The location of the Petersen Vineyards is located with a view from the shifting moods of the Mt. Diablo winery, which are always fascinating, always lovely, and breathtaking beyond words on many evenings. The vineyard as a farm site retains some of its rustic character. The company is run by Peter Petersen and his family.
You are familiar with the quality, caliber, and characteristics of Contra Costa wines if you are a local wine aficionado or have had the opportunity to visit any of the local wineries. The rich soils of the Delta allow farmers to grow extremely flavored grapes, which are made into sweet wines. When Peter decided to grow grapes and start exploring the wine-making industry, he knew the land where Petersen Vineyards is located would result in stellar grapes from winemaking. But, from the rest of his companions rising Contra Costa Wine, he wanted to make wines which had unique flavor profiles.
That is why for his wine making, Petersen decided to grow Spanish and Portuguese varietals of grapes. Peter admits that he loves port, and that he wanted to grow grapes that he could make at sea. But he also stressed wanting to make great wines that had different notes than the wines created by other local vintages.
Some of their most famous vines is an accidentally produced Chardonnay Port Wine. In 2015, the second oldest daughter, Sara, got married right when they were supposed to harvest the grapes. By the time the wedding was over and the guests had left, they had skipped the harvest, but made 100 liters of wine using the late grapes which had yielded 28 percent sugar levels by that time. We fortified the grapes to wine, and then looked at how the mix seemed to take on a life of its own. It tasted pear one month, mango the next month, and apple the following month. Eventually they loaded it into barrels of wood. The resulting port had different characteristics at cooler temperatures than it would when it was dry.
They called the final product Pura Vida, which translates roughly into "pure life" or "all life," and in Costa Rica it is a line that is usually given to a friend on departure. The effects of our serendipitous trip have amazed them. For starters, it is possible to pour Pura Vida over ice cream and fruit for a wonderful treat. Fortunately, they have kept close notes on the "accident" progress, so they can reproduce the flavor and do a good business with the 2016 bottles.
Petersen Vineyard is a great place to visit all year round. Mt. Diablo serves as a backdrop to the quaint tasting room and the perfectly arranged rows of grapevines. The degustation room itself resembles Mediterranean winery-casual, welcoming and inviting.
Petersen Vineyard is open for tasting every Friday evening and by reservation. Events and tastings are on the website. Peter Petersen has taken the idea of wine-growing and wine-making sustainably to heart and brought to market the deliciously unique flavors of Europe to the growing Contra Costa wine market. When you are exploring your local backroads, every day is a good day to visit Petersen Vineyard.
This amazing winery is just one of the many popular wineries located in Brentwood, California:
Brentwood's Co. Co. County Wine Company
Hannah Nicole Vineyards
Tamayo Family Vineyards
Campos Family Vineyards
Vine and Grain
Orchard & Vine
Bay Area Distilling Company
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