The last few years have rocked Northern California with record-breaking wildfires. While the Camp Fire that has recently been contained in Butte County has been the deadliest ever, last fall’s devastating group of fires, collectively known as the Northern California firestorm, remains the costliest on record for now. An estimated $14.5 billion in damages centered squarely in the heart of wine country shook the wine community to its core, with prestige wine destinations like Napa and Sonoma Counties among the hardest hit. However, 2018 also brought the biggest wildfire in California history to the same region; July’s Mendocino Complex Fire consumed a staggering 450,000 acres, an area larger than that of Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties combined. Wine lovers would do well to keep all of these areas in their thoughts this season, as both wine sales and wine tourism are key for the community’s economic recovery. This wine is made from grapes grown in Mendocino County, the large and ruggedly remote coastal county north of Sonoma. While much of the terrain is forested (and better known for its cannabis among some demographics), a few sheltered valleys and ranges of hills grow exceptional wine grapes, particularly those that benefit from cooler climate conditions, like chardonnay and pinot noir. This chardonnay offers a balanced combination of rich texture and snappy flavors of fresh picked pears, baked apples and lemon curd.
The Federalist Chardonnay, Mendocino County, Calif. $13.99 (regularly $16.99; sale price through Sunday). PLCB Item #2016.