Santa Rosa Press Democrat Wine of the Week: Crisp and clean sauvignon blanc at Foursight

Ski season and harvest fall on opposite ends of the year. This made winemaking seem like an ideal career for Joe Webb, who is as fond of wine as he is of the slopes.

Webb, 37, is behind our wine-of-the-week winner — the Foursight, 2014 Anderson Valley Charles Vineyard sauvignon blanc at $25.

The Foursight is a top-rate sauvignon blanc with bright acidity and great balance. It has nice minerality and high-toned fruit of grapefruit and lime, coupled with ripe stone fruit. It finishes crisp, which wraps up the package and makes it especially refreshing.

Asked what makes his sauvignon blanc a standout, Webb said his family-owned winery is dedicated to detail. One example is pulling leaves to expose the fruit to sunlight.

“This is a natural way to create sauvignon blanc without the big green and grassy flavors,” he said.

What the uninitiated don’t know about sauvignon blanc is its range, Webb said.

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“It has crisp and clean flavors, which opens up a wide range of food pairing options,” he said. “Some sauvignon blancs are a little too sweet or too green and grassy, and that can turn people off to the varietal.”

Sauvignon blanc is made all over the world in a variety of styles, and Webb said it’s definitely worth exploring the grape’s multiple personalities.

The winemaker said having the luxury to be an idealist is what makes him well suited to crafting wines.

“Working for just myself and my family means I have a lot of freedom in winemaking,” Webb said. “I can be an idealist and use very traditional techniques, but that also means a lot of hand labor and attention to detail.”

Webb is co-owner and winemaker of Foursight Wines in Boonville, and lives with his wife on the property where she grew up.

He graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in business administration before learning the craft by working at wineries in Northern California, including Sebastiani, Joseph Swan and Londer Vineyards.

The yin and yang of Webb’s current life — the vineyards and the slopes — appear to be playing out perfectly.

“I grew up in the mountains near Yosemite and was really into skiing,” Webb said.

“My first wine-specific memory was when a high school teacher mentioned that I should think about winemaking, because harvest and ski seasons are opposites.”

--Peg Melnik

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