San Carlos Wines - News Blog - Domenico Winery
Please join us on a winemaking journey!
Everyone has a story. They're what make us who we are and give life to what we've been through. And the tale of our winemaking club is no exception, however it began long before us, back in seventh century BC. So here's our story, right from the beginning…
Reigning over the heritage of winemaking is Bacchus – God of grapes, harvest, and revelry. His cult followed him religiously, throwing festivals so free and wine-drenched that they became legendary tales passed down from one Roman generation to the next. But Bacchus is a symbol of much more than just myths of debauchery. It’s a calling that only some are born with. It’s an interwoven connection of passion, history, and family, and it touches a select few so deeply that it inspires them to create the only thing as transcendent as Bacchus’s story – Wine.
Dominick Chirichillo, owner and winemaker of Domenico Winery, has heard the song of Bacchus ever since he was a child in the 50s, watching wide-eyed as his grandfather made wine in their New York basement. His promise for winemaking caught fire, and soon he was running something similar to a mentorship, buying Italian grapes from California to make barrels of wine with anyone who wanted to learn. However it was far more than just a passion-project or a side job. Dominick was helping people from all walks of life learn how to make wine the same way he learned from his grandfather, and those before him. They were making wine, but they were also weaving an ancient story. So it was in the 1980s on the east coast of the United States, and with purple stained fingers, that Dominick Chirichillo braided the yarns of winemaking across generations and over continents, and the original Bacchus School of Wine was born.
A few years later, Dominick’s winemaking destiny carried our family to California, where we opened Domenico Winery and kept our humble beginning, only with a slight name change. The Bacchus Winemaking Club starts every year in August with a Harvest Party. It’s a time to open our doors again, this time for the 15th year in a row, to all walks of life who have ever felt that magnetic pull toward winemaking. It’s a time to taste wines from all over California, to celebrate the harvest like Bacchus would, to choose the grapes that speak to you, and continue the age-old weaving. You’ll crush, press, and follow your grapes to the bottle, lacing your winemaking story into the same quilt of our ancestors, just as Dominick did as a child in that New England cellar.
So let’s kick off this harvest season on August 12th at the Annual Bacchus Harvest Party! We’ll have appetizers, plenty of the 2017 vintage, and reserve wines to taste, and amazing grapes to choose from to begin your Bacchus winemaking journey with us. Get your tickets at the link below — We can’t wait to celebrate with you!
Summer has arrived, and along with hot days and warm nights comes the long list of exciting Bay Area summer experiences! This July, join us and Pure Joy Productions for a can’t-miss afternoon of iconic live music from Grammy-nominated Robbie Dupree & Friends at Domenico Winery.
The new Robbie Dupree & Friends feature an array of Robbie’s hit songs, such as “Steal Away” and “Hot Rod Hearts,” along with new material from his latest album, Arc of a Romance. Robbie will share the stage with the all-star band featuring Peter Bunetta (drums), Leslie Smith (vocals), Gigi Worth (vocals), Bette Sussman (keys & vocals) & Tony Pulizzi (guitar)!
Music, Brunch & Bubbles
You have two unique options when it comes to enjoying the sounds of Robbie Dupree & Friends. Looking to just relax and listen to the hits on a beautiful Sunday afternoon? No problem. Want to elevate your experience with a seated brunch buffet? You have that option, too. Brunch will be served before the show from 11:30 AM - 1 PM, and you can make it an extra special experience by adding bottomless mimosas!
The Peninsula’s Latest Concert Venue
This once-in-a-lifetime show will be held in our urban winery found in the heart of downtown San Carlos. And with this event, we’re excited to announce the introduction of large-scale public events to our regular calendar! You can visit our public events calendar for the latest, or stay up-to-date by joining our newsletter list.
This show comes to town for one day only – July 15, 2018! Guests enjoying brunch are welcome at 11 AM, and doors for general admission without brunch are at 1 PM! We can’t wait to see you and share this special afternoon with you.
Days are getting longer, the sun is shining bright, and summer is just around the corner. What better way to kick-off the start of the season than by celebrating barbecue month? Whether you’re making a weeknight meal or having friends and family over for an afternoon of fun, take the guesswork out of your summer food and beverage pairings with our unofficial guide to wine and barbecue!
