Also called Napa Gamay (though not Gamay at all) , Valdiguié has a killer purple color, light tannins and floral berry notes. It was widely planted in Napa in the 50’s and 60’s and made into a light red wine that was popular until Cabernet Sauvignon started to demand higher prices and it was slowly ripped out and replaced. 

This wine smells like blackberries and stewed strawberry, blueberry pie, boysenberry, dark pomegranate, Chinese 5 spice, and a touch of anise. It smells bright but has an intense finish that I keep going back to. 

This wine is totally crazy in 1/3 of it’s making, which is done by fermenting in a plastic bag. See pics above. This is kind of carbonic but rather anaerobic because there is no oxygen added to the bag. I don’t know of anyone else using this bag technique. Do you? 

2020 Birdhorse Calistoga Valdiguié


Corinne – This wine is interesting because people think of it as like a crushable red wine, bright fruit and this is all of those things, but it is not crushable. This has teeth to it, and some depth. It sits on volcanic runoff at the foot of the Vaca mountains, that is where the Frediani vineyard is. It has been dry farmed for over 50 years and that intensity shows. 

 This is also one of my favorite wines to make because of the giant plastic bag experiment. About a third of the fruit goes into the ginormous food grade plastic bag.

KatieIt’s an anaerobic fermentation. It’s not carbonic in the typical way of like you’re injecting CO2, the grapes are going through another pathway for that fermentation, but the grapes go through anaerobic fermentation. We do de-stem so they’re crushed already, they’re not entire berries. It just makes the wine more textural and builds this density on the palate that other wine has, but not in that same way – it’s a silky creamy kind of thing. It builds a more floral perfumed character on the nose that pushes the wine in a different direction that lends depth and texture and complexity to the finished wine once we blend it.

Corinne – Part of the thing that’s happening is all of that gas pressure gets trapped in the bag. So you have this positive pressure that’s constantly pushing back on the cap and so it’s not submerging it in the liquid but you have a higher portion of solids being pushed back in from that gas pressure. That must be where the weight and texture comes from.

Well hello there.