The women behind two Paso Robles wineries have teamed up on a new wine featuring an unusual grape, at least for them — chardonnay.
Amy Butler has garnered acclaim for her bottlings of niche varietals such as grenache blanc and carignan under Ranchero Cellars, and Janis Denner specializes in Italian varietals at Pelletiere Estate, with Butler as the winemaker.
The pair embarked on Dorothy Jean Wines after a conversation in which they each admitted, almost sheepishly, they they enjoyed drinking chardonnay, the leading white wine around the globe.
“I make a lot of white wine under Ranchero, but I don’t make the white wine,” said Butler, who worked with chardonnay at earlier gigs at Stag’s Leap and Schramsberg Winery.
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The brand combines the women’s middle names and sports the motto, “I am her.”
“It represents the ordinary woman, very approachable,” Butler said. “I am her, you are her, we are all her.”
It also represents a melding of the two women’s palates, creamier than Butler said she would have made on her own, balanced with elegance and a silky finish.
The label comes from a print by modern landscape artist Erin Hanson that hangs in Pelletiere’s tasting room.
“We kept it a big collaboration of women all working together to make something happen,” Denner said.
With just five barrels made with fruit from the Sierra Madre Vineyard in Santa Maria, the wine will be sold mostly through the website for $38, and by the glass at 15℃ in Templeton and Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles.