Our featured wine this week is a new arrival at our stores. With spring in bloom, it’s time for flavorful wines to take center stage during all of your seasonal activities. If you enjoy a Chardonnay that tastes like silken butter dripped over a fresh croissant, this one is for you.
Butter, butter, butter, Buttercream Chardonnay packs in butter with every sip, along with notes of oak, vanilla, pear and apple. This wine is delicious on its own, but pairs wonderfully with shellfish, such as lobster, cheeses and any dish with a rich, creamy sauce.
Stop in and pick up our newest Winery Direct arrival during your next visit, or order it online and have it ready in one-hour with our express in-store pickup option.
What is Winery Direct?
Total Wine & More’s buying teams travel across the United States and the world, looking for new and exciting wines. They forge meaningful relationships with the best producers, providing us with exclusive access to world-class products and the ability to offer these exceptional products at incredible prices. Most importantly, they allow us to streamline the process of bringing wines from the producer to you – slashing costs and letting us showcase the best of the best on our shelves.
Winery Direct items are identified in our stores by the yellow shelf tags. We offer more than 8,000 wines in a typical store – including more than 2,000 Winery Direct items, many exclusive to Total Wine & More.
The first Total Wine & More store in the Bay Area opens February 11 in Fremont, California!
As America’s Wine Superstore™, we are thrilled to open up shop near some of the world’s greatest wine regions. We’re also pretty pleased to have landed where many say the craft-beer revolution began. Given these surroundings, it’s no surprise that folks in the Bay Area have very high standards for the wines, spirits and beers they enjoy. Fremont, we think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
If you’ve never shopped at Total Wine & More, get ready! The Fremont store has more than 20,000 square feet of space, stocked with some 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers from around the world. But it’s our Team Members who make the Total Wine & More shopping experience so special. We have the best-trained wine team in the business, ready to help whether you’re looking for a rare and cellar-worthy bottling, or a nice wine to have with tonight’s dinner.
Total Wine & More got its start in 1991 when brothers David and Robert Trone opened a wine store in Delaware. Today, we operate 130 Total Wine & More superstores across 18 states and continue to grow. Learn a little more about us at our website.
Since the beginning, Total Wine & More has been committed to supporting the communities where we work and live. In keeping with our commitment to Fremont, we’ll be working with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra as our local charity partner. Every purchase you make throughout our Grand Opening weekend will help do some good for a great cause in the community.
Join us 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, for our Grand Opening extravaganza filled with fun events, tastings and more. The tastings continue all weekend long, so there are plenty of reasons to stop back and see what’s on offer. Visit our website for more information on upcoming events and tastings at the new Fremont store.
Want to be in the know on the latest news, events, and offers? Sign up to receive emails! We’ll also be posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels, so follow us there to stay up-to-date on everything happening at the newest Total Wine & More.
At Total Wine & More, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we work and live. That’s why we’re proud to announce that throughout our Grand Opening weekend, you can help us further our commitment and support the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation! From October 8 through 11 we’ll donate a portion of our weekend sales to support this wonderful non-profit.
If you’ve never heard of Total Wine & More before, we have the best selection and prices on wine, beer and spirits around. We also have a great lineup of events and tastings to help us celebrate our Grand Opening this week.
Join us October 8 starting at 4 p.m. for wine and beer tastings. You can learn all about which brands will be in store for our upcoming tastings and other events by checking out our eventspage. Stop by Thursday, but don’t forget to check back in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Grand Opening celebration will be going all weekend long, don’t miss out!
Today marks the official launch of California Square, an exclusive wine from Truett-Hurst Winery that puts a series of truly fine wines in unique, square bottles. Despite their square look, the wines of California Square are round and rich with no sharp edges. These delicious fine wines come in three varieties (a Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay) from some of California’s most noted wine regions including the Russian River Valley and Paso Robles.
The bottle was created by the award winning design firm Stranger & Stranger, California Square’s unique and elegant package harkens back to classic spirit bottles with their square shape and memorable artwork, embossing and vintage graphics.
