A Very Sea Bird Summer Beach Guide

You can’t make great wine without a little ocean influence. It’s a motto we live by, and it shows in every bottle of Sea Bird Wines. This summer, make the most of your beach time with these top tips for enjoying Sea Bird wines at the beach!

Grab A GoVino

Single use plastic cups are out, reusable wine glasses are IN! These reusable wine glasses are perfect (and lightweight) and make the perfect companion to your beach cooler. Pour it up and kick it back to relax- minus the trash.

Beach, Please.

You can catch us at these Sonoma Coast beaches on the West Coast with our toes in the sand and some wine in our hands. The Sonoma Coast AVA itself encompasses about 2,000 acres of vineyards and includes the lands that we source the fruit from for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The region itself is best known for these Burgundian varietals thanks to the cool morning coast fog that covers that vines over the growing season.

Watch Us Sip On Chardonnay(nay)

Our Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay is the perfect beach beverage. With notes of tropical fruit and a bright and lively acidity grab a bottle (or two) to throw in your cooler. Even better if you can pair it with some fresh oysters off at Bodega Bay, or pack up a picnic with some of these easy beach-inspired pairings:

Lemon Herb Asparagus Potato Salad

Pressed Italian Picnic Sandwiches

Creamy Avocado Dip + chips!

Mango Basil Summer Spring Rolls

 

Don’t Forget Sea-Safe Sunscreen

If you’re heading to the ocean, make sure you’re not bringing anything unwanted into the water. Ocean research has shown that common sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate are the main culprits in reef damage, along with cosmetic preservatives like methyl paraben and butyl paraben. Keep your skin safe along with the ocean reef by choosing a reef-friendly sunscreen.

 

Cheers to sun, sand, and the perfect summer day from us at Sea Bird Wines!

Need to stock up? Here’s our top pics for Summer Sipping:

 

2014 Sangiocomo Robert's Road Pinot Noir
2014 Sangiocomo Robert's Road Pinot Noir

 

2015 Sangiocomo Robert's Road Chardonnay
2015 Sangiocomo Robert's Road Chardonnay

What To Drink Now: A Vintage Report Update

Our winemaker, Patrick Durbin, fondly notes, “I love watching my wines grow up.” And for good reason. At Sea Bird Wines, we believe in relaxed wines to enjoy with friends and loved ones. That kind of wines that are as interesting as they are easy-drinking. Vintage after vintage report, we stay dedicated to taking Great Vines To Great Times with ever bottle. To make choosing your next bottle even easier, here’s a peek into our cellar with a vintage report update to see if you should hold or drink your favorite Sea Bird Wines bottles with our easy guide.

2013
This was an ideal growing season all across California. Ideal growing conditions offered moderate temperatures all throughout the growing season without rain or extreme temperatures. 

What you need to know: Napa
• Dry conditions and a long sunny summer resulted in Cabernet Sauvignon that steals that show over all varietals.
• Patient growers were able to moderate soaring sugar levels to cultivate a Cabernet Sauvignon with balance, bright fruit and robust tannins that lend to long aging potential for years to come. Or, if you’re a tannin fiend, a tight, grippy wine ready to impress with structure.

Hold it: 2013 Broken Rock Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
Located on the east side of Napa near Soda Canyon and Atlas Peak, this vineyard produces bright fruit with a balanced acidity thanks to the volcanic mountainside soils. The structure of this Bordeaux inspired blend representative of the best of Napa Valley results in black cherry and cola notes, nuanced vanilla and a touch of white pepper that will continue to evolve in your cellar. These last five years have just started to soften the edges of the fine tannin structure, but can easily go about 3-5 more for a luxurious expression of this iconic vintage to come.

Broken Rock Vineyard Napa Valley
Broken Rock Vineyard in Napa Valley

What you need to know: Sonoma
• The growing season was off to an early start in Sonoma with abundant sunshine and moderate temperatures similar to neighboring Napa.
• Quality AND quality abound! Pinot Noir in particular grew large crops offering a volume of premium wine.

