Haarmeyer Wine Cellars: Crafting Exceptional Chenin Blanc in the Sacramento Region

When one thinks of wine country, the greater Sacramento region may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, Craig Haarmeyer and his family have found that West Sacramento provides the ideal location to immerse themselves in the art of winemaking and establish their own label.

Craig Haarmeyer has been deeply connected to the food and wine scene from an early age. Growing up, his parents owned several restaurants in Old Sacramento, with their own wine shop situated above one of the establishments. Haarmeyer reminisces, “I just have food and wine in my blood.”

In the late ’90s, Haarmeyer embarked on his first venture into commercial winemaking. After returning from art school, he assisted his friend Charles Myers at Harbor Winery during the harvest season. Little did he know, this experience would eventually pave the way for Haarmeyer Wine Cellars.

Family-owned and operated, Haarmeyer Wine Cellars officially began custom crushing in 2008, sourcing fruit from a vineyard in California’s renowned Lodi region. Initially focusing on Spanish and Portuguese varieties, Haarmeyer soon discovered the potential for producing high-quality Chenin Blanc from local fruit. This revelation sparked their commitment to crafting exceptional Chenin Blanc wines.

Today, Haarmeyer Wine Cellars boasts six vineyard sources for their Chenin Blanc, spanning from the Sacramento River Delta to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. In addition to Chenin Blanc, they also work with other varietals like Riesling, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Blaufrenkisch, and Gemischter Satz. Haarmeyer emphasizes their dedication to a “low intervention” process and collaboration with organic fruit growers.

Haarmeyer’s personal favorite, Chenin Blanc, stands out for its ability to handle oxygen and its distinctive texture. The naturally high acidity of Chenin Blanc, along with its capacity for oxidative aging, results in wines that are “refreshing and sour in their youth and nutty and complex in their old age,” according to Haarmeyer Wine Cellar’s website.

Beyond their exceptional wines, Haarmeyer cherishes the connections he has made in the wine industry. Whether it’s fellow winemakers, employees, or students, he describes them as thoughtful, creative, and fascinating individuals.

Looking ahead, Haarmeyer dreams of passing on the winemaking legacy to his children. He hopes they will find the same fulfillment in carrying the torch forward.

Haarmeyer Wine Cellars’ portfolio can be enjoyed across the United States and internationally at various restaurants, bars, wine shops, and specialty stores. Locally, their wines are available at select locations in Sacramento, including Corti Brothers, Taylor’s Market, Nugget Markets, Davis Food Co-op, and wine bars in the area. The winery also offers a unique tasting experience where enthusiasts can savor wines directly from the barrel.

For more information on Haarmeyer Wine Cellars and where to find their exceptional wines, visit their website at https://haarmeyerwinecellars.com/.

FAQs

1. Who is Craig Haarmeyer?
Craig Haarmeyer is a winemaker based in West Sacramento who has been deeply connected to the food and wine scene from an early age. His parents owned several restaurants in Old Sacramento, and he has a passion for wine.

2. When did Haarmeyer Wine Cellars begin?
Haarmeyer Wine Cellars officially began custom crushing in 2008.

3. What types of grapes do they focus on?
Initially, Haarmeyer Wine Cellars focused on Spanish and Portuguese varieties but later discovered the potential for producing high-quality Chenin Blanc from local fruit. They also work with other varietals like Riesling, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Blaufrenkisch, and Gemischter Satz.

4. How many vineyard sources do they have for Chenin Blanc?
Haarmeyer Wine Cellars has six vineyard sources for their Chenin Blanc, spanning from the Sacramento River Delta to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

5. What is the winery’s approach to winemaking?
Haarmeyer Wine Cellars emphasizes a “low intervention” process and collaboration with organic fruit growers.

6. What is Chenin Blanc known for?
Chenin Blanc is known for its ability to handle oxygen and its distinctive texture. It has naturally high acidity and can age gracefully, resulting in refreshing and sour wines in their youth and nutty and complex wines in their old age.

7. Where can Haarmeyer wines be found?
Haarmeyer Wine Cellars’ portfolio can be enjoyed across the United States and internationally at various restaurants, bars, wine shops, and specialty stores. Locally, their wines are available at select locations in Sacramento, including Corti Brothers, Taylor’s Market, Nugget Markets, Davis Food Co-op, and wine bars in the area.

8. How can one experience a unique tasting at Haarmeyer Wine Cellars?
The winery offers a unique tasting experience where enthusiasts can savor wines directly from the barrel.

Definitions

– Vineyard: A piece of land where grapevines are grown.

– Commercial winemaking: The production of wine for commercial purposes, such as selling to consumers.

– Custom crushing: The process of crushing and fermenting grapes on behalf of other wineries or individuals.

– Varietals: Different types of wine grapes.

– Chenin Blanc: A white wine grape variety known for its high acidity and ability to produce a wide range of styles, from dry to sweet.

– Riesling: A white grape variety known for its aromatic qualities and ability to produce a wide range of wine styles, from dry to sweet.

– Zinfandel: A red grape variety primarily grown in California known for producing bold, fruit-forward red wines.

– Nebbiolo: A red grape variety primarily grown in Piedmont, Italy, known for producing powerful, tannic wines.

– Blaufrenkisch: A red grape variety mainly grown in Central Europe, known for its fruity and spicy characteristics.

– Gemischter Satz: A style of wine from Austria made from multiple grape varieties co-fermented together.

Suggested related links:
Haarmeyer Wine Cellars (Official website of Haarmeyer Wine Cellars)