From the grapes to the packaging, California Square is an environmentally-friendly wine too. By combining winemaker Ginny Lambrix’s philosophy of sustainable farming and the reduced packaging for California Square, the production methods from vineyard to shelf helps save a million trees! Plus, there are lots of ways to re-use your California Square bottles after you’ve enjoyed the delicious wine inside – possibilities abound, including using the bottle to hold scented oils, as a candy jar, a water or vinegar carafe, to hold homemade flavored olive oil, or as a dish soap dispenser.
The entire line of California Square wines had their pre-release debut during the 65th Annual Emmy Awards weekend, we’ve posted a photo gallery of a few famous folks enjoying their bottle on our Facebook page.
From the Santa Lucia Highlands you can look across the Salinas Valley to the Gabilan Range.
“Toto, we’re not in Napa anymore.”
It was clear to me from the very beginning that California’s Central Coast wine region is a world away from the Napa Valley. This huge appellation runs south from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara, encompassing an incredible range of microclimates and topography, and everything from big towns, to small towns, to no towns at all.
In the Santa Lucia Highlands, where I started my trek, there’s not a Tuscan-style tasting room in sight; no boutique hotels or gourmet restaurants; heck, there’s not even a gas station.
What I did see was lettuce — lots of it. Row crops cover thousands of acres on the valley floor, and it was harvest time in the Salinas Valley. A good portion of the nation’s salad makings were being trucked out of the lowland that lies between the Gabilan Range to the northeast and the Santa Lucia Highlands to the southwest. The two ranges almost converge as they near the Pacific Ocean, but that lovely little gap between them makes this area a paradise for wine grapes.
Morning fog and cool afternoon breezes from Monterey Bay blow in through the gap, moderating the temperatures and creating a wonderfully long growing season. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive in the vineyards scattered along the benchland on the lower slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands.
There are more grape growers than winemakers here, most selling at least some of their fruit to high-end, highly-awarded wineries. We passed Garys’ Vineyard (owned by two guys named Gary) from which Testarossa makes a killer Pinot Noir. Then we stopped at Paraiso Vineyards, owned by the Smith family, who were among the first to plant grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Every winery has a dog or two: Bleeker lives at Paraiso Springs.
And here’s a “vineyard” I didn’t expect to see: we rounded a corner on River Road and almost ran smack into hundreds of acres of …Prickly Pear Cactus! I have no explanation for this…
What are cactus doing in wine country??
The white-knuckle drive up to Calcareous ends in a spectacular view.
We continued south along the Salinas Valley, aiming for the region some call “the next Napa Valley.” The town of Paso Robles (and the AVA) sit at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the Monterey breezes don’t reach. The summer days are hot here, but Paso has its own thermal regulator: the Templeton Gap, which splits the Coastal Range just south of town, pulling in morning fog and afternoon ocean breezes that are strong enough to blow your hat off — really!
Warm-climate grapes thrive here — Zinfandel, Cabernet and Rhone varietals — and the wine industry has exploded in the last two decades. The once-sleepy town has grown up too, with gourmet restaurants such as Artisan where we had a great dinner with wine-loving friends (and of course, some good wine: we loved Stephan Asseo’s L’Aventure Estate Cuvee).
Vineyards cover the hillsides at L’Aventure.
This is what a limestone deposit looks like.
The West Side of Paso is all hillsides and valleys, and most wineries here are off the beaten track. We twisted and turned up to the top of Peachy Canyon Road to visit Calcareous Winery, which seems to perch on top of the world. They (and most of Paso Robles) sit on top of California’s largest deposit of calcareous soil. This is a good thing for wine grapes — this one-time sea bed is, well, really lousy soil. Poor soil makes grape vines work very hard to gather water and nutrients, and that’s a good thing because stressed vines produce grapes with more complex, concentrated flavors.