Light, crisp, refreshing—Sauvignon Blanc is summer in a glass. Before you get your main entrée on the grill, go for an appetizer course of Sauv Blanc and oysters. A quintessential summer match, the salty oysters complement this wine’s zesty acidity and citrus notes. Top your oysters with herbs, fresh-squeezed lemon, and your hot sauce of choice. Or, throw them on the grill if you prefer them cooked!
Known for having smoky, meaty flavors itself, Pinotage is a great go-to pairing for the grill. The striking flavors of dark fruit and black pepper seek similar flavors in the paired meat, while the smoke from a charcoal grill highlights some of Pinotage’s best characteristics. A high-quality cut of beef, like a bone-in ribeye, has a great amount of fat to match the wine’s tannins. If it feels too warm outside for a red wine, serve this Pinotage slightly chilled.
Is it really summer without Rosé? Our Rosato, a blend of Sangiovese, Dolcetto, and Syrah, is the perfect picnic or barbecue beverage. This refreshing pink drink is bursting with citrus and summer fruit flavors that pair beautifully with chicken. A beer can chicken is a great way to achieve a crispy outside while maintaining a juicy inside, while the Rosato’s touch of sweetness complements a dry rub with a hint of spice.
Italian for blend, our Napa Valley Miscela is an 80/20 mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. While a red blend is a great pairing choice when it comes to most kinds of barbecue, try this 2013 blend alongside a lamb burger! The wine’s subtle notes of herb and tobacco pair elegantly with flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. Top this burger with an aged cheddar, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and a tzatziki sauce, ideal for cooling off on a warm summer day.
Made from our estate-grown fruit in Amador County, this full-bodied Primitivo is complex, lush, and made for food. With an affinity for bold flavor and a hint of char, Primitivo is just about perfect when it comes to BBQ. Pork can be seasoned with a range of flavors from sweet to spicy to tangy, and a fruit-forward wine like Primitivo or Zinfandel provides great balance and structure to the meal.
You can taste this pairing, and many more, at our upcoming 17th Annual Pig Roast! Enjoy all-you-can-eat & drink while celebrating Memorial Day Weekend to the live sounds of South City Blues Band. Tickets are on sale now— don’t miss this summer event. Cheers!
April showers bring wine flowers… that’s how the saying goes, right?
Spring is the season to celebrate blooming flowers, buzzing bees, and gorgeously aromatic wines. So put away those pruning shears and grab that corkscrew – it’s time to uncork some spring-worthy floral wine.
Roses are red, Nebbiolo is…
Classic Nebbiolo is bursting with notes of rose petals, and our 100% Nebbiolo from Amador County is no exception. A California take on Italy’s most noble red grape, this medium-bodied wine has a blooming bouquet of sweet plum, cranberry, licorice, rose, and violets. While Nebbiolo tends to pair better with entree-sized meals rather than finger foods, it doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed on its own. In fact, it should be! Grab some glasses, a bottle of our 2012 Nebbiolo, and head out for sunset on the bay.
Stop and smell the Viognier
Fans of Viognier love its big, bold aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle, peach, and orange blossoms. Although it has similar weight to Chardonnay, Viognier stands out with bright acidity and a fresh, perfumed nose. Our 2011 Amador County Viognier is a wine designed to be enjoyed outdoors on a warm spring day, paired with crisp crackers and creamy cheeses like light blue and goat cheese. Bonus: Viognier’s vibrant floral qualities even make it the perfect replacement for a bouquet of flowers. And hey, Mother’s Day is just around the corner...
Spring into Syrah
While Syrah is not always on the list of characteristically floral wine, certain styles of Syrah are bursting with lovely notes of lavender. The 2012 Syrah is full-bodied and luscious with a fragrant bouquet of blackberry and blueberry, along with layers of earthy mushrooms and baking spices. Move over, Rosé, this is the perfect wine for spring. Pairing beautifully with grilled meats, it’s an ideal barbecue wine to carry you from spring to summer, and will still be there to warm you up in the fall. Need we say more?
