Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Isabelle Saw Simi Through Some Pretty Tough Times

Landslide Cabernet Tasting in the Vineyard

Isabelle inherited SIMI Winery in the midst of her father and uncles tragic deaths, but the hurdles didnt end there. The business was rocked yet again two years later, when the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake sent intense shocks though Sonoma County. Fortunately, Isabelle had the foresight to build strong structures and use steel reinforcements in the vineyards, preventing SIMI Winery from sustaining significant damage.

Even more trouble came her way when Prohibition threatened Californias winemaking industry. Isabelle pivoted quickly to keep SIMIs doors open, opting to sell sacramental wine to churches. She also kept a supply hidden away in her cellars so that when Prohibition was repealed, SIMI was ready to sell wine again almost immediately.

SIMI Winery shares a cinematic version of this story in its Goodness from Grit campaign, which features a 4-minute video chronicling Isabelles winemaking legacy, as told in part by two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey.

Costco Wine The 2021 Guide To The Best Wines At Costco

Costco® is the number one wine retailer in the U.S. and just one look at their low wine prices should tell you why! Read on for our Complete Guide to Costco Wine.

The reason for those low prices is simply the tremendously slim margin Costco takes thanks to their membership model. Basically they make their money on membership fees allowing them to keep product prices, including those on wine , very low. Their selection isn’t the broadest but they do tend to bring in some very nice wines from all over the world , especially in the under $20 price point.

While most of the Costco wines are available elsewhere keep your eyes out for deals on lesser-known labels as well. Inventory of wines will vary by market and even by store within a market so at times you can find some low production wines available in an individual store. Also in some states you don’t even need a membership to shop the store!

Want our FREE special report “The Five Wines to Buy At Costco RIGHT NOW” plus a printable shopping list of all our recommended Costco wines?

Simis First Tasting Room Was Fashioned Out Of An Actual Wine Cask

How did Isabelle promote her cellar full of wine post-Prohibition? She opted to open a new, eye-catching tasting room that was impossible for passersby to ignore. The room was actually a 25,000 gallon Champagne tank that was placed near the winerys cellars and opened to the public in 1934, becoming SIMIs first official retail outlet. The original tasting room was replaced by a new hospitality center in honor of SIMIs 100th anniversary in 1990.

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Buy Simi Wine For Less At Buywinesonlinecom

From Napa Valley to Argentina, you can count on us to bring you the best wines at prices you’ll love. Peruse our inventory for your favorite varietals or discover something new. Fill your cellar with premium collectible wines or stock up for a party with just a few clicks of your mouse. Shop for Simi wine online today!


Guide To Costco Wine Prices And Top Recommended Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon

Guide to Costco Wine

Highlighting Top Picks, Current Selections and Prices

If youâre like many wine lovers who are looking for great wine at great prices, you may have discovered that your local Costco sells wine! I have been Shopping for Wine at Costco for years now and the selections and prices continue to warrant your attention as a value-conscious wine consumer.

While I continue to feature specific wines which I feel represent a great deal of value on The Fermented Fruit, I thought a Costco Wine Price Guide might serve loyal readers well. Since Costco neither publishes their current selectionsnor their prices, I hope that you find this guide to Costco wine resourceful and informative!

From my Instagram: Holding my 3L Jeroboam Costco Wine Score! Click the image to see more and thanks for following!

Seasonal and Holiday Specialty Selections

Champagne and Sparkling Wine

Sauvignon Blanc

Italian Wines | Costco Wine

Pinot Noir

Shiraz and Syrah

  • Tres Picos Red Blend, $11.99
  • Vinessens Sein Alicante Red Blend, $12.99

Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel

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Casa Farive Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 94 calories, 11% ABV

There’s a huge difference between the kind of prosecco you only want to mix with orange juice and the kind you could happily sip before dinner. This sparkling Italian white maintains a perfectly balanced body without veering into the overly sweet territory.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 95 calories, 12% ABV

Do you remember the last time you paid $20 for real, honest-to-goodness, proper French Champagne? No? Well, this Kirkland Signature Champagne is one very affordable way to start!

