The Barra family farms over 300 acres of organically cultivated wine grapes on the benchlands above the headwaters of the Russian River. Winemaker Randy Meyer follows strict guidelines in producing the winery’s certified organic wines, including low sulfite content (45-65 ppm). The Girasole wines are also made following vegan friendly guidelines. In this article we again review some of the current releases of the Barra family’s “healthy” wines.
The son of grape growing, Italian immigrants from the Piedmont, in 1955 Charlie Barra purchased 175 acres of vineyard land in Redwood Valley at the headwaters of the Russian River in the rolling foothills of Mendocino County. Charlie Barra went on to become one of the leaders of the Mendocino wine industry and founded the California North Coast Grape Growers Association. The Barra family began selling wines under its own BARRA of Mendocino label in 1997, made by John Parducci. In 2003, Barra added Girasole, a line of popularly priced, widely distributed wines.
For more on the wines of Mendocino County, see our report on The Wines of Anderson Valley as well as other articles on the IWR blog.
Barra 2019 Petite Sirah Mendocino County ($26) 92 Inky dark red. Showing black fruit with complementary notes of huckleberry and savory herbs with a hint of blue flowers. Fresh on the attack with dark plum, black cherry, figs and exotic spices on a silky palate. Well structured with fine tannins, finishing with a melange of intense dark fruit, licorice and pipe tobacco. Certified organic grapes sourced from the Bella Collina Vineyard located at 925′ above the Ukiah Valley. 14.8% alc. Great value!
Girasole Vineyards 2020 Chardonnay Mendocino County ($15) 89 Med yellow straw. Aromas of apple with accents of lemon zest. Mouthfilling with medium flavor density, showing lots of sweet apple fruit complemented by nuances of citrus and pear on the palate. A clean, refreshing wine offered at a very reasonable price. A blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Blanc fermented in stainless steel and a portion aged in neutral oak for 5 months; no malo. pH 3.40 14% alc.
Girasole Vineyards 2020 Sangiovese Mendocino County ($16) 90 Medium ruby red. Bright, pure Sangiovese red fruit aromas of cherry and berry. An inexpensive, organic wine that offers appealing freshness with bright acidity on a medium weight, fruit driven palate. The perfect pizza wine! A blend of 96% Sangiovese and 4% Zinfandel sourced from the estate’s Redwood Valley Vineyard. Given a 48 hour cold soak followed by fermentation in stainless steel and 9 months aging in French oak. 14.5% alc.