Los Pilares is a project that began as many famous tech companies and rock star bands did: in their garage. Michael Christian and viticulturist Coleman Cooney began this “legacy project” due to inspiration by Jon Bonne’s book “The New California Wine”. Their goal was to help put San Diego on the wine map.
San Diego doesn’t really come to mind when you think of world class Californian wine, however it was the first place to have planted mission grapes in California. The few vineyards you’ll find here now were once were providing wine for gold miners. This narrative however fell short. Due to lack of a wine tradition, everything is open to experimentation. All natural wine making techniques and interesting varietals are the norm, such as this fizzy, dry Muscat. The vineyards that created this wine are dry farmed on hills about 30 miles from the ocean.
This wine is 100% Muscat that is unfined, unfiltered and skin fermented. When you think of Muscat you generally think sweet. However this wine has a floral nose but is dry as a bone on the palate. This, and its bubbly nature make it a great pair with almost everything. Ideally, we would recommend fried sweetbreads with roasted fennel and apricots; if you don’t have that lying around your kitchen, try it with an assortment of cheese.
Los Pilares is showing us a unique beginning to an unexpected region. Who knows, maybe San Diego is the new Napa Valley.
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