The history of Scharffenberger Cellars begins in 1981 in the heart of California's Anderson Valley. Situated only miles from the coastal influences of the Pacific Ocean, Scharffenberger Cellars also enjoys the deep soils and sunshine within the protected valley. Originally founded by John Scharffenberger, the company has undergone many transitions, including a name change when it was