The folks at Calcareous were wonderful hosts, and we lunched on Ginger Glazed Salmon before barrel tasting with Royce, the assistant winemaker. We especially loved Tres Violet, a rich and soft Rhone-style blend, and the Twisted Sister line from Calcareous: the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are ripe but balanced, and their blend, Main Squeeze, is something you could fall in love with for everyday drinking.
Check out Part Two — More Adventures in Wine Land…
Posted by Deb Lapmardo, TWM Wine Team member, Phoenix Desert Ridge
Here at Total Wine we strive to have the best customer service in the retail beverage industry – part of this commitment to training is our annual company-sponsored trip to the northern California wine country where 40+ of our team members get information straight from the principals of many of the leading wineries in the U.S.! Over the next couple of days we will be sharing with you the journey our team is taking.
Your tour guide, Cyrus Hazzard
Your tour guide for this excursion is Cyrus Hazzard, who is a member of our Customer Experience team and our concierge of wine sales. He was also a former store manager at our McLean, Virginia location.
Let the expedition begin …take it away, Cyrus!
Dalia Ceja, director of sales and marketing
A few late flights gave us a challenge getting on the bus, but we made it. First stop was Ceja Vineyards in Carneros – a small family owned and run winery on the Napa side of Los Carneros (The Rams). We had the pleasure of meeting three members of the family – Momma, daughter and grandfather. Theirs is an amazing story – the family bought the vineyards in the early 80’s when people thought buying vineyards was a crazy thing to do. The whole family lives right there on the property, Dalia grew up there but recently has moved. We arrived and lunch was served from a fantastic taco truck, a great meal to start the trip! The tasting was fantastic, really fresh wines with incredible balance.
Grapes going through veraison
Walking through the vineyards there were some great examples of véraison, which is just starting here in Carneros. Véraison is a grape growing term meaning “the onset of ripening” or “change of color of the grape berries.” – pronounced [Vay-ray-zoN]. The biggest take-away from our visit to Ceja Vineyards was the synergy of the family and their dedication and love of family, land and wine.
The next stop was Kunde Family Estate in Sonoma Valley. Proprietor Jeff Kunde met us at the tasting room but wouldn’t let us off the bus – he hopped on and started to give the driver directions to take us up to the top of his property. Along with him was Remy, their resident vineyard dog.
Jeff Kunde, speaking to our team
The trip up through the vineyards was a fun one – bus scraping all the way on the half-paved road, squeezing through the vines and across rattling cattle-guards. Jeff told us some fun facts as we ascended, did you know that the movie Bottleshock was mostly filmed at the Kunde estate? We drove past the boxing ring and he pointed out the old winery where the Judgement of Paris portion was filmed! From the top there were some really beautiful views of the rolling vineyards across the Sonoma valley. We had a small tasting of his wines and headed down the hill for dinner. On the way down he pointed out some of his “century vines” – Zinfandel vines that looked like tree trunks! They are an average age of 130 years old.
Sunset, watermelon and feta!
Dinner was fantastic – Caesar salad, flank steak with chimichurri sauce, local chicken, pork sausage and something I’d never had before – watermelon and crumbled feta cheese. Now that is something simple and fantastic to replicate in your own kitchen!
Super Bowl XXXIV-winning coach Dick Vermeil (c) with Cyrus Hazzard (l) and Heather Lalla (r)
Then the fun really began – a meet-and-greet tasting at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, California. A night featuring of rock stars of the wine industry, some really fantastic people to meet! Claude Blankiet of Blankiet Estate was there, Lou Kapcsandy of Kapcsandy Family Winery and even Dick Vermeil, Super Bowl winning coach and proprietor of Vermiel Wines! It was a first class tasting with all the bells and whistles, a night our team will not forget. It is hard to pick favorites from that tasting; they were all so fantastic! You know it’s a great tasting when all the producers are milling around enjoying themselves as well tasting others wines.
Day 2 is tomorrow. We are off to Napa Valley for a great day of tasting Cabernet and Merlot. It’s hard work but somebody has to do it!