Drink it: 2013 Sonoma Stage Pinot Noir - Sonoma
The Sonoma Stage vineyard is nestled between the Petaluma Gap and Los Carneros as the south end of the Sonoma Coast AVA. Cool morning fog and warm winds cultivate a Pinot Noir with classic red fruits, dark cherries and touches of cocoa and leather for a balanced Pinot ready to drink now. Enjoy a glass now as the delicious tertiary flavors have developed beautifully.

Sonoma Stage Vineyard in Sonoma Coast AVA
Sonoma Stage Vineyard in Sonoma Coast AVA

2014
Drought in the winemaking world is a delicate balance. However, it struck the perfect cord in 2014 offering lower yields, but higher quality. Sprinkling with a few well-timed rains over the growing season offered a sunny summer and a ripe fall.

What you need to know: Napa
• The perfect blend of 2012 and 2013 was the best way to describe 2014.
• Bright red fruits, balanced acidity and lower yields delivered a dreamlike vintage, especially for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
• An early harvest still delivered deep color, intense aromatics and lively acidity across the board.

Hold It: 2014 Poseidon Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
This was the perfect vintage to showcase our show-stopping Poseidon Cabernet Sauvignon. Aptly named after the kind of the sea, it is comprised of the “king of grapes,” Cabernet Sauvignon from a premiere Napa Valley vineyard. The G3 vineyard is home to some of the most prestigious fruit in the Valley in the Rutherford AVA. Polished tannin, wild berries, and a hint of Rutherford Dust this wine can easily rest its trident for years to come in your cellar.

G3 Vineyard in Rutherford AVA Napa Valley
G3 Vineyard in Rutherford AVA Napa Valley

What you need to know: Sonoma
• Early season come in slow and steady with
• The drought season was still going strong. For now, it allowed for high quality and reduced yield…perfect for premium vineyards.
• The warm weather paired with little rains resulted in higher alcohol wines that overall had a welcoming ripe aroma and flavors, and softer acidity…perfect for wines that are drinking well sooner than later!

Drink it: 2014 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Pinot Noir - Sonoma
This family-owned vineyard is the ideal Sonoma Pinot Noir site. Long slow growing seasons thanks to the coastal Sonoma influence offer fog until mid-day and warm sunshine for even ripening. The bright red fruits of this vineyard shine in this Pinot Noir with a bottle ready to pop now!

Sangiacomo Robert's Road Vineyard in Sonoma County
Sangiacomo Robert's Road Vineyard in Sonoma County

Enjoy summertime drinking with our current release wines, all available to purchase online. And stay tuned in the Fall for our upcoming vintage report update and releases coming soon!

 


Memorial Day Weekend Fun with Sea Bird Wines

It’s the best long-weekend of the year as Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s the perfect time to kick back, pop open some bottles, and enjoy time with friends and family.

Need some inspiration to curate a backyard BBQ that will really kick off the best summer yet? Here’s our top tips for a Memorial Day party filled with fun and, of course, great wine.

Ditch The Plastic
Opt for simple clean-up that’s easy on both you, and the environment with alternative green disposables like these bamboo cutlery sets and eco-friendly compostable plates.

Red or White?
Trick question. It’s both! Keep both options available to guests for easy drinking and pairing with everything on the menu.

A smooth white wine with bright acidity like Sea Bird Wines 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay is a great option for a bright warm day. Keep it at cellar temperature (that’s a cool 52 degrees!) and sip all day long.

For red drinkers, opt for a wine with lighter tannins and a fresh vibrant red fruit profile like Sea Bird Wines 2014 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Pinot Noir.

The best part of bringing out a few bottles of Sea Bird Wines is not only showing your guests a boutique, small-production wine they might not have heard of (yet!) but also knowing that the proceeds of our wines go back to supporting marine habitats. It's an easy excuse to open another bottle...or two!

Mix Up Your Grill Options
We’re not saying cut it out entirely…but it’s hard to argue with the facts. The dramatic effects of reducing red meat consumption even one day a week could save as much as 900 gallons of water, and the energy equivalent of 5 weeks worth of driving fuel. Take the opportunity on Memorial Day Monday to sub in extra veggies with fun recipes like this Mixed Grilled Vegetables with Fontina Fonduta.

