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Blagden Wines

Sonoma County region

It is evident that Catherine Blagden is a most remarkable woman. She loves people, her winery, and life in general.

To say that Catherine Blagden, owner of Blagden Wines, is an interesting person would be a gross understatement.

Blagden is a multi-talented, multi-degreed (as in education) native of Boston who discovered an interest in wine when she was a youngster in a family she describes as “true foodies with a real love for wine.”

A graduate of Colby College (Maine), Catherine Blagden eventually secured masters degrees from Stanford University and lastly, at the University of California Davis where she acquired her credentials for the wine industry.

Blagden admitted she once thought of becoming a doctor and originally followed that path in her education. She took a number of pre-med courses, but ultimately decided a medical career wasn’t for her. “I just couldn’t find the proper attachment I needed to continue, so I changed course. I also spent months in South Africa and worked the harvest there to gain experience.”

Catherine Blagden eventually found her way to San Francisco, the doorway to California’s incredible wine industry. It was there that some of her ‘foodie’- oriented friends suggested she investigate the world of wine she truly enjoyed. Blagden took the advice and enrolled at UC Davis.

“When I was young, my parents and I had blind tastings all the time,” recalled Blagden. “I really began to enjoy wine from a different perspective. UC Davis made it all come together and allowed me to become a winemaker. I enjoyed the experience immensely and set out to do something special with my career. This gratification of the great grape has stayed with me throughout my experiences as a winemaker and as a winery owner.”

Blagden was working as a winery consultant when she started her own operation called Blagden Wines. “I had several clients, but eventually realized I needed to put more time into my own winery and that was really the beginning.”

Blagden Wines made its debut on the national scene in 2006 with a smallish release of around 400 cases. In the ensuing years, Blagden Wines has produced wines at around that same level.

“It is always my intent to make really high quality wines that are consistent from vintage to vintage,” she informed. “Each vintage is different and maintaining a dependable style is important to a successful winery. Every year is diverse and it’s my job to see that everything comes together correctly.”

And Blagden Wines has enjoyed more than its share of accolades during its decade-plus existence.

“I don’t send my wines out to many competitions or periodicals,” she admitted. “But I am delighted when experts single out one of my wines as exceptional. It means I’m doing my job at a high level.”

Blagden Wines’ label is a matter of classic simplicity and elegance that fits Catherine Blagden to the proverbial ‘t.’

As far as the future is concerned, Catherine Blagden is currently investigating the possibility of moving her operation to a new location. There is also the option of constructing a winery, but she is practical in her view on that possibility. “When the time is right, I will know what to do and that will be that,” she added.

There is also the idea of a marriage of health and wellness when combined with wine. “This has always been in the back of my mind. I think a facility that combines both of these aspects could prove quite useful to a large number of people. Since part of my education is in health and wellness, and the other is in winemaking, it seems like a natural fit. It will take additional exploration, but the idea of combining the two makes perfect sense to me.”

At this point in its existence, Blagden Wines seems in a perfect position to move forward. Its wines are prized by the consuming public and it continues to garner high scores and accolades from wine experts.

Catherine Blagden’s philosophy is the open key to her success. She has stated, “Being a winemaker is definitely the best job I could ever ask for. I work in the vineyards, receive the grapes, make all fermentation and barrel decisions and help design the packaging. I believe my job is creative, artistic, scientific, environmental, and social.”

It is evident that Catherine Blagden is a most remarkable woman. She loves people, her winery, and life in general.

It is with great pride that we present these remarkable wines from the heralded Sangiacomo Vineyard. We trust our Platinum Wine Club and Pinot Noir Wine Club members will enjoy the creations from this storied winery to their fullest. Enjoy!

Map of the area

Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Thank you for inviting Blagden to be a part of the Platinum Wine Club. I am a small producer and have been making wine since 2002, and started my small label in 2006. I typically make between 300 and 500 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast and Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

This 2017 Chardonnay is from the Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard in the cool Petaluma Gap region (Sonoma Coast), just north of San Francisco. This region is renowned for amazing Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and the Sangiacomos are meticulous farmers, able to coax so much out of their grapes. Working with them for almost 20 years has been a wonderful partnership and I am very grateful.

The weather in this vineyard is usually cool in the mornings with low laying fog, but it typically clears mid to late morning and the sun is able to warm the vines, allowing for steady and slow maturation of the grapes. The sugars ripen slowly over time, allowing for the berries to become physiologically ripe as well. This is usually my last Pinot and Chardonnay vineyard to pick and having a long growing season with lengthy, slow growing days allows for the quality, complexity and character of the grapes and finished wine to shine through year after year. I have been working in this vineyard since 2002, when I was in the middle of my MS program in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis and feel very connected to the vineyard and to the grapes.

One thing I decided to do when I started my own label is hold my wines back until they are ready to drink, so the consumer is able to purchase the wines as they are peaking. This extra time in the bottle allows for an extra layer of cohesiveness to the wines’ complexity. The 2017’s are my current releases and this Chardonnay spent 16 months in barrel and another 2+ years in bottle, where the flavors marry and the wine builds more character. Another wonderful thing about the wines from this vineyard, is they have shown to be very age-worthy. The 2017 vintage was a dramatic one with the fires affecting Napa Valley and impacting so many grape-growers and winemakers across Northern CA. I picked the Chardonnay on October 12th, a few days after the hugely destructive Tubbs fire started in Napa Valley. Thankfully, there wasn’t enough time for any smoke taint - so the grapes came off and were processed normally - and in spite of the chaos all around, everything went off without a hitch. I hope you enjoy this wine as much as we have. A toast to your health and long life...

Catherine Blagden