February feels like the checkpoint prior to rocketing through the remainder of the year. January, you have the goal of setting your intentions, evaluating, planning, and setting yourself up to execute. This year is going to be ‘my’ year. February says to you, “are you ready?” – and blast-off. 

The mantra around Sweet Cheeks Winery for 2023 has been intentionality. When it comes to life, unpredictability can be stressful. It can also be exciting, if you look at it through a new lens. 

Our goal for your 2023 February release is to escort you through all of your life moments. Embrace the moments spent reflecting, bonding, laughing and planning. Hang on, because 2023 is definitely going to be your year – and we have curated wines to help you celebrate each moment. 

Vintage Club Release: 2022 Sauvignon Blanc

As soon as the last drop of juice is stored post-harvest, we are gearing up for the next growing season. We lock ourselves away for a few days to reflect and plan. As much as we prepare, we are aware that our business is first and foremost, farming. When we began producing Sauvignon Blanc in 2015, we knew this varietal would become a favorite for our Wine Club Members.  

2022 was a harvest that brought in only a third of what we planned for Sauvignon Blanc. We switched our lens, and quickly realized that we have the wonderful opportunity to highlight our partner vineyard, Quail Run. 

Located in the high elevations of Talent, Oregon – the vineyard site is stunning. Excellent airflow, sun exposure, and ripening. At first taste, you will see why we call this our “vacation in a glass”. Transported to a place of serenity and sunshine, the acidity is dancing with notes of fresh pineapple, grapefruit and a spritz of gooseberry. 

With being a limited production, you will want to make sure and stock-up. The 2022 Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect addition to your spring and summer meals. Enjoy this wine with a freshly grilled corn and avocado salad, topped with grilled prawns. 

Cheersing sparkling wine over the first fruit of the harvest season, some sauvignon blanc grapes

Vintage Club Release: 2020 Estate Chardonnay

This vintage doesn’t need to air the laundry list of hardships it faced and overcame. Instead, it wants to celebrate the determination and perseverance we developed. Our mini-block of Chardonnay (less than 2 acres) is a favorite for many staff members. 

Located at the southernmost part of our vineyard, it crowns one of the hillsides that gave us our name. You can catch your breath after hiking the steep hillsides, see our beloved oak tree and hear the laughter coming from our tasting room patio. 

Chardonnay has been gaining back the reputation it deserves, and we are confident our 2020 vintage will continue this achievement. Our winemaker, Leo Gabica, works to achieve a balance between the texture and flavor profile. He ages part of the wine in French oak barrels and completes Malolactic Fermentation – this allows the texture and body to be luxurious. The other part of the wine is crafted in stainless steel tanks, this allows the flavorful characteristics to shine. 

The result is our 2020 Estate Chardonnay, a fresh flavor profile with hints of minerality and a touch of warm vanilla. 

As a team, we often associate this wine with the Oregon coast. Our Founder, Dan Smith, would treat the harvest team to a fishing trip prior to harvest. Our Chardonnay pairs perfectly with these memories, and fresh crab cakes. Create your own memories with fresh buttered popcorn and a classic movie – or invite your friends for a backyard seafood boil. 

Chardonnay grapes growing at Sweet Cheeks Vineyards

Vintage Club Release: 2021 Red Fusion

This is a wine we look forward to releasing every year. This is the wine we always recommend for gifting, bringing to dinner parties, or if you enjoy a Pinot Noir with a kick. It’s a highlight of our red wines within that vintage. 

We start with our heart – the Pinot Noir. The 2021 vintage has 52% Pinot Noir, aged in pure French oak barrels. Upon your first sip, the Pinot Noir welcomes you with elegance and notes of cherry. It will transport you to our vineyards, the breeze rustling through our vines. The familiarity will dance into a feeling of excitement as the Tempranillo and Syrah enter the scene. 

Leo blended 28% Tempranillo from Foon Vineyards in the Umpqua AVA and 20% Syrah from Two Horse Limit in the Applegate AVA. Both of these varietals were aged in our French/American hybrid barrels. We really enjoy the complexity this combination brings to the wine. In the past, Leo finds the Syrah should outnumber the Tempranillo. This vintage, he enjoyed the transition from Pinot at the front, to a spark of the Tempranillo that ignites the glorious finish of Syrah. 

A staple on Leo’s dinner table, this wine will be your perfect pairing to many of your favorite meals. It can be paired with a quick appetizer, such as baked brie with apricot jam – or with a weeknight pork loin and rice pilaf. If you want to get fancy with it – create a marionberry glaze for your pork loin. 

swirling a glass of red fusion red wine

Sweet Club Release: 2022 Rosy Cheeks

For our Sweet Club Members, you have the honor of receiving our semi-sweet Rosy. The beauty of vintages, you will see the variation and special touches done by our winemaking team. The 2022 vintage has a stunning hue of pink – it is perfectly highlighted by our label with the view from our patio. When deciding the viewpoint of our vineyard for Rosy, we knew it had to be the center – right below our oak tree. Our Rosy is a standout, and deserves to be front and center. 

When enjoying Rosy, you can either highlight the sweetness by pairing it with fresh berries and cream – or you can balance out the sweetness by pairing with spice, such as spicy barbeque ribs. Either way, you will find a smile on your face and the perfect wine to bring to your next ‘book club’ meeting.

Bottling rosy cheeks behind the scenes