Guarachi Family Wines Completes Purchase of Sun Chase Vineyard in Sonoma County
Guarachi Family Wines is pleased to announce the purchase of their first estate, Sun Chase Vineyard, within the Sonoma Coast AVA and Petaluma Wind Gap. With the acquisition of Sun Chase, Guarachi Family Wines is able to continue to build their highly successful Pinot Noir range from the Sonoma Coast AVA.
Notes Founder Alex Guarachi, “It has taken years to find the right vineyard, and a site that could complement the exceptional fruit we’re sourcing from premier growers. With the purchase of our own vineyard, we’ve laid the foundation for our continued growth. Sun Chase is just six years old so the threshold to discover what it’s capable of still lies ahead. Sun Chase has a great destiny to fulfill.”
Named for the sun “chasing the fog” in the morning, the 248-acre lot is situated on the southern side of Sonoma Mountain, an area heavily influenced by cool ocean breezes. The significant maritime influence and high elevation highlight the minerality of the wines.
Currently planted to 24 acres of Pinot Noir, the first single vineyard Guarachi Family Wines release is scheduled for its 2013 vintage. In the interim, sample the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (SRP $65) sourced from Sun Chase as well as Gap’s Crown and Goldrock Ridge. Floral nuances combine with layers of balanced fruit for a lasting finish.
Q&A WITH ALEX GUARACHI
YOU HAVE SPENT MORE THAN 25 YEARS REPRESENTING SOME OF THE FOREMOST FAMILY- OWNED WINERIES FROM CHILE, ARGENTINA AND BEYOND. TELL US WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MAKING YOUR OWN WINES UNDER THE GUARACHI FAMILY NAME?
As an importer of fine wines my job has been to build brands for others, but I always wanted a brand of my own to nurture and grow. Someday I hope to pass along what we accomplish with Guarachi Family Wines to my children.
CALIFORNIA IS YOUR HOME – AND AS SUCH WE APPRECIATE THE AMAZING APPEAL OF MAKING WINES “LOCALLY.” TELL US WHY YOU CHOSE NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON AND SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR FOR GUARACHI FAMILY WINES.
When it comes to wine, my first loves are Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. I could have gone to other parts of California but I believe that Napa is the best region in the country for Cabernet Sauvignon while Sonoma Coast is the best for Pinot Noir. Ultimately my decision was driven by sourcing the finest grapes we could find for the wines we wanted to make.
WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY IN THE GUARACHI FAMILY WINEMAKING PROCESS?
I’m very hands-on. We’ve got a dream team working on Guarachi Family which includes winemakers Paul Hobbs and Julian Gonzalez. I’m personally involved in every aspect from vineyard selection to blending. I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the finest wineries in the industry, and as such I am committed to delivering the same high standard for my wines that I so value from the producers we represent at TGIC.
TELL US ABOUT THE ACQUISITION OF SUN CHASE VINEYARD.
Sun Chase Vineyard is situated on the Sonoma Coast and is named for the sun “chasing the fog” in the morning. There is a significant maritime influence and the vineyard is planted at a high elevation of 1,400 feet, so the minerality really comes through. It’s a 248-acre lot currently planted to 42 acres, primarily with Pinot Noir. Since the vineyard is only six years old, the threshold to discover what our vineyards are capable of still lies ahead but we’re very impressed with the quality we’re finding in each vintage. Sun Chase is a vineyard with a great destiny to fulfill.
WHAT SETS GUARACHI FAMILY WINES APART DURING EACH PHASE OF THE VITICULTURAL AND WINEMAKING PROCESS?
We make sure to work with the best talent and materials, whether it’s our winemakers, vineyards or a barrel. Every decision counts towards delivering quality, from vineyard sourcing to night harvesting to blend selection.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT SOMEBODY CAN PAY TO YOUR WINE?
