One of Navarro's primary goals in fashioning Edelzwicker from Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat Blanc wines is that the final blend should taste like Edelzwicker and not like any of its components. This is similar to blending for sparkling wine in that our goal is not to perceive Chardonnay or Pinot Noir flavors but simply Blanc. To meet our blending goal, we start by combining the two components with the most delicate flavors: Pinot Gris and Riesling. Since the Gris has the subtlest flavor profile of the two, the initial winning blend typically ends up more Pinot Gris than Riesling as it did in this vintage. Next, we add varying amounts of Gewürztraminer to the selected Pinot Gris-Riesling blend. When we are assessing the various Gewürz vineyard lots for a wine we label as Gewürztraminer, we are searching for vineyard lots that are both varietaly correct and intensely flavored; however, when we are selecting Gewürz lots for Edelzwicker, the wines must still be true to variety but more delicate and harmonious with the Pinot Gris-Riesling cuvée. Finally, we try adding Muscat Blanc, the grape varietal with the strongest aromatic and flavor profile; its profile is so intense that even a 10% addition can dominate the blend.
In the spring, Navarro's sheep are herded up and moved from the hills using two diminutive Border Collies. Capo is a hundred-pound livestock guardian dog who lived with the sheep for years and protected them from predators. (He is now retired and sleeps by the house.) Navarro's guardian dogs are herded with the sheep and are sheared at the same time. See if you can spot Capo among the sheep.
The guardian dogs that live with the sheep are feral and wary of human beings, making them hard to catch when they have a health problem. Sarah's solution is to throw a frozen steak on the ground and sneak up on the dog while it is captivated by the treat.
After a series of five staff tastings in the spring of 2019, the final cuvée was selected; the desired amounts of each vineyard lot were combined, blended and then bottled in May. Perfect for summer picnics of pulled pork with a sweet, spicy sauce or an avocado stuffed with shrimp salad. Gold Medal winner.