Want to get a little wild? Good. Because these 2 very modernized classics will blow your mind.
Things that are as old as time: the story of Noah’s ark, and Georgian wine, specifically Rkatsiteli. “Rkat-what?” you say? A dry white wine grape that’s often expressed as orange, Rkatsiteli is one of the most ancient strains of Vinus Vinifera (the Latin name for wine-making grapes, keep up). While many other strains have likely mutated from it (fun fact, most grapes are mutations or hybrids), Rkatsiteli has stayed the same and been produced in the exact same way for thousands of years: the Georgians (who invented wine)(really, they did) take the whole grapes—skins, juice, stems, and all—and bury them in earthenware jugs to ferment for a couple months. So there’s a lot of skin contact! Hence the orange. This technique is called Qvervi and makes rich, earthy, medium- to full-bodied, aromatic wines; aka some of the all time best.
This Rkat is a little different, because it’s from... Virginia. Really! VA is a legit wine-growing region in the U.S., known for French blends of Chard, Viognier, Merlot, or Cab, but I’d never heard of a VA Rkat. (U.S. Rkatsiteli is usually from the Finger Lakes.) This bottle, the aptly-named Wildkat from Stinson Vineyard in Crozet, is like mead from the gods. Smooth and supple thanks to Malolactic fermentation, it smells like honeysuckle without actually tasting sweet and has a tiny bit of oak that actually balances the earthy grape very well; as someone who LOVES Rkat and orange wines (and does not like a lot of oak), I had so much fun drinking this, seeing it change as it opened up. .
An old-made-new story had to go with it. Namaah was Noah’s wife, and this electric debut tells the famed ark tale from her perspective. Sarah Blake’s voice is so fresh, unlike anyone out there; this isn’t just a story, but an experience. (Like the Wildkat!) Retelling fables is kind of a literary no-no, but this book succeeds where many fail. Look for it in April, and open your eyes to some VA wine. With both, you’ll be taken for a ride.
📕: Namaah, Sarah Blake
🍷: Stinson Wildkat Rkatsiteli 2015
🇺🇸: Crozet, VA
Found at @cc_wineshop; available for shipping through Stinson’s website.