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Topa Mountain Blend is a Drinkable Poem

By Amy Madsen / Photography By Ron Wallace | February 27, 2017
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Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier . . . these white French grapes have names so pretty together they almost make a poem. Ferment their juices and thoughtfully blend them and you have poetry you can drink.

Winemaker Dominic O’Reilly has done just that, with Topa Mountain Winery’s 2015 Blend 33, released this March.

This combination of 38% Roussanne, 31% Marsanne and 31% Viognier is a traditional blend found in France’s Rhone Valley. While each could have been made into a great single varietal, O’Reilly says that blending them allowed him to create aromatics, flavors and textures that would be rare if the grapes stood on their own.

“The Roussanne gives an acidic structure and brings its beautiful orange blossom and lemon aromatics. The Marsanne brings a lovely fruit profile and a rounder mouthfeel,” he says. “The Viognier adds a floral note to the aromatics and creaminess to the texture.”

The Roussanne and Marsanne come from a high-elevation block in the Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley. The Viognier comes from Pomar Junction Vineyard in rural Templeton. Both vineyards are Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified.

The grapes were picked in the middle of the night so they arrived at the winery cold, making yeast or bacteria less likely. Hand-sorted and whole cluster pressed, the juice was fermented and aged sur lees in French oak barrels. It is unfined and lightly filtered.

Blend 33, named after State Route 33, is fresh, aromatic and balanced, embodying a more European-styled wine, which makes it a perfect match with seared scallops or an Alfredo-sauced pasta. The refreshing texture, delicate flavors of melon, lychee and Asian pear, and lingering, crisp finish speak to the purity of New-World winemaking techniques.

Blend 33 is available at the Topa Mountain tasting room in Ojai, where you can stroll through the demonstration vineyard, play bocce ball, listen to live music and savor views of the Topa Topa Mountains.

For more info, visit

Article from Edible Ojai & Ventura County at
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