While not every wine will smell like a freshly picked bouquet, each of our wines are full of unique aromas and flavors. Our urban tasting room in downtown San Carlos is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM - 4 PM, so stop by for a tasting flight, no reservations required! Cheers to spring!
Bacchus — the god of the grape harvest, winemaking, and above all, wine. You know his name, but you don’t have to travel back to ancient Rome to enjoy the fruits of his labor. In fact, you don’t even have to visit Napa Valley or any other traditional wine country for an authentic experience. Enter Bacchus Winemaking Club: an opportunity for wine enthusiasts like yourself to create world-class wines!
Courtesy of Edible Silicon Valley
The first rule of winemaking club is… Tell everyone! Whether you consider yourself an amateur looking for a new hobby or a connoisseur wanting to try your hand at winemaking, Bacchus Winemaking Club is made for you, your friends, and your family. Domenico’s experienced winemaking team (led by owner and winemaker, Dominick Chirichillo) will guide you through four hands-on sessions. Over the course of a year, you’ll produce your very own wine - right down to the label. Interested in thinking outside the box? Bacchus is also perfect for corporate team building exercises, bridal parties, holiday parties, and so much more.
First, you’ll select your grape varietal and quantity. With a wide range to choose from, you could opt for more traditional wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Or you could experiment with lesser-known varietals, like some of our favorite Cal-Italia selections: Barbera, estate-grown Primitivo, and Sagrantino. Can’t decide? Why not try a blend! So, how much wine to make? While our pricing differs depending on grape varietal and quantity, we offer the option to make a full, half, or quarter barrel.
Remember the four fun sessions we mentioned? Let’s get started!
1: Destem & Crush | After you destem and crush your grapes into your private vat, it’s time to initiate primary fermentation.
2: Press | After primary fermentation turns grape juice into wine, you will learn how to press, prepare, and fill the barrels.
3: Rack | Racking your wine involves siphoning your wine from one barrel to another, removing the sediment in the process.
4: Bottle | Come summertime, your work is complete! Now it is time to bottle and add custom labels, which means there is only one thing left to do….
Our annual Bacchus Harvest Celebration brings the club together to sip and sample the fruits of your labor, taste each other’s wines, and enjoy delicious bites. Interested in trying some Bacchus wine yourself? Our Annual Bacchus Orphan Barrel Tasting allows you to taste from 20 barrels of Orphan Wine looking for a loving home! Coming up on March 25, meet our Winemaking Club members and claim an Orphan Wine as your own. Find wine from as little as $15/ bottle for premium, award-winning wine, and hey, you may even become a member! Get your tickets today.
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has released the winning wines for 2018, and we’re proud to announce that Domenico Winery has made the cut with four amazing wines! We’re taking this star-studded lineup and pairing it with another — the Best Picture favorites for the 2018 Academy Awards. (Don’t worry, no spoilers!) And the nominees are…
The coming-of-age story of a high school senior longing for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, Lady Bird is a film that has it all. Whether you’re searching for drama, romance, or humor, it’s all here. We’re pairing this movie with our 2016 Rosato — a silver medal SF Chronicle award-winner. With many of the same elements listed above, our Rosato, a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, and Dolcetto, is light in color, yet has many complex layers. Lively and refreshing, the rise of Rosé is somewhat of a coming-of-age story itself.
Bonus: Lady Bird’s pink hair is a perfect match.
Smart, comedic, terrifying, dark, and satirical are just a few words that describe this year’s breakout film by Jordan Peele. In Get Out, modern interracial relationships and racial paranoia are thrust into the spotlight in a brand new way. This is a movie that stays with you long after it is over, much like our 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel. Another silver medal winner, this Amador County-grown varietal packs a punch. Grown on vines over 100 years old, you’ll find aromas of currant, blackberry pie, cigar box, and spicy black pepper. This wine is rich in texture with a smoky oak finish.