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 105 calories, 12.5% ABV

Finding the right, readily-available sparkling rosé can be a game-changer. When it’s as deliciously dry as this approachable bubbly, you’ll be shocked it’s from Costcoeven Wine Spectator agrees!

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 13.5% ABV

Looking for a Tuscan red with a lot of structure? This full-bodied Sangiovese is what the experts would call “complex,” meaning it’s the kind of wine you can pull different flavors from with each sip.

Where Are The Simi Vineyards Located

Simi has three world class vineyards in California: Landslide Vineyard, Alexander Vineyard, and Russian River Valley Vineyard.

Landslide Vineyard was created by a volcanic landslide by Mount St. Helena, imparting the area with unique properties. The vineyard is made up of 5 distinct soil types, 3 different sections, and several microclimates.

A little north of Healdsburg is an example of some of the finest Sonoma winegrowing in the region. Alexander Valley is known for its nutrient packed and diverse soils, leading to amazing Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blends.

Closer to the Pacific Ocean, the Russian River Valley is affected & nurtured by ocean fog. The Ocean’s cool moist breeze keeps the wines acidic while they ripen.

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Things You Should Know About Simi Winery

SIMI Winery entered the California winemaking scene in 1876, marking the beginning of a brand that has lasted for over 140 years. SIMI prides itself on being led by female pioneers in an industry historically dominated by men.

Today, the winery offers more than 20 red, white, rosé, and sparkling options including several reserve wines with a range of price points to boot. You dont have to travel all the way to California to get a taste, though. SIMIs wines are widely distributed across the country and odds are, you can pick up a bottle at your local wine shop.

Here are 10 more things you should know about SIMI Winery before you open up your next bottle.

Pendulum Red Blend Columbia Valley

Master of Wine finds best deal ever at Costco!

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 13.9% ABV

Sometimes, the best test of a wine is how it can stand on its own. This red is so well-rounded that it does just as well as a pre-dinner glass as it does a meal pairing.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 120 calories, 13.9% ABV

Malbec has solidly become one of the wines Americans feel comfortable ordering by name. The rich-but-balanced flavors of this Argentinian red are a perfect example of why.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 14% ABV

Whether you’re having a nice dinner or a laid-back cookout, Spanish red can be a perfect pairing. This wine pairs beautifully with rice, vegetables, game, and red meats.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 110 calories, 13.5% ABV

Looking to change up your red routine? This wine is made from a popular Italian grape known as Montepulciano, which can be a great swap-out for your typical Malbec or Syrah.

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Theres Been Strong Female Leadership Ever Since

SIMIs current winemaking team is entirely headed by women director of winemaking Melissa Stackhouse and winemaker Lisa Evich bring a combined 50 years of experience to the table.

This legacy of female winemakers extends back to former SIMI winemaker MaryAnn Graf, whose accolades included being the first woman in the U.S. to earn a degree in oenology and the first female board member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. California wine trailblazer Zelma Long is also on the list of SIMI winemakers, joining the team in 1979 and serving as the winerys president and CEO from 1989 to 1996.

Kirkland Cote Du Rhone De Villages

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 120 calories, 14% ABV

Cote du Rhone Villages wines are a blend of at least three grape varieties that create a beautifully balanced flavor profile and provide something for everyone to love. If there was ever a wine to win over your picky friends, this medium-bodied red is it.

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Simi Winery: Tragedy To Triumph

Isabelle Simi. Courtesy of SIMI Winery

SIMI Winery started with the hard work and persistence of two immigrant brothers. But it continued due to the determination of one 18-year-old girl who would not let tragedy end her familys legacy.

SIMI Winery, a historic view. Photo credit SIMI Winery

That legacy, shown in this anthology video, carried on for more than a century first led by Isabelle Simi, who steered the winery through natural disaster and Prohibitions crippling effect on Californias budding wine industry for over 70 years, and then with a team of winemakers set on carrying on what the family began in 1876.

Melissa Stackhouse, Director of Winemaking, SIMI Winery. Photo courtesy of SIMI Winery

I had a chance to talk to Melissa Stackhouse, Director of Winemaking for SIMI Winery, about what that legacy means to her and how she plans to carry it forth. She talked about how in a state full of new wineries, the chance to work for a winery with such a storied history is amazing.

