieties
and it lingers in the resulting wine in the flavors of green bell pepper. This
technique removes that natural chemical before it enters the fruit and removes
any green flavors from the resulting wine.
- The grapes are all fermented separately by variety in small 1 ton bins. When fermentation is done, the wine is removed from the grape solids by press and the separate wines are placed into oak barrels. Most of the barrels are French oak barrels with a small portion of the blend aged in used American oak barrels. The wine ages for 18-24 months in barrel. Blending occurs half way through the barrel aging process.
- French oak barrels are important to this wine. Since these tight grained oak barrels allow the wood flavors to extract slowly, the winemaker can use the barrels multiple times and still get flavor integrated into the wine. It is a subtle and purposeful extraction. The barrels prior use was for our Chardonnay wine.
- Cabernet Franc grapes are the star in this wine. They produce a wine with earthy and black pepper flavors with hints of strawberry and violet.
- Cabernet Sauvignon was added to extend the mouthfeel of the wine and pull all the fruit together.
- Merlot has a bright cherry flavor and adds a lift of red fruit to the wine.
- Petit Verdot is a variety of red wine grape used in classic Bordeaux blends. It ripens more reliably in the New World than in its home region, and adds tannin, color and flavor in small amounts to the blend. Strong tones of violet and leather develop as it matures.
- The goal in creating this wine is to balance the fruit with the structure created by
the grape and oak tannins so that the wine’s flavors continue in your mouth for a
long time. Together it creates an elegant and savory medium to full-bodied wine.
- It is a wine that can age in the bottle and continue to improve over time.
- Cabernet Franc is by definition food friendly with high acidity and reduced
tannins. Try Gaia with roasted meats or crispy skinned trout. Also great with
goat cheese, feta, and fontina cheese.
- It should be served at room temperature of 65-70 degrees. It is about 12.5-13%
- “GAIA” is the ancient Greek goddess of the earth, and primal mother figure, who
gave birth to the sky, the mountains, and the sea.
- The principle of GAIA celebrates the Earth as a perfectly balanced coalescence
of all things, animate and inanimate, that come together to create and sustain
life. This wine is our expression of that metaphor. It is our celebration of the soil
and minerals, of the water, air, and sunlight, of the roots and leaves, and the
gentle, deliberate care of the hands that guide our grapes from bud to fruit to
- When we started tending to the Cabernet Franc vines and saw potential in the fruit, we like to say, GAIA spoke to us from the field!