The Shape of Water
Part fairytale, part sci-fi film, The Shape of Water is elegant, mesmerizing, and refreshing. Set in the Cold War Era, this seemingly simple story directed by Guillermo del Toro quickly turns into a complex and unique love story. An equally intriguing work of art is the Domenico Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc. Taking home a bronze medal from the SF Chronicle, this Cab Franc has layers of black currant, cherry, and plum, integrated with baking spices, dried herbs, and subtle floral notes. Elegant and smooth on the palate, much like the shape of water…
Meryl Streep. Tom Hanks. The Washington Post. Does it get any more iconic? A throwback film that dives into the hot topics such as freedom of the press and women in power, this film is dramatic, engaging, and oddly timely. Such is the nature of our 2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. An iconic varietal from an iconic appellation, this wine is timeless and is taking home the bronze medal. Dramatic flavors of tobacco, mocha, and spice linger on the palate for a long, beautiful finish.
If you want to try our award-winning varietals, join us on Saturday, February 10, 11 am - 4 pm for a special flight of these four wines. And don’t forget to tell us who you think is taking home the Oscar!
Let’s be honest, after the holidays, winter is just cold days followed by even colder nights (looking at you, bomb cyclone). Since this weather has us yearning for the comfort foods of Christmas past, we’re sharing our favorite cold weather wine pairings to help you make it through to spring. So bundle up, and prepare to make your next trip to the store.
Let’s start with some wine pairing basics. Sure, you can drink any varietal at any time of year, but that doesn’t mean some aren’t better suited for these frigid months (sorry, Rosé). Try matching the complexity of your wine with the complexity of the dish. Full-bodied reds pair perfectly with traditional winter meals like stews, chilis, and heavier sauces. Next, think tannins.Tannins aren’t so much a flavor as a mouthfeel, and they are responsible for that dry, gripping feeling you get when you taste a wine. Tannic wines are food-friendly, while lighter, more floral wines shine better on their own.
Gnocchi & Primitivo
When it comes to pasta, red, tomato-based sauce remains queen. Acidic and bright, we love tossing some freshly made potato gnocchi into an even fresher pan of tomato sauce. Because of this acidity, opt for a medium-bodied red, like Primitivo. Similar to Zinfandel in structure, Primitivo lends savory aromas and is softer on the palate, a lovely complement to this pillowy dish.
Chili & Petite Sirah
It’s time to turn up the heat! Adding a little spice to your life, and your chili, is an excellent way to get some extra warmth. Did you know beans, an added source of protein, also help keep you warm? An assertive dish like this needs an assertive wine on its arm. Enter Petite Sirah: a wine that is anything but petite, but rather big, bold, and full of tannin. Texture, meet texture. The rest is history.
Pizza & Nebbiolo
Of course, pizza is not strictly a winter food but the key here is comfort, and what’s more comforting than a good pizza? Making your own pizza at home allows you to add whatever you want—so toss on those winter vegetables! Pizza, especially when topped with sausage or meats of the like, makes a great companion for the Nebbiolo grape. Nebbiolo’s bigger, bolder and even more tannic flavor profile feels like a cozy winter coat.
Beef stew & Super Tuscan Style
A little bit of fat and a lot of flavor, beef stew is that hearty meal you crave when you want to warm up from the inside out. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean fresh vegetables have gone by the wayside. The earthy flavors of root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and onions are just what an Italian Super Tuscan Style wine needs. With Sangiovese, Primitivo, and Syrah, there’s nothing better.
Visit us in the tasting room to try our selection of wines, including our specialty of Cal-Italian varietals!
When you think of wine country, does San Carlos come to mind? If not, we’re here to tell you the days of needing to travel to Napa for an authentic winery experience are gone. Here are just a few San Carlos stops to add to your next urban wine tasting itinerary!
Flying Suitcase Wines
Found just across the street from Domenico, our neighbors at Flying Suitcase Wines bring just as much whimsy as they do great vino. This hidden industrial gem opens up to a gorgeous tasting room perfect for relaxing, hanging with friends, or enjoying a laid-back first date. Specializing in wines ranging from the classics, like Cabernet Sauvignon, to more unique varietals, such as Aglianico, stop by for a glass and you’ll see how Flying Suitcase Wines was “born simply from a passion for drinking wine.”
Old County Cellars
Located inside of Cuvée Cellars, Old County Cellars was created by several friends with differing skills and talents. They strive to keep their production small-batch and high-quality— sourcing fruit from some of the most well-known wine growing regions in California. Join Old County Cellars for a weekend wine tasting and taste your way through their wine portfolio.