Recently I was invited to participate in the one of the industry’s prestigious tasting tours. People had the opportunity to taste some of the greatest wines in the world. It was a tremendous compliment to have collectors come back on several occasions to taste our Guarachi Family Pinot Noir and tell us how much they enjoyed it.
ABOUT ALEX GUARACHI
As a boy growing up in Santiago, Chile, Alex Guarachi always saw himself coming to America to play professional soccer. After accepting a scholarship to San Jose State University, he almost made his dream a reality, but just as he was being scouted by the pros, a career ending injury shattered his hopes.
It’s in these types of difficult situations a person’s true character is revealed. For Alex, another passion of his was the wines of his homeland. He saw Chile as a viticulture paradise, but in 1985, the idea of selling wines from South America seemed crazy, particularly in the backyard of Napa and Sonoma.
But succeed he did. Working from a garage and performing every task, Alex was order taker, warehouse manager and truck driver. He built his importing company into one of the industry’s leading companies and in 2010 was honored as Importer of the Year.
However, for Alex one piece was missing. As he established permanent residence in North America, he longed for the opportunity to farm grapes and create wines of his own.
In 2013, Alex Guarachi fulfilled his dream with the purchase of the prestigious Sun Chase Vineyard, situated within the Sonoma Coast AVA and Petaluma Wind Gap. Planted with 42 acres of Pinot Noir at a significant 1,400 feet elevation, the first release of Guarachi Family’s single vineyard wines from Sun Chase is scheduled for its 2013 vintage, a time frame which allows the winery to fully realize its potential with small parcel management.
GUARACHI FAMILY – ESTATES & WINES
Guarachi Family Wines focuses on two key varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley and Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast – and produces four distinct wines. The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several vineyards: Lincoln Ranch, Mast, Rancho Salinas, Yountville, and Zinfandel Lane. Heritage Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from Las Piedras Heritage. Gap’s Crown Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is produced at the eponymous vineyard on the Sonoma Coast while Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is sourced from Gap’s Crown, Gold Rock Ridge, and Sun Chase, Guarachi Family’s first estate acquisition.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Lincoln Ranch, Mast, Rancho Salinas, Yountville Zinfandel Lane) – Lincoln Ranch’s sandy, rocky soil concentrates fruit flavors while the pastoral hillside of Mast lends rich intensity to the grapes. Rancho Salina is located 800 feet above the Sonoma Valley floor contributing rocky volcanic soil alongside the breezes of the San Pablo Bay. The six-acre Zinfandel Lane is located in one of the most exclusive areas of St. Helena and is wholly planted Cabernet Sauvignon. Yountville’s red dirt lends a supple palate texture. A complex and layered Cabernet Sauvignon with a small amount of Cabernet Franc. (Suggested retail: $80)
Heritage Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Las Piedras) – A signature red sourced entirely from Las Piedras. Known for its gravely soil, this Beckstoffer Heritage vineyard traces its roots back to the original Mexican land grants more than 150 years ago. Powerful with a lingering finish. (Suggested retail: $250)
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, (Gap’s Crown, Gold Rock Ridge, Sunchase) – The northwest corner of Sonoma County provides a cool maritime climate resulting in an ideal location for Pinot Noir. The hillsides of Sunchase sit 1,400 feet above the valley floor and receive ample sunlight. Balanced fruit, minerality and a lasting finish are hallmarks of this rich Pinot Noir. (Suggested retail: $65)
Gap’s Crown Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Gap’s Crown) – Cool ocean breezes between the Sonoma Mountain and the Petaluma Wind Gap trap coastal fog just before harvest to ensure slow, and evenly ripened fruit. Oak-inspired spice with a soft yet lively acidity. (Suggested retail: $75)
ABOUT TGIC IMPORTERS
Founded in 1985, TGIC Importers is a leading producer, importer and marketer of fine wines. TGIC was one of the first importers of Chilean and Argentine wines, and today the company represents more than 15 wineries from around the world, including acclaimed producers such as Achaval-Ferrer, Bodega Norton and Montes. For more information visit www.tgicimporters.com.