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Inspired by the brave souls of the Bear Flag Revolt, we celebrate the kindred spirits who stand their ground, have the good taste to dream big and never waste a drop. Bear Flag Wine embodies the intrepid, rebellious and independent spirit of California, where anything is possible. Winemaker and Sonoma County native Aaron Piotter assembled this first batch of Eureka! Red with the singular goal of expressing the personalities of dynamic hillsides, pocket canyons, rocky ridges and volcanic slopes. The non-traditional path of blending was chosen unimpeded by rules for varietals, vintage or specific appellation thereby allowing true creativity to be the inspiration. At Bear Flag Wine, we raise our glass to anyone with a brave, enduring spirit who dares to pave their own path.
Bear Flag Eureka! Red Blend Batch No. 1
On October 13, 1849
Forty-eight settlers paved the way to California statehood through their steadfast belief in a better way of life. The least we can do is bring together the best grapes to be enjoyed by today’s groundbreakers.
57% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah, 11% Syrah, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Sangiovese, 2% Tannat, 2% Dornfelder, 2% Dolcetto, 1% Pinotage, 1% Teroldego
Even for the independent, the time comes to join forces in pursuit of a better state. Eager for long-awaited statehood, 48 settlers from varied backgrounds crafted the California Constitution in 1849. We in turn united the best grapes for our new red blend, named in honor of the state motto.
This wine delivers an abundance or bold red fruit character. Notes of black raspberry, red cherry jam and dried fruit combine with delicate touches of clove, cedar and cocoa. Alluring, plush mouthfeel and lasting finish.
California vineyards are home to amazing vistas, special microclimates and stunning patterns that zig-zag the contours of hills and valleys. This blend is comprised of grapes grown on sites along the ridges perched above the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, the sun-drenched hillsides of the Napa Valley, the volcanic slopes of the Red Hills of Lake County, and the rolling hills of Eastern San Joaquin County where the Sierras begin their rise from the Central Valley.
Bear Flag Eureka! Red Blend Batch No. 1 underwent an initial two-day cold soak to extract maximum color and fresh fruit aromatics. We then fermented the grapes for an average of 7 days, targeting 85 to 88 degrees to encourage jammy flavors and supple texture. The art of blending is paramount with Eureka! Red, and we are excited to showcase this expressive blend made from small batches in our barrel cellar. We discovered that beyond vintage and variety and appellation lies wonderful possibilities.
The California Constitution
Over the course of 37 days in 1849, four dozen men aged 25 to 53 came together in Monterey, California, to create the first California Constitution. This ground-breaking document accelerated California’s path to statehood, bringing together a rag-tag territory under a common creed.
Its 19 pages were drafted in both English and Spanish. The California Constitution was also among the first such document to protect women’s rights to own property. The way the settlers came together to incorporate the best of California cultures inspired us to develop our Eureka! Red Blend, which brings together a variety of grapes from diverse vineyards in the best wine regions.
Bear Flag Wine
Republic of California
Sometimes freedom rings without firing a single shot.
Inspired by the brave souls of the Bear Flag Revolt, we celebrate the kindred spirits who stand their ground, have the good taste to dream big...and never waste a drop.
We stand for the right to raise a flag in honor of your unique place in the world, whether that’s a patch of untamed territory or an enduring point of view.
Aaron Piotter, Winemaker
Born and raised less than a mile from where our namesake Bear Flag Revolt took place, Aaron Piotter feels a deep connection to California history. Growing up so close to where the state was founded provides him inspiration for crafting wines as bold and layered as the state’s defining moments.
Sonoma native Aaron Piotter discovered a deeply personal opportunity when presented the opportunity to become head winemaker of Bear Flag Wine. Launching the brand provided Aaron the chance to represent his hometown with perhaps its best-known varietal.
“California’s remarkable, persistent heat and cooler nights push Zinfandel into the ripe, jammy berry spectrum. This region is known for making amazing Zinfandel, and some of the top, if not the best, wineries who specialize in this variety are in Sonoma County,” he says.
Aaron and his wife love going on adventures with their two children in Sonoma. They enjoy spending time with his parents, eating meals in their backyard under giant cork oak and fig trees and taking hikes in the Eastern hills of Sonoma - the same hillsides where Zinfandel was first planted in the region 160 years ago.
“As a winemaker and California native, I’m honored to create wines that deliver an experience as layered as the historical events that inspired them.” Aaron Piotter, Bear Flag Winemaker
"I guess my roots are similar to Zinfandel in that Sonoma is where they established and still call home."
In 2019, those roots spread as Aaron tapped into his more than 20 harvests in California vineyards to help Bear Flag claim new territory. Under his guidance, the brand introduced a Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and a Eureka! Red Blend that features a variety of grapes from several Northern California vineyards. Each new wine provides the opportunity to revisit a turning point in California history while celebrating new chapters in Bear Flag Wine’s future. And that suits Aaron just fine.
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