A family owned and operated boutique winery, we bring the best of wine country to the city. Soak up San Carlos’ urban vibes and stop by for a glass of any of our noteworthy wines, specializing in Italian varietals. We welcome the community of San Carlos to join us for wine tasting events, free live music Sundays, the Bacchus Winemaking Club, private event space, and so much more.
Walking in a Winter Wineland…
Ready to taste through all that San Carlos has to offer? Join us this Sunday for the Downtown San Carlos Holiday Wine Stroll! We’re proud to be the wine sponsor of this event, which brings almost 20 local wineries together for one fun afternoon full of holiday cheer. Enjoy amazing wine, light food bites, and stop by the Bottle Booth to purchase your favorite wines of the day. See you there!
Thanksgiving means getting together with friends and family to share in the earth’s bounty (also known as overeating) and recognize the things we are thankful for in life (also known as wine).
Pairing the perfect wine with the meal of the year can be daunting—the options are as endless as the plate combinations! And while there’s not one single wine that could stand up from appetizers through dessert, we’ve chosen three of our go-to favorites to pair along the way.
Although fall has us craving heavier white wines, your usual go-to choice of Chardonnay isn’t the most appropriate wine to invite to the Thanksgiving table. Heavy oak influence can clash with the rich, savory notes of the meal you’ve slaved over all day. If you’re serving white wine, opt for floral, fruity, and ultimately refreshing. Our Viognier is the perfect wine to take your guests from appetizers through the main course, where the turkey will highlight the wine’s fruitier notes.
Try this: 2014 Amador County Viognier
Although it might feel more logical to pair white wine with poultry, Thanksgiving also calls for vibrant reds that were born to be paired with food. Near the top of our food-friendly red wine list lies Syrah. This varietal is strong and spicy, with a light berry brightness on the palate. This wine can handle everything from a sausage-heavy stuffing to a tart cranberry sauce and will add more complexity to the cornucopia of flavors already on your table. Sip, sip, Syrah!
Try this: 2012 Amador County Syrah
After the turkey has been gobbled, pie becomes the star of the Thanksgiving show. Whether you’re looking for something to complement that rich, sweet pecan pie, or replace it altogether, dessert wines like port or sherry are a perfect choice. Since traditional pies (like pumpkin) tend to be more savory than sweet, they need a wine that is silky, smooth, and not too heavy. Our full-bodied Black Silk Ruby Red dessert wine holds up to the weight and flavors of any pie.
Now, go on and celebrate with the ones you love. ‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be thankful!
Italians were among the first to immigrate to California, and even more specifically to San Francisco. Along with their culture, food, and romantic language, Italians brought their knack for agriculture, which meant one especially great thing for California—Italian wine.
But where is all the Italian wine now? Once referred to as the “Cal-Ital” wine movement, Italian wine made in an American style, the production of Italian varietals slowed down once winemakers realized how difficult Italian grapes are to produce. Enter Domenico: our family-owned urban winery specializing in Cal-Italia winemaking.
There are many legends surrounding the origins of the illustrious Primitivo, such as its relation to Zinfandel, but one thing is for sure: it’s delicious. While Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically similar, they produce quite different wines. Estate grown and full-bodied, our California Primitivo is a complex, lush, and juicy varietal with the ability to be aged for years to come.
Barbera has long been considered the wine of the people, and is meant to be consumed young. While the Italian counterpart is grown in Mediterranean conditions, the warmer California sun makes for a fine wine with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and spice. Enjoy Barbera with rich or fatty foods, the perfect complement to the wine’s bright acidity!
The grape responsible for the more well-known wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is an especially difficult grape to grow—so much so, that there are only around 100 planted acres of it in California! Grown in California’s Nebbiolo hotspot, Amador County, our 100% Nebbiolo pairs with the heaviest of stews, pasta, or your Thanksgiving turkey.
Bright and fruit-forward, California Dolcetto is among the friendliest of food wines. Literally meaning “little sweet,” Dolcetto is recognizable by its low acidity and cheek-puckering tannin. Dolcetto is young and fun—the perfect bottle to open with friends!
Want more Italian varietals? Visit our San Carlos tasting room Saturdays and Sundays to taste what we have on deck. Cheers!
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