|Bump City crew is a family affair!|
Wine and grooves, that's what's hip! It is nearly impossible to write this blog without incorporating the musical influences of the iconic 70s east Oakland band, "Tower of Power!" Fans of the band and others, only need to visit keyboardist Roger Smith and crew at the aptly named "Bump City Wine Co." to get "Funkifized" in all things wine, grooves and great hospitality! Please read on.
Its' Still a young winery....
Okay, so I'm borrowing a piece from one of their songs to describe a recent visit to the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, CA. Many of you are familiar with this location even though it remains to be aggressively marketed. With this said, the inviting sound of "Soul and Funk" emanating from the back forty of the property is sure to entice visitors from within the confines of the main building to check out what is "Hip" in the old boiler room.
|Smith personally educates guests|
Smith and longtime friend and business partner Mike Smolich have been making wine for family and friends for more than 10 years. They are both passionate and picky about the wines they produce, and enjoy being involved from vineyard to bottle in the process. What's most appealing to guests at the winery is the lack of pretentiousness that often deters people from wine tasting.
Smith and crew are on hand to personally greet visitors, pour wine and answer questions about the winery and upcoming events. On the day of my visit, guests who purchased wine were blessed with an autographed bottle by Smith himself. The experience of visiting this tasting room was akin to visiting good friends in their own living rooms.
|Mike Smolich and Roger Smith|
As I observed the comings and goings of several waves of visitors, it struck me how approachable and engaging Smith was. Assuming that he hailed from Oaktown, I was surprised that he was a Sacramento native with ties to many people that I knew personally. This made the experience even more enjoyable. One can relax amid a homegrown son who has not been bitten by the celebrity bug. Smith himself is careful to add that he does not want his wine to be misaligned with celebrity trappings. In short, his wine is reflective of the "Every Person" palate without compromising quality. The proof of his genuine humility and passion for all things grape were soon to come as I given the opportunity to enjoy a few tastes.
Diggin' on the Vino!
|Newly released 2014 Chardonnay|
The grapes for Bump City Wine Co., are sourced from Sonoma County appellations with the exception of the Zinfandel from Lodi. As a seasoned wine aficionado, I tend to forego white wine and jump straight into the reds when visiting wineries. Because my research is centered mainly in observing diverse populations of visitors, it is necessary to curtail how much wine that is consumed. Not today! Bump City wine Co, offers five varietals; Beginning with a wonderful semi - somewhat buttery, kinda oak tinged, goldenrod, fruity, smooth, luscious, lick the last drop off the edge of the glass 2014 Chardonnay, which recently took a gold medal in the East meets West International wine competition. This wine would pair well with many types of food including and not limited to dessert. Think peach cobbler? Going completely out of order and saving for last, my palate was not tainted any more for the worse after indulging in three wonderful reds.
Not a fan of PN, but always willing to try something new. Amazingly smooth without the pomegranate overtones that can choke the uninitiated. Richer and much more buoyant than some other Pinot's that I have tried. Buoyant? Yes, this is a nice way of saying that the wine carries its' weight well and is balanced in all characteristics. Nuff said.
|Bumpin' Bump City Red!|
If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know my position on Zinfandel. In fact, it may have been expressed while visiting the tasting room. Zinfandel...especially Lodi Zin, is not a favorite grape. Why you ask? Beginning my career in Amador County and Lodi, I became saturated in this wine. Nuff said. Bump City changed all of this for me. Instead of the high octane, salad bar, fruit bombs reminiscent of mountain wine and wine from the interior of hell aka Lodi, this Zinfandel was incredibly layered, yet straightforward in its presentation. In short, this is the wine enjoyed while playing dominoes, eating barbecue or just chilling with the folks!
Bump City Red.
No "Clean Slate" needed to enjoy this wine! A voluptuous, big legged, dark, classy vino with an essence of naughtiness. Definitely something to be cellared or consumed while young. (Buy two and see how it develops) I Couldn't help asking for two or more taste's...just to be sure that I liked it.
|Signing a bottle for a guest|
Smith talks enthusiastically about the future of the tasting room and upcoming events. A release party is scheduled for August 13, 2016 at the Old Sugar Mill. Live music, nibbles and great wine await wine club members and the public. Tickets can be purchased at bumpcitywineco.com.
Speaking of wine clubs, Bump City Wine Co. has one of the most affordable and flexible wine clubs available. Members can choose all red, all white or elect to have Roger's choice in quantities of three six or 12 bottles shipped or picked up at the winery twice a year. Discounts apply for multiple bottle and case purchases.
For a laid back experience in wine tasting, Smith and his crew provide genuine top shelf hospitality, great wine and smooth grooves for their guests. Feel free to break into singing along or dancing to familiar tunes in the large tasting room area. The vibe is full of soul with a capital "S!"
I give this winery four slaps upside the head...and this is a good thing and highly recommend that you "Get your feet back on the ground" and visit.
Until next time,