Guenoc Vineyards has an interesting history steeped in the glamorous world of actors and high society. Oh, yes! Guenoc started life as the Langtry Farms or Langtry Estate Vineyard. Lily Langtry (also spelled Lillie) was an international star of the stage and belle of society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was also possessed of an entrepreneurial spirit which led her to found her own acting company, involve herself in thoroughbred racing, and to become a California vintner. Born in the UK, Ms. Langtry became an American citizen in 1887 during one of her tours through the U.S. In 1888, she bought the winery in Lake County, California and reportedly began making claret. Although she sold the vineyard in the early 1900’s, the farm is today being used to produce the many selections available from Guenoc and Langtry Estate.
Notes: This Guenoc Chardonnay was a medium yellow in the glass. On the nose I caught whiffs of honey, kiwi, and banana. Acidity was good, and alcohol was at 13.5%. On the tongue I found tropical fruit – kiwi, banana, even a touch of guava – and quinine. On the whole, however, it wasn’t my cup of wine in large part due to the prevalence of the quinine flavor. If that flavor had taken a back seat to the fruit, it could have added interest to this Chardonnay. For me, though, the bitter quinine was just too much. You, of course, may disagree. As Guenoc does make a full range of offerings, this won’t stop me giving their other products a go.