Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Wines with a Heart (on the Label)

Valentine’s Day is here again.  Associated with love and romance, Valentine symbols include a heart with an arrow, which suggests the penetrating deepness of love. Cupid, that cute little cherub with the quiver of arrows, represents the Roman god of love. And the heart came about when centuries ago, it was believed that the heart was the place where love and affection were physically located in the body.

Wine is also associated with hearts in many ways.  Wine is said to be good for the heart, it protects the heart, gladdens the heart, and comes from the heart.  So on Valentine’s Day what could be more appropriate than a wine with a heart…on the label?

Chateau Calon- Segur St. Estephe Bordeaux is a wine producer that features a heart on its label.  Located in the Bordeaux wine region of France, the term Calon describes a small river skiff (boat) that was used to ferry timber across the river during the Middle Ages.

The estate can be traced back to 1147.  At that time, it was owned by Monseigneur de Calon.  The Marquis Nicolas Alexandre de Segur later owned the estate and is quoted as saying, “I make my wine at Lafite and Latour, but my heart is in Calon.”   It is this quote that brought about the heart displayed prominently on the Chateau Calon Segur label. Chateau Calon- Segur was one of the original three vineyards in Saint -Estephe.

In 1894, Georges Gasqueton and Charles Hanappier purchased the estate.  It has been managed by those families until last year when it was sold to the French insurance company, Suravenir Insurance, a subsidiary of the French banking group, Credit Mutuel Arkea.
The regional Bordeaux blend produced here is similar to a US Meritage.  Intense flavors of berries, plums, and black currents are common.  The wine is said to be high in tannins and well structured, with a traditional texture.  A bottle sells for $100 to $120 in the US.

Heart and Hands Winery is located near Cayuga Lake in New York.  Owned by Tom and Susan Higgins, the winery opened in 2008, and highlights several wines crafted from Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes.

The Heart and Hands wine label features a Claddagh ring, the traditional Irish wedding ring, a symbol that dates back to the 17th century.   The hands are said to signify togetherness and friendship, the heart denotes love, and the crown symbolizes fidelity and loyalty.

Heart and Hands wines are crafted from Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes grown by several Finger Lake vineyards, including one on the estate. While it is a small production winery, about 1,500 cases, the wines reveal the unique characteristics of the Finger Lakes region. The wines sell from $18 to $50.  To learn more or purchase wine, visit @

Heart of Gold is a popular name for wine.  In New Zealand, Spade Oak Vineyard has a line of wines by this name, including Heart of Gold Syrah/Tempranillo, Heart of Gold St. Laurent, Heart of Gold Chardonnay/Viognier, and Heart of Gold Gruner Veltliner.  But alas, they do not feature a heart on the label – a pre-requisite for today’s blog.  But you can find out more about them @

The Winery at Marjim Manor is located in Appleton, New York and also touts a Heart of Gold wine.  Located in what began as an 1800’s farmhouse, the building was later used as a summer retreat for the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent before being converted into a winery. 
Winemaker Margo Sue Bittner crafts over 30 wines, including a fruit wine called Heart of Gold. Made from apricots, Heart of Gold starts with the enticing aroma of apricots and develops into a rich and buttery, full-bodied wine. The wine sells for $19.

To order wine or learn more about the Winery at Marjim Manor, visit 

If you’re searching for a more edgy heart, then consider the San Valentin line.  These wines were created by Miguel Torres Carbo as a gift for his wife, Margarita Riera, on St. Valentine’s Day. 

The white wine is crafted from the Parellada grapes, native to Catalonia, Spain, where Torres is located.  The red San Valentine Garnacha is made from Granacha Tinta, a Mediterranean grape with soft tannins and an intense, jammy palate.

And with the slogan, “Everyday is Valentine’s Day’” what’s not to love?  Find out more about San Valentin wines @

Terra Valentine Winery is located near St. Helena, California on Spring Mountain.  The name of the winery is in honor of owner Angus Wurtele’s father, Valentine Wurtele.
The two-story stone winery offers over a dozen wines.  And since it is Valentine’s Day, two wines seem to fit the holiday theme.

Amore wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine offers a spicy nose with the flavors of strawberries, blueberries and crabapple. Amore sells for $40 a bottle.

Marriage is a Bordeaux blend based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, which offers a rich, berry nose with a fruity balance. Marriage sells for $80 a bottle.

For more information on Terra Valentine, visit

So, if your Valentine plans include wine, consider a heart on the label – a nice touch to show that someone special, s/he has your heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!! (Now, go enjoy that wine already…)

~ Joy