Carol Shelton has brought Wild Thing wines and others labeled under her own name, on California Wine Country today. She is back on the show with Steve Jaxon, Harry Duke and Dan Berger. Her last time on the show was this episode of July 22, 2020, available here.
The Carol Shelton Wines website has extensive history about her and her work. She was at UC Davis and wanted to study poetry. Her mother said, “Poets don’t eat.” So the message was delivered and she found the wine major which was a perfect blending of her interests. In the class of 1978 there were only two women, now there are about a quarter of the graduating class. When she left Davis she started at Mondavi in Napa and Buena Vista winery in 1980. She worked with André Tchelicheff there. Carol remembers how André brought in modern equipment necessary to make good wine consistently. She credits his influence in helping her make wines that age well.
A winery in an industrial park
Carol’s operation is in an industrial park, which may not be romantic and super attractive, but it is an efficient way to keep the business running. They are careful about processing water so they keep the solids out of the storm drains.
They taste the Coquille Blanc 2021, which is a combination of different varieties in the blend. Coquille means scallops in French, and is named after the shells on her family’s coat of arms. Grenache Blanc is the base but there is also Roussanne and Viogner. Dan says that blending is a lot of work, because you have to taste a lot of wine. They barrel ferment and they stir every barrel every week for months.
Next they taste the Wild Thing Rendez-vous Rosé. It is a darker Rosé. The Provençal style is paler. This is more like an Italian rosato, where they keep the skins on a little more, making it a darker shade of pink. The juice stays on the skins for two full days, which imparts more flavor, richness and color.