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Chloe Creek Vineyards


Vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs from select sites in Sonoma County

Located in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, Chloe Creek Vineyards is one of the region’s newest and tiniest producers with a portfolio exclusively dedicated to vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs. The charming owners behind the label, Bill and Kimberley Comiskey, never dreamed they’d one day be in the wine business, but a fortuitous trip to Sonoma County wine country in 2008 changed everything. “My wife Kimberley and I are self-confessed foodies,” Bill Comiskey recently admitted. “We even spent a week taking cooking classes at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. At home, we enjoy cooking great meals together with an emphasis on a health-conscious diet and pairing the dishes with interesting wines. More often than not, I find myself choosing Pinot Noir from our wine cellar due to its versatility.”The Comiskeys’ wine cellar is an impressive underground space that holds upwards of 1,000 wine bottles. In 2008, Bill and Kim decided to plan a trip to California and restock their private collection with the best Pinot Noirs Sonoma County had to offer.Meanwhile, each held successful careers in New York’s spa industry - Bill as a Naturopathic Doctor and owner of Keyano Aromatics (a manufacturer of premium, all-natural spa products) and Kim as the owner of a hugely successful day spa. Through their travels participating in trade shows all over the country, Kim and Bill have been fortunate to experience some of the finest restaurants and enjoy some of the most spectacular dinners and wine pairings, but they never dreamed of turning their passion for wine into a career. They simply loved collecting prestigious wines and creating delicious meals with which to enjoy them.That was all about to change once Bill and Kim shared their first bottle of Pinot Noir on their 2008 trip to Sonoma County wine country. They were eating dinner at Willie’s Wine Bar and selected a 2004 John Tyler Pinot Noir to accompany their meal. The couple was so impressed with the wine that they set up a tasting at the winery later that week. By the way, John Tyler Winery is owned by the Bacigalupi family, who is known for providing Chardonnay fruit to Chateau Montelena to win the coveted Paris, France tasting of 1976. They are also known for their world-class Pinot Noir. Upon their visit, Bill and Kim were greeted by the Bacigalupi family, who treated the couple to tastings of their Pinots and a tour of their estate vineyards.

“I don’t know if it was the wine talking, but thinking back, somewhere along the way, I must have half-seriously mentioned that some day Kim and I would love to purchase Pinot grapes and make our own wine,” Bill explained.
Once back home in Latham, New York, Bill received a phone call from Katie Bacigalupi in California, offering the couple two tons of Pinot Noir grapes. Bill was at first caught off guard, but called Kim and contemplated the offer. “Well, I thought, when life hands you some grapes...”
Bill immediately called the wine tour driver Kim and he had used in Sonoma. While driving them through the back roads to Sonoma’s smallest boutique wineries, the driver had mentioned he was also working on a small Pinot Noir project - and Bill hoped he’d partake in this offer from the Bacigalupis. It was an easy deal, and before they knew it, Bill and Kim were in the winemaking business.
The driver introduced Bill and Kim to winemaker Dan Fitzgerald, who has been an instrumental piece in building the Chloe Creek Vineyards brand. That first vintage yielded 215 cases of Pinot Noir, a number that has slowly grown to the current annual production of between 350 and 500 cases. The Comiskeys now source fruit from Sonoma’s Leras Family Vineyard and Sangiacomo Vineyard, each highly regarded in their own right.
And where did the ‘Chloe Creek’ name come from?
“Chloe is our 7 year-old cocker spaniel, and one of our most prized treasures,” Bill explained. “I attempted to make wine in our basement a few years before the winery got its start, and used a photo of Chloe perched by a creek in our front yard for the label art. It was the only way I could get Kim to agree to try it!”
Things have sure come a long way, and Chloe Creek is now the name of Bill and Kim’s small label of premium vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs in Sonoma County. The couple still resides in New York and maintains their spa industry careers, but frequently travels to California to help in the development of their new brand. With a number of awards and medals already to their name, Chloe Creek is well on its way to becoming a major player within the boutique estates of Sonoma County.


  1. Chloe Creek
    2010 Pinot Noir
    Chloe Creek
    Leras Family Vineyard
    Russian River Valley

    $35.00

    $40.00
    95 - Terry Robards
    id: 2201
    Special
    Pinot Noir

Dan Fitzgerald

Dan Fitzgerald joined the Chloe Creek Vineyards team in January of 2009 and has proven to be a solid addition to the family winery. A northern California native, Dan lived in Europe for 13 years and has developed a keen interest in blending Old and New World winemaking techniques. Dan’s winemaking career began in 2002, working the harvest in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Rather than waiting until the next year’s harvest, Dan decided to work both hemispheres for the following 3 years. He worked back-to-back harvests at Coldstream Hills in the Yarra Valley of Australia, Robert Sinskey Vineyards in the Napa Valley, and then again in Australia as the leader of the Coldstream Hills vintage team. He then returned to California where he earned his Enology degree from CSU Fresno in 2007.
Upon graduating, Dan was asked to join the Williams-Selyem team and spent time at Pellegrini, Enos, and Brack Mountain as well.
At Chloe Creek Vineyards, Dan works with growers who are committed to producing the highest quality Pinot Noir with sustainable farming practices. He uses a ‘hands-off’ winemaking approach which allows the Chloe Creek wines to truly represent the place they are from. Dan is an incredible asset to the Chloe Creek team and his passion and energy for winemaking is easy to see.