SIMI Winery. Photo credit SIMI Winery

The Female Winemaking Legacy

Melissa earned her a degree in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, apprenticed at Robert Mondavi Winery and worked at Meiomi, J Vineyards & Winery, and La Crema as winemaker before taking her position at SIMI Winery.

A vertical at SIMI Winery. Photo credit SIMI Winery

SIMI Vineyards

The Winemaking Process

Tasting line-up for SIMI Winery

We tried several samples:

Its Also Trying Out A New Combo: Wine And Books

Review: 2014 Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SIMIs new partnership with Reeses Book Club, a site helmed by actress and producer Reese Witherspoon that offers monthly female-centered book recommendations, aims to bring wine and book lovers together. The goal of the collaboration is to spotlight diverse narratives and deepen connections within the community by offering readers and drinkers more ways to engage with these stories and each other, according to a press release.

Bookworms who buy the special-edition wines are encouraged to pour a glass to enjoy the next time they open up a new story. The first installation of the partnership is a box that features a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, and a branded bookmark.

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The California Winery Has Italian Roots

SIMI Winerys Sonoma County location came to be when brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi left their home in Italy to strike it big during the California Gold Rush. They found themselves in San Francisco in 1849 and eventually realized their passion for wine outweighed the allure of the gold fields. The duo then moved to Healdsburg, Calif., in 1890 to hone their craft. The city remains the home of SIMI Winery to this day.

The Brands Story Really Begins With Isabelle Simi

While Giuseppe and Pietro were the first to make wine under the Simi name, it is Giuseppes daughter Isabelle whose winemaking legacy is perhaps most important to the brand. She took over the winery when she was only 18 years old, after her father and uncle both passed away in 1904. Today, SIMI Isabelles business savvy and determination to preserve the winery for the companys long-lasting success.

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Simi Is Big On Food And Wine Pairings

Wine lovers know the power of a good wine and food pairing can elevate a dining experience. SIMI recognized this early on, too, becoming one of the first wineries in California to bring on a full-time chef. SIMI has its own on-site restaurant and offers plenty of opportunities for the hungry and thirsty to indulge themselves. Options include a family-style pizza meal, a three-course lunch, and a small bite experience, among other food offerings .

The Winery Was Sold Out Of Family Ownership In 1981

Canada Sommelier Sessions Episode #3 Simi, Mount Veeder, Robert Mondavi

The same year that Isabelle Simi passed away, at 95 years old, SIMI Winery was sold to multinational conglomerate Moët-Hennessy. In 1999, it was sold again to Constellation Brands in a roughly $50 million deal. SIMI has stayed with Constellation Brands ever since and is now owned by the companys fine wine division, Icon Estates. SIMI is part of Constellation Brands large portfolio of well-known wines, including brands like The Prisoner and Robert Mondavi.

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Kirkland Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 129 calories, 15.3% ABV

If you’re into big, bold, full-bodied, and fruity reds, this Zinfandel is for you. When you realize that similar wines usually start selling for more than twice the price as this Costco exclusive, you might just fall even more in love with it.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 125 calories, 13.5% ABV

Bright, easy-drinking red wines like this blend made with Sangiovese aren’t just great for warmer weather: Try popping this in the fridge for 10 minutes and you’ll pick up a whole other level of fruity flavors that are perfect for pairing with a feast.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 115 calories, 13% ABV

Soft, velvety, fruit-forward wines like this Pinot Noir are what makes Burgundy as famous as it is. Try this with light apps or salads for dinner, or simply sip it while bingeing The Bachelor.

Nutrition per 5 fl. oz: 122 calories, 12% ABV

Easy-drinking Pinot Noirs like these are often the best type of bottle to open while making dinneror the perfect type when you just want to unwind with a glass on the patio at the end of a long day.

Simi Is One Of Californias Longest Continuously Operating Wineries

SIMI accomplished the difficult task of surviving Prohibition , a result of Isabelles quick pivot to selling legal sacrament wine. Other California wineries werent so lucky. Of the roughly 700 that were reported to be open prior to Prohibition, only 140 survived. SIMI was one of the lucky ones, making it one of the states longest continuously operating wineries, with over 140 years under its belt.

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