Featured Bottle: 2018 Tolenas Eclipse White Pinot Noir

We’ve been tasting some mighty fiine wines here at Woman-Owned Wineries. And frankly, we’re starting to feel a little selfish, hoarding them all for ourselves. It’s high time we shared! In that spirit, look for regularly featured bottles here in this space. Kicking things off  is a second-generation winemaker from an unsung corner of California. 


Tolenas Eclipse

What: 2018 Tolenas Eclipse White Pinot Noir, Tenbrink Vineyard

Where: Suisun Valley,  California

Who: Lisa Howard, 2nd generation winemaker and licensed engineer

Why: We’d already decided this crisp yet complex wine was a summer necessity when word came in from  the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition: Eclipse had won a gold medal. Congrats to Tolenas and all the winners!

How: This white wine is actually made from red grapes. It was during a grape harvest under the Solar eclipse in 2017, the idea for a white Pinot Noir emerged.

Says Lisa:

“We were scheduling our picking days and realized we were going to be harvesting our estate Pinot Noir during the Great American Eclipse of 2017. When I realized how special of a day it was, I knew we needed to create a special wine to match.”

“The thought of making a white wine with the red Pinot Noir grapes popped into my mind and I just chuckled thinking this is either going to be really great, or fail miserably, but we have to try it.”

Getting a white Pinot Noir right is no simple feat. “We hand-picked and pressed the whole grape clusters, very gently, to extract the juice while not imparting any color from the skins into the wine.”

In 2018, harvest arrived, and the pressure was on to repeat the prior year’s success.

“This wine was an exciting journey as a new winemaker, I succeeded in duplicating a wine style, and dare I say improved it. My dream with the White Pinot “Eclipse” is to have it be that wine on a wine list in a restaurant or in a retail store that strikes interest and conversation, then quickly becomes your go-to white wine.”

Find your summer supply of Tolenas Eclipse here>

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