About The Region

Leras Family Vineyard is owned and farmed by Nick Leras, who is a third generation pioneer grape grower in the Russian River Valley. His family has farmed wine grapes on this site since 1918. With impeccable standards, Nick personally tends to his grapes and performs all aspects of grape growing. This vineyard embodies earthiness and minerals, the signature of Pinot Noir grown in the Russian River Valley, so it’s no wonder winemaker Dan Fitzgerald sought out these premium grapes. Dan works closely with Nick throughout the growing season and harvest to ensure they are capturing the magical essence of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
The Russian River Valley is located in the heart of Sonoma County and is known for producing world-class cool climate varietals. The cooler weather is sculpted by the consistent fog from the Pacific Ocean, located just a few miles to the west. This natural air conditioning allows the grapes to develop full flavor maturity over an extended growing season - often 15 to 20 percent longer than neighboring areas. Established in 1983, the Russian River Valley is now home to over 15,000 acres of thriving grapevines.


Wild Striped Bass Braised with Red Wine


Ingredients

1 bulb of fennel, fronds removed & reserved
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
8-12 fingerling potatoes
Two 7-8-oz. wild striped bass fillets (prefer two thick pieces cut from a larger fish)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sliced mushrooms, oyster, shiitake and domestic
4-6 cipolllini onions, peeled & quartered
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 heirloom or beefsteak tomato, cored & large diced
6-8 oz. Chloe Creek Pinot Noir
8 oz. fish or vegetable stock


Instructions

Pat fish dry, making sure all scales are removed. Score the skin with the tip of a sharp knife in a cross hatch pattern, a half inch apart. Do not cut too deeply into the flesh. Just prior to cooking, season the fish with sea salt and black pepper. Remove the fennel fronds (reserve for garnish) and stems. Quarter the bulb top to bottom and remove the core, leaving just enough of the core to hold the fennel together. Roast the fennel in an oven dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. or until tender, turning the pieces over halfway through. Rinse and halve fingerlings lengthwise, reserve in cold water. Simmer potatoes in salted water for 20 min.

Heat a 10 or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. Oil the pan, making sure it doesn’t smoke, and place the bass in the pan skin side down. Cook skin side for 2-3 min. and then turn over and cook for 2 more min. Remove fish from the pan. Bring the pan back up to temperature and add more oil if necessary. Add sliced mushrooms and saute briefly 1-2 min. Add cipollini onions and cook another 2 min. Add garlic and cook for a min., being careful not to brown. Add tomato, toss with other vegetables briefly, and then deglaze with red wine. Reduce wine by 1/3 and then add stock.

Return liquid to a simmer and add fish back to pan, skin side up. Cover loosely with parchment paper and cook in oven for 8-10 min., careful not to overcook. Remove the fish from the pan when cooked, firm and flaky, and reduce liquid further if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Place some fingerlings in the center of a large bowl. Place fish on the potatoes. Spoon the sauce with the mushrooms and tomatoes around the fish. Place half of the roasted fennel to the side of the fish and garnish with the fennel fronds. Recipe sourced from Executive Chef Jarrad Lang, Mirror Lake Inn, Chloe Creek Pinot Pairings Cookbook.




Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese Salad with Fig Vinaigrette


Ingredients

Dressing:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. raw honey
1 Tbs. fig spread*
Pepper

Salad:
4 oz. organic mixed greens
1 round R & G Cheesemaker’s Eclipse goat cheese*
Pistachio nuts, shelled & roasted
6 fresh figs
Chives
Fig molasses*
*Available at specialty/gourmet food stores


Instructions

Blend all dressing ingredients together with an immersion blender or use tabletop blender; add
olive oil through cover while running. Place cleaned salad greens in a large bowl. With a large
spoon, run vinaigrette around the inside of bowl. Gently toss greens into the center of the bowl.
Do not overdress the salad. Place serving of mixed greens on a plate. Cut and place a wedge of goat cheese on top of greens. Slice fig 1/2-inch-thick and stack 2 offset on plate. Scatter roasted pistachio nuts. Drizzle raw honey and finely chopped chives over top of mixed greens. Drizzle plate with fig molasses. Recipe sourced from Kim Comiskey, Chloe Creek Pinot Pairings Cookbook.



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