As wineries all over California are busy retrofitting their vineyards in order to pass Demeter biodynamic certification, the Fetzer family’s Patianna winery is already making killer wines that would make Rudolph Steiner proud.
Biodynamic techniques rule at the Mendocino estate where proprietor Patti Fetzer and winemaker Mike Lee are turning out wines as good for the earth as they are good for the connoisseur. Biodynamic techniques —which stress meticulous attention to seasonal and lunar cycles, hand management of vines, companion planting and artesenal composting — yield wines rich with the unique terroir of the land on which they are made. Here’s my favorite new example: Patianna’s much-praised 2005 Sauvignon Blanc. This gorgeous white wine weighs in at medium alcohol and major complexity, loaded with crisp tones of lemon, sage and mineral essence. It’s also got one of those very sexy, very easy-to-use screw-tops. I’ve preferred this grape to the oft-flabby chardonnay for many years. Patianna’s version will make a believer out of you. Available at Shadowbrook’s Rock Room lounge. And at Shoppers Corner for just under $17.