Tahoe Top 5: Truckee River Winery on Brockway road serves up your top five summer wines | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Top 5: Truckee River Winery on Brockway road serves up your top five summer wines

Here's a fun fact: the winery highest in elevation, plus, coldest in temperature in the United States is none other than Truckee River Winery on Brockway Road.

Though they've earned a title due to Truckee's alpine location, Truckee River Winery has a knack for crafting delicious summer wines, something that isn't easy for everyone to pinpoint the first try.

"It can be tough finding a wine that you really like, that's at a good price point," said Truckee River Winery General Manager Katy Jones.

"We are focused on making sure everyone here is relaxed and comfortable, that there's no stigma with wine, and that they can enjoy tasting new wines," she said.

Truckee River Winery sees new visitors each day, as well as locals and visitors from overseas who've become more like family and plan on a visit to the winery during their North Lake Tahoe vacation.

"Most of the time we're the first or the last stop for our guests from out of town," Jones said.

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In addition to their wine varietals, Truckee River Winery has three beers on tap and 20 bottled options for guests, as well as non-alcoholic options.

A family friendly spot, the winery hosts public and team tournaments on their bocce ball courts, including competitive and casual matches. Those matches draw more than 460 players in their summer league, all of whom are of different ages and backgrounds, looking to play a fun game outdoors.

Guests should visit the winery in person for a variety of flight options, to enjoy their tasting room, host parties and most importantly, expand their palette.

"I frequent the winery a lot, yes," said Truckee resident Dana Brooks.

"It's fun here, for meetings, to play bocce; the people here make it special, plus it's dog-friendly. They have games and a great event space, and it's nice that they offer beer for people like my fiance who don't like wine," she said.

For those looking to get their hands on the best wines of the summer, Jones has offered Truckee River Winery's top five selections sure to please anyone you might host during these warmer months.

1. A Traditional White

2015 White Barn Pinot Gris is a medium body, medium acidity wine that is light, crisp and exactly what people look for in a traditional white wine.

Flavor: Hints of lemongrass, honeysuckle, and citrus make this a light and refreshing wine.

Pairs with: This wine shines with lighter dishes like salads, seafood, or even barbecue.

2. It's the Summer of Rosé

Yes way, rosé. The winery's 2016 Pink Barn Dry Rosé is made with Merlot and late harvest Zinfandel grapes, along with the winery's special Symphony grape. Though it's bright pink in color, it is a dry rosé with a nice punch of color, it's lower alcohol content makes it a good daytime wine.

Flavor: This fun, fruity wine offers flavors of watermelon, raspberry, and rose petal.

Pairs with: Cheese and fruit pair nicely with this wine, though it's light enough to match any summer flavor you choose. Jones recommends the summer farmer's market samosas to pair with the wine.

3. The Bocce Wine

The Volo chilled red summer wine is a local favorite and comes highly demanded by those who frequent Truckee River Winery. This wine is the crème de la crème of the winery's top picks, and is only made in the summertime. Contrary to popular practice, it is designed to serve chilled. Made by a special process, this wine was produced to keep the red flavor even when it's iced down – a highly appreciated labor of love.

Flavor: The secret blend of varietals is very lightly flavored with lots of fruit and floral flavors, but not to be confused with a rosé or blush.

Pairs with: This wine is great with barbecue, pizza, pasta, and Jones' favorite: three-bean salad.

4. A Traditional Red

The 2015 Lodi Merlot is a dry red wine with a more tannic style whose flavor is very deep and complex. It has been aged in American oak barrels for a year and a half, which helps cut through spicy notes in a dish, enhancing the meal rather than amplifying the heat.

Flavor: This traditional red has tannin, fruity, and cedar flavors.

Pairs with: Thai dishes, spicy food, barbecue, figs, and blue cheese.

5. The Perfect Summer Wedding Wine

Love is in the air in the summertime, and the 2014 Tondre Grapefield Best Man Pinot Noir is arguably the perfect wine to serve on your special day. The wine is in homage to a close, personal friend of the winery, who acted as a "best man" in their friend's wedding. The story goes on to say that he was, indeed, the best man; and so the winery produced only 40 cases of this particular wine as something fun and festive to remember and honor him.

Flavor: Grapes were hand-selected off the vine and fermented in barrels in the snow. They were aged three years in special French oak barrels, and the resulting wine has all the wonderful fruity flavors of their traditional pinot noir, but wrapped in smooth, toasty oak.

Pairs with: This wine will go nicely with lamb, pork, and seafood dishes.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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