Even better? Take advantage of your outside grill to serve up a sustainable fish in place of red meat! Use a reliable source like Seafood Watch – funded by the Monterey Bay Aquarium –
to consciously shop for a low-impact seafood source to fire up on the grill.

Graze Away
Keep the hangry at bay, with the summer fun and guests arriving at different times it can be hard to pin down everyone for a sit-down meal. Instead, keep a grazing board stacked with a variety of fruit, cheeses, crackers and charcuterie to make sure that everyone has something to keep them fueled through all the fun.


Trade Screen Time For Green Time

Whether it’s a grown-up party or we’re bringing all ages out, a sunny summer day is the perfect time to leave the screens inside and get out on the grass to play.

There are two times when “bigger is better”: when it’s a magnum bottle of Sea Bird Wine, and when it’s a life-size version of yard games! Super-size your lawn game fun with Jumbo Jenga, Giant Wood Rolling Dice, or even this Collossal Size Checkers Rug to bring out everyone’s competitive side.

Raise a glass and a toast to spending time with friends and loved ones…and the start to the best summer yet.

Having fun with us out in the world? Don’t forget to tag your glass with #seabirdwines and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips and summer fun all season long!


Spotlight Wine: 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay

As one of the most widely planted grapes in the state of California, Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines enjoyed by Americans, according to the Wine Institute. So it was a natural fit when we began sourcing fruit for Sea Bird Wines that we would include this noble grape as part of our family.

Sourced from the Sonoma Coast, our Sangiacomo Robert’s Road vineyard develops into every Chardonnay-lover’s dream. The cool coastal zone of this region maintains a developed acidity and structure that plays gracefully with a kiss of new French oak that we age it in year after year. No other white gape matches Chardonnay’s total acreage in Sonoma County, and with every sip, we understand why this is the ideal region for this wine.

The Sangiacomo Vineyards were first planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 1999 when the Sangiacomo Family acquired the property. At the time, it was unclear as to whether the region would be suitable for grape-growing, as the cool coastal climate was thought to prevent even ripening. Now, the Sonoma Coast region is renowned for producing some of the highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the US. The perfect counterpart to our Chardonnay is our Sangicomo Robert’s Road Pinot Noir.  

Our 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay highlights the best of the vintage. The 2015 growing season in Sonoma brought about a warm, dry spring and an early harvest, according to to the Wine Spectator Vintage Report. The yield was lower than past years, though the quality maintained an elegant and refined style.

You don't have to just take our word for it, however. The 2015 Sangiacomo Robert's Road Chardonnay has won Double Gold medals at the SF Chronicle International Wine Competition, and well as Double Gold & Best of Class in the International Women’s Wine Competition. 

 

With 14 months in new and used French oak barrels, the Robert’s Road Chardonnay is exceptionally balanced with fruit and acidity. Pears, tropical fruits and nectarines are balanced by a dollop of vanilla and honey on the finish for a bright, playful Chardonnay true to the region.

Sea Bird Wines was founded on the belief that coastal influence makes truly great wine. The Sangicomo Vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region exemplifies this belief year over year as we craft true-to-region Chardonnay with bright fruit, lively acidity, and the kind of bottle you can’t wait to enjoy while lounging around with friends on a warm Spring day.

A Recipe For #GreatVinesToGreatTimes

As warmer weather approaches it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fresh meal. This easy crab cake recipe from Pinch and Swirl focuses on a recipe with more crab meat instead of a bread-crumb overload. The fresh seafood influence will parry and play beautifully with the fruit and acidity of our 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay for a light, weeknight meal to enjoy out on the patio with the promise of Spring nipping at our heels!

Ready to sip on some of the most quaffable Chardonnay of the season? Head over to the Sea Bird Wines Shop to snag the last bottles, and if you're lucky, even a magnum. We'll meet you on the patio for a glass, or two.


