End-of-year gatherings and get togethers are good excuses for stocking up on bubbles, both foreign and domestic. Dozens of new releases from Napa and Sonoma-based producers—many of whom are pioneers who devoted themselves to sparkling wine production—prove that there are choices beyond Old World options.
Schramsberg in Calistoga owes its present-day success to the visionary risk-taking of Jack and Jamie Davies, who bought the historic property in 1965 with the express aim of making world-class traditional method sparkling wine from California grapes. The winery continues to refine its grape sourcing and is making vineyard-designated and vintage-dated wines that impress. That includes the 2016 Hyde Vineyards Blanc de Blancs from the coveted Carneros site. Like so many of the non-sparkling Chardonnays that come off of that property, the sparkling version is focused and linear, with deep, rich stone-fruit flavors.