Recent news, stories from the winemaker, happenings around the winery, recipes and more!
Celebrating International Women's Day & Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month - a time when we take a moment to celebrate the vital roles women have played in American history and beyond.
As a majority woman-owned business, this is especially significant to us where a low percentage of women work in the wine industry. These women are still considered trailblazers, which would include our co-founder and executive winemaker, Janis Akuna, as well as our partner and COO, Jenae Plasse.
In 2020, Women Winemakers reported that out of 4,200 bonded wineries in California, only 14 percent had a woman as their lead winemaker.
Janis recently spoke about the low percentage of female vintners and the honest challenges she faces as a winemaker.
Does she believe there’s issues the industry needs to address? Absolutely, and it’s only starting to gain momentum.
Still, the increasing number of aspiring female vintners or those seeking management roles, show there is change on the horizon. An industry that will one day be more diversified and inclusive, thanks to trailblazers like Janis and Jenae.
Andis Wines wouldn’t be what it is today without them and we thank them for all that they do.
What Makes Our 2020 Shake Ridge Zinfandel Special?
Every wine has a story to tell and our 2020 Shake Ridge Zinfandel is definitely one worth sharing.
Not everyone may know this, but our in-house winemaker, Mark Fowler, used to work for Shake Ridge Ranch’s acclaimed vineyard owner, Ann Kraemer. Mark is a second generation foothill winemaker who soaked in Ann’s expertise, which spans years of working in Napa Valley, Chile and Oregon.
Shake Ridge Ranch is an adolescent by vineyard standards, just starting to yield fruit in 2005; yet, because of Ann’s meticulous vineyard practices, it continues to bring attention to our area, including elite vintners throughout Napa and Sonoma.
“If there’s an aesthetic thread that courses through wines from Shake Ridge Ranch - it’s effusive aromas, generous yet tempered tannins, and fealty to any given grape variety’s color, texture and flavor, “ noted by wine writer Mike Dunne, who wrote about the vineyard in 2019 for the San Francisco Chronicle.
In fact, few vineyards, especially as young as Shake Ridge Ranch, have as many wines listed on Napa Valley’s acclaimed restaurant, The French Laundry - 11 total.
With a long waiting list of winemakers hoping for the opportunity to purchase her grapes, it wasn’t until some of Ann’s clients dropped out during the panic of 2020, that we had a chance to secure her Zinfandel grapes.
Ann stopped by for a barrel tasting with Mark last August to check up on her “babies.”
“Well done, Mark. It’s going to be a good wine.”
And so it is…
We are producing a limited production line (150-200 cases) from some of the foothills most prized Zinfandel vineyards, including, of course, Shake Ridge Ranch, as well as Fox Creek, Distasio (1911), and Friedlander Estate. All the Zinfandels from this limited release series will be offered first to Club Andis members and available for tasting at special events only.
93 points - Wine Enthusiast
Andis 2020 Shake Ridge Ranch Reserve Zinfandel (Sierra Foothills). This very layered wine is almost naughty in its decadence and deliciousness. Plump ripe fruit notes of bright red cherry, black plum and boysenberry join with complementary tones of vanilla, nutmeg, black tea, chocolate, black olive and game meat. Tannins are mouth coating yet smooth. The finish provides a lingering integration of aromas and flavors. — S.B.
How Stormy Weather Impacts Our Vineyard
January was a crazy month in the Sierra Foothills with Mother Nature giving us 9.83 inches of rain. Bear in mind that for the past ten years we’ve been in a drought with very little rain in January. In fact, we haven’t seen rain like this since the winter of 1997~ over 25 years ago!
Thankfully, we saw virtually no damage to the vineyard and winery. The only issue was some minor soil erosion, but this was kept to a minimum. Last November, we seeded cover crop, which by January was well rooted. This well rooted cover crop held our soils in place. Our practice of cover cropping and limited tilling created well aerated soils that helped soak up rainwater.
With the above normal rainfall, ground water has been somewhat replenished, and the soils are saturated. While we irrigate only when necessary and try to mainly dry farm, this added rainfall is a major boost to our sustainable farming practices.
We’re in great shape so far and cautiously optimistic that Mother Nature will be kind to us in 2023.
A Rising Star, Chef David Jitaro Fujimura
The Story Behind Painted Fields
When trying to find a name for the winery, our family, friends, contractors, advertising agency, and almost everyone we knew had suggestions. From over 75 potential names, including Painted Fields, we narrowed it down to a dozen appropriate names based on our ideas of wanting a wine that was elegant, timeless, and delicious.
I felt strongly we find a name that started with an “A”, as the name would show up alphabetically at the head of the list and would be easy to find in a long list of wineries. Ultimately, Andy and I decided on Andis Wines, a combination of both our names, as well as one that starts with an “A”.
But with such idyllic scenery and beautiful rolling hills, everyone involved still loved the name Painted Fields, which was the name submitted by Paul Almond and Pam Whitehead of Sage Architects, who designed the Andis Wines building and tasting room. Painted Fields is a beautiful name and was one of the remaining narrowed down names. The name even inspired renowned Hawaiian artist Kelly Sueda to come up with the Painted Fields label design.
Today, Painted Fields has become a known wine brand, producing wines that are popular and delicious. The Painted Fields brand includes wines named “Painted Fields Curse of Knowledge”, a rich Bordeaux style blend, “Painted Fields Cuvee Blanc”, a delicious light, white blend, and “Painted Fields Old Vine Zinfandel”, a blend of Zinfandel grapes taken from some of the oldest vines in the Foothills. We are pleased that Painted Fields has become so popular.