Spotlight Wine: 2014 Sangiacomo Pinot Noir

Farmed by the Sangiocomo Family, we sourced our 2014 Sangiocomo Pinot Noir from this prestigious Sonoma vineyard just at the base of the Sonoma Mountain.

A long, slow growing season with well-draining, silty soil makes this the ideal place to grow Pinot Noir, along with Chardonnay. The vineyard welcomes in a cool morning fog from the far northern edge of the Petaluma Gap, and long, warmer days over the course of the growing season. The result is balanced, healthy vines planted to over 130 acres.

The 2014 vintage was another year for the books in California winemaking, and the Sangiocomo Pinot Noir vineyard was no exception. This vintage brought and early spring, and as a result, an early finish in the fall. Perfectly warm days and cool nights in Sonoma cultivated the best expression of balance in Pinot Noir with elegant tannins, bright fruit and lively acidity.

Sea Bird’s 2014 Sangiacomo Road Pinot Noir brings the fruit from this well-respected vineyard to life. Aromas of raspberries, violets and leather rise from the glass. This wine spent 14 months in New and Used French Oak barrels, lending a medium weight to the wine with minimal oak influence that allows the polished tannins to shine through.

 

A recipe for #GreatTimes

With its bright acidity and lush mouthfeel, our Pinot Noir goes to great lengths and plays beautifully with a light and fresh meal.

This Baked Salmon with Herbs & Lemon is a perfect weeknight meal with minimal prep, lush flavor, and captures the savory notes of the wine in an elegant finish. Whether you’re kicking your feet up on a Tuesday or inviting close friends for dinner, enjoy an easy meal with a bottle of wine that will take you from Great Vines to Great Times, one sip at a time.

Photo By Dana Veldon The Kitchn
Pair with Sea Bird Wines 2014 Sangiacomo Pinot Noir

Sea Bird Wines Takes Double Gold in San Francisco International Wine Competition

Since its inception in 1980, the San Francisco International Wine Competition sets a standard for integrity and impartiality. One of the world’s longest running wine competitions, this year marked the 38th year of blind-tasting, wine-judging, and king-making.

Speaking of kings…we are proud to announce that Sea Bird Wines 2014 Poseidon Cabernet Sauvignon took home a Double Gold this year with a 97 Point score. Appropriately named after the King of Seas, Poseidon is Sea Bird Wine’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the prestigious Rutherford Napa Valley AVA.

What’s Double Gold, you ask? It’s like a double win for us! Double Gold is the designation awarded to a select few entries that receive unanimous high ratings from amongst the judges. We are proud to count ourselves in a club that considers this ranking the “finest in the world.”

2014 Poseidon is the wine you want to bring out with your favorite friends around. A quintessential expression of the vintage, aromas of wild berries, caramel and cocoa powder draw you in. Layers of mocha, dark cherries and butterscotch round out a full-bodied palate with polished tannins and enough acidity to keep things interesting.

Head over to our shop to secure your allocation…and if you’re lucky we might still have a few magnums available to really spice things up.

Want to check out more Sea Bird accolades? Read about our 2018 Harvest Challenge win here.


Poseidon Wins Double Gold at the 2018 Harvest Challenge

As participating members of the 2018 Harvest Challenge, we are proud to announce that Sea Bird wines took home Double Gold with our 2014 vintage of Poseidon. Our prized Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is sourced from one of the most coveted vineyard sources in Napa Valley. While we can’t name any names, we’ll refer to this as the G3 Vineyard in Rutherford AVA.

 

Each year, the Harvest Challenge rates the competing wine’s terroir with other wines of the same appellation. With over 1,000 wines in competition, we are honored to announce our wins in Best in Class, Best of Napa County AVA, and Double Gold medals! We were competing next to wines from the same regions and even the same appellation. We think we’re pretty great…but it’s always nice to see that you think so too!

 

The 2014 vintage was an excellent year for Cabernet. It’s been called a “dream” vintage as Cabernet Sauvignon reined king across Napa. Lingering drought conditions and low yields resulted in premium quality fruit. The perfect tipping point between the 2012 and 2013 vintages, 2014 walked the line of lush tannins and vibrant acidity to boot.

