Our 2021 Estate Wines!

Oak Creek Vineyards Estate Merlot
Oak Creek Vineyards Estate Wines

We’ve released our 2021 Barbera to Club Members as an Estate Wine for the first time. You may recall our 2020 Barbera from this time last year. It was truly delicious and we are very proud of it. But even though it was made from the same grape from the same vineyard, it was not an Estate Bottled wine. For those who are interested, I explain below. Rest assured, this Barbera is amazing.

Our Club Members are also enjoying, for the first time, our 2021 Estate Bottled Merlot! This wine has been a labor of love and determination here at Oak Creek. Great respect to Adam and his team in the winery for this spectacular wine.

As many of you know, our vineyard has had some trying times in the last few years. These grapes grows at the top of the vineyard, exposed to the worst that mother nature can throw at them: wind, frost, drought, birds, rodents, terrible (for Merlot) soils! Over the last 3 years, we have completely rebuilt the irrigation, re-established proper organic fertilizers and pest controls, and are rebuilding the soils to be more resistant to drought and pests. This is our first, and we hope the beginning of many, vintages of amazing Merlots from our very own vineyards.

In honor of this event, and reflecting the newly designated Verde Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area), we have redesigned our Estate Labels. These new labels first reflect Nathalie’s desire for clean simple labels that reflect our simple straightforward approach to wine. Second, our desire to pay respect to our love for this place and its natural beauty and the bounty it provides. We are so grateful.

On our new labels you will see the profile of House Mountain in the back with our vineyards on its slopes, above Oak Creek at the bottom. Our estate is heavily impacted by the volcanic rock formations of House Mountain, limestone sediments from millennia of submerged sea beds followed by the alluvial soils of Oak Creek in the Verde Valley. Our label is designed to reflect all these influences.

Finally a note about “Estate Bottled Wine”. This is a legal term that can only be used when the grapes are grown, and vinted in the same AVA by a single winery. In 2021 we began managing the Hidden Hills Vineyard that grows our Barbera grapes. In addition, in 2021, the Verde Valley became an AVA, a region of significant viticultural importance.

Therefore, by satisfying those two requirements, the Barbera became an Estate wine for us. We control how the grapes are grown, what nutrients are used, when the grapes are picked, etc. Our Estate Merlot is grown at the top of the property. We then make these outstanding wines in our facility here on the property at Oak Creek, just 200 yards from the Tasting Room.

We are releasing these wines to you first, and hope you love them as much as we do!

Nathalie and Gary Carruthers

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