Red; Mostly Napa Cabs, Shops + Shows, Tastings, Travel

The Urban Wineries of Dogpatch

This article was originally posted in March 2014 then lost to a Go Daddy cluster *%%#. We just found a few articles in cyberspace and re-post them here.

Dogpatch was the place Li’l Abner and his hillbilly comic strip pals lazed their life away. For VinoDuo, Dogpatch is now the little-known San Francisco neighborhood that boasts artisan coffee, gritty shipyard remnants, funky shops, and fabulous restaurants. Dubbed a “perennial up-and-coming neighborhood” by one San Francisco guide, Dogpatch has seen good times and bad and today is flourishing with the influx of artists, artisans, and the people who trail them.

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Now, VinoDuo likes great restaurants and killer coffee as much as the next yuppie couple. In fact, we had a lovely lunch at Dogpatch Café and devoured the outstanding flatbread-style pizza at Piccino Café. But what drove us to visit was Dogpatch WineWorks, a boutique winemaker’s collective and tasting room. Urban winemaking has caught our fancy of late and this no-frills winery–housed in a former warehouse—was smack dab in the middle of a resurgent Dogpatch. The venue hosts several small commercial producers in a “custom crush” arrangement, where artisan winemakers source their own grapes and bring the fruit to WineWorks for production. During our visit to the tasting room, we were fortunate to sample the wine of two winemakers: Seamus wines and Jazz Cellars. [Note: Jazz Cellars Winery is now located in the historic gold rush town of Murphys, CA at 380 Main Street.]

Seamus is a family-owned business, with a twist. Father and son winemakers James Foley Sr. and Jr. live in Georgia, but in 2014 they produced 900 cases of California wine in Dogpatch. Jazz Cellars was founded in 2005 by two friends who shared a love of good wine and great music. Jazz’s small-batch producers focus on Rhone-style wines, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir. In tandem, Seamus and Jazz Cellars presented Lisa and Gary with a literal Vino Duo wine tasting experience.

Seamus Olde Sonoma Cabernet 2009
Toasty oak nose with some cedar and cigar box. This is a big wine with good tannic structure, super concentrated black current fruit. Winemaker Jim Foley is a true craftsman. While drinkable at this point, the wine would benefit from additional cellaring. The 2010 Olde Sonoma Reserve selling online for $99.

Jazz Cellars sources its grapes from regions across California including Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Carneros, Amador, Santa Lucia Highlands, and San Benito.

Jazz Cellars Las Madres 2007 Syrah
Amazingly fragrant nose and deep black and cherry fruit flavors. Short finish, but delicious. The 2014 Las Madres sells for $39 on the winery’s website.

Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyard, Amador County Zinfandel
A juicy Zinfandel featuring hints of raspberry, cherry and blackberry over a silky smooth tannin backbone. The 2010 Shake Ridge Zin sells for $22 on the website.

Jazz Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch 2007
Purchased without tasting. Tasting notes from home: This is a big, inky-dark Petite Sirah with classic black fruit and spice flavoring. One of the best of this varietal that VinoDuo has tasted – no longer produced in 2018.

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