 

Sea Bird 2014 Poseidon Cabernet Sauvignon represented everything there is to love about the vintage. Aged for 24 months in New and Used French Oak barrels, the polished tannins come out to play with a broad mouthfeel. Already approachable, the beauty of this wine is its readiness to open now with your closest friends, or contentedly age in the cellar for years to come.

Interested in an allocation of 2014 Poseidon Cabernet? Head over to our shop to secure an allocation quick…our limited production wines are selling out quick. If you’re lucky there might still be a magnum available for your holiday table…

 


4 Ways To Save The Environment This Holiday Season

We have a lot to be grateful for this year at Sea Bird Wines. Great wine, great company to share it with, and a beautiful place on Earth to enjoy it…what else can you ask for? As the holiday season approaches, there are so many opportunities to be a conscious consumer and shop with boutique brands that are contributing to a more sustainable footprint on the world.

 

The CDC reports that Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve than any other period of the year. The plastic and paper waste is overwhelming and impacts our oceans the hardest. Our every-day ecosystem depends on the resources from our coast in ways you might not expect; a healthy coastline gives us everything from the food we enjoy, clean air to breathe and (most importantly) great wine grown with coastal influences from regions like Napa and Sonoma. That’s why this holiday season we are bringing you more ways to help preserve the planet while still serving up the fun.

 

Ready for some inspiration? These are a few ways that members of The Flock can help create a more sustainable holiday season:

 

  1. Volunteer for coastal cleanup

Around the holidays, there is an abundance of opportunities to serve your community and give back. Some of the most overlooked volunteer opportunities can be clean-up work. The pollution of our oceans impacts the health of our communities inland. Search for volunteer opportunities from coast to coast through a non-profit resource like Ocean Conservancy.

 

 

  1. Reduce wrapping waste by using eco-friendly wrapping paper

If every American family wrapped only 3 presents in recycled materials, we could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields this year. Zero-waste wrapping paper is trending this year, and is not only great for the environment, but extremely chic when done tastefully. Save items such as newspaper, scrap fabric, a patterned men’s button-down or a vintage scarf for wrapping material. Up-cycle items like strips of scrap fabric, hemp, or leather cords for ties, and utilize fresh herbs and greenery like pine branches or rosemary for a finishing touch.

 

 

  1. Get creative with a gift for the kids

Kids get an excess of toys for Christmas, and most of them are mass-produced products made with plastic and packaging materials that lead to waste. If you’re gifting for a child this year, consider a gift that doesn’t come with batteries. Get creative with the gifts you have to offer and remember that time and memories are the best gifts you can give.

 

Your favorite book, a trip to the zoo with you, or a special date night voucher for a movie (their choice!) are presents that are unique, thoughtful, and are low-impact on the environment.

 

  1. Drink Sea Bird Wines

With so many options for wine to adorn your tables during the holidays, it can be a challenge to choose one that everyone will enjoy. By selecting a boutique California brand like Sea Bird Wines to shop with, you are able to show up your average grocery store purchase for a crowd-pleasing selection with a story to tell. Mom can enjoy a glass (or three) of Robert’s Road Chardonnay and Cousin Joe will tell you all about the tasting notes of our silky-smooth Sonoma Stage Vineyard Pinot Noir (we hear he’s a Level 1 Sommelier).

 

Impress your friends and family with our award-winning boutique production wine while you sip and swirl with confidence, knowing that you made a mindful choice this season. The core value of Sea Bird wines is crafting a more sustainable future for us all. That’s why proceeds from every bottle are donated to non-profits dedicated to protecting and preserving seabird habitats on coastlines all over the country..

 

Contributing to a better environment can be as easy as buying a few bottles of your new favorite wine.

And let’s be honest, by the time the holiday season arrives…you’ll be ready for easy.

 




Proceeds That Keep Them Flying

Our planet is completely dependent on healthy oceans for nourishment in the forms of oxygen, rain, and food. The seabirds that live along our coasts are inspiring reminders of how fragile that dependency can be when humans irresponsibly interfere with their habitats.

That’s why we’ve dedicated Sea Bird Wines to helping preserve the natural marine habitats that allow us to continue making the world’s best wine. Our logo reflects our passion for the oceans and the life it sustains. But for us, that wasn’t enough. That’s why we will donate the proceeds from every bottle of Sea Bird Wines to non-profit charities whose mission is to protect and preserve the maritime habitats we depend on.

The International Bird Rescue is at the top of our list. Their emphasis is on rehabilitation of aquatic birds who are impacted by oil spills. While you might only know about the newspaper headline-worthy spills, the reality is that there are thousands of small oil spills every day that go unreported and unnoticed. This organization takes their mission seriously as the “Stewards of the Earth.”

Perhaps you’re wondering how this might affect you? The most essential part of marine bird rehabilitation is protecting the food chain. Their urgent response to oil spills prevents the spread of oil up the food chain. As proud members at the top of the food chain, we think this is a pretty important initiative. Healthy marine habitats also extend into the vineyards, which depend on migratory birds for pest control to maintain sustainable winegrowing practices.

We appreciate the work that IBR does as Stewards of the Earth. It makes it possible for Sea Bird Wines to be your Wine Stewards taking Great Vines to Great Times with you in every glass.

All of this saving the Sea Birds making you thirsty? Us too. Head over to our current releases to bring the goodness to your table.


Let’s Talk Terroir | Single Vineyard Wine for a Great Time

Can California have terroir?

Terroir: it’s a word you may have heard casually woven into wine conversations between friends, sommeliers, and dining companions. Its French origins define it as all the environmental factors that determine the quality of a crop. Any wine aficionado will tell you it’s just as much an artistic term as it is a scientific definition. There’s the certain something about a place that makes particularly delicious wine. Something that can’t be recreated just anywhere.

For us, there are the many elements that come together to make wine with a little bit of California terroir. Yes, it’s the basics of sun, soil, air, temperature and rainfall that makes up the technical elements of terroir. It’s the maritime breezes that cool the grapes in vineyard mornings. But it’s also the uniqueness of our single-vineyard selections, and a little bit of New World winemaking spirit that combines to make up of the terroir of every bottle created by Sea Bird Wines.

Napa vs. Sonoma: what’s the difference?

When you’re cruising the wine aisle to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner, are you thinking about the differences in the region between the two different bottles of Pinot Noir you have in hand? One of the greatest parts about experiencing wine is the way that two of the same varietals can taste completely different, even if there’s grown just a few miles apart.

When we’re choosing our single vineyard selections for you every year, we have the chance to get our hands on some of the most premium wine-growing selections in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Napa fruit offers a warmer expression of wine as the heat of the Valley floor ripens the grapes in that lush fashion we all have come to love about Napa. The morning fog carried out from the sea brings cool crisp mornings, and the sun burns it all off. Our Sonoma fruit sources are closer to the coast, bringing a cooler average day as the maritime breezes blow in from the sea and allow for our favorite cool-climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to develop a pleasing acidity and balance.

Coast Breezes & marine habitat preservation

As you work your way around the tastings rooms in Wine Country, you’ll inevitably hear the expression “diurnal shift” when talking about the growing season. In wine terms, it’s the difference in temperature variation from the highest and lowest point in the day. In “normal” terms, it’s the reason you need to dress in layers when you come to visit!

This matters for us in the vineyard because that shift in temperature from cool, foggy and breezy to warm and full of sunshine helps define the quality of our wine each year. We can’t make great wine without the swing in temperature, and that shift wouldn’t happen without the coastal influence nearby. It comes and goes every day, just as the sun and the tide rise and sets. That’s why we dedicate proceeds for each bottle of Sea Bird Wine to the preservation of marine habitats from coast-to-coast. It’s our way of saying “thanks!” for the great wine that only a healthy coastline can offer.

Every time you open a bottle of Sea Bird Wines, you can raise a toast to nature’s most unstoppable force: a wine drinker determined to have a Good Time!

Ready to experience a taste of terroir with us? Shop our current release vintages here or dig into our cellar with our Library Collection here.