It may be spring break for most colleges, but Testarossa University is in full swing with a lineup of classes revealing the secrets of the vineyards.
Testarossa winemaker Bill Brosseau has been working with most of the vineyards in the brand’s portfolio for at least a decade, longer in some cases—to wit, Garys’ and Pisoni vineyards since 1999 and 1997, respectively. There’s a lot of history stored up in the memory banks and in the bottle.
First up is a vertical tasting of Doctor’s Vineyard and Tondre Grapefield pinot noir, two of the winery’s most popular vineyard sources, on March 26, 2-4 p.m. Educators will lead the class through a tasting of six wines that reflect the unique terroir of these two very different vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
The art of wine and food pairing is a never-ending source of discussion and experimentation. This class calls on the pairing skills of resident Chef Nadiv Geiger. Six current and library wines will be presented along with Nadiv’s creative dishes designed to elevate the art of both chef and winemaker. Wednesday, March 29, 5-7 p.m.
Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, in the Santa Rita Hills, is owned by the Terlato family and has been part of the Testarossa portfolio since 2004. On Sunday, April 2, 2-4 p.m., and then again on Wednesday, April 5, 5-7 p.m., attendees at a Sanford and Benedict Vineyard horizontal tasting will taste six different wines from this vineyard made by different winemakers, providing vivid snapshots of how a singular place is interpreted by different palates and approaches.
Rounding out the first session of University classes, is New California AVAs, Wednesday, April 19, 5-9 p.m. Newer American Viticulture Areas that have been approved in the last few years, including Alisos Canyon, Palos Verde Peninsula and West Sonoma Coast, will be highlighted, and wines that exemplify their unique geology and climate will be presented.
Lead educator Sue Ryan teaches the classes along with Bob Zamora and John Joy.
All classes are all $85. No minors are allowed. Register at Testarossa.com/visit/Testarossa-University.
Elsewhere at Testarossa, new 2021 releases are available to explore at the tasting bar. The 2021 Rosella’s Vineyard chardonnay leads with classic floral and citrus aromas. A real standout is 2021 Soberanes chardonnay; both the structure and acidity are rewarding from this vineyard, planted in 2008 and part of the Testarossa fold since 2011.
The 2021 Rosella’s pinot noir has a silky texture that lingers long and lovely on the palate. This is Sunday afternoon pinot noir meant for chamber music in a rose garden.
The 2021 Soberanes pinot noir, is powerful and complex. From the Santa Rita Hills comes the 2021 Rancho La Vina pinot noir, with compelling savory notes.
Were it not for the fires of 2020 that pretty much decimated the fruit in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Testarossa might never have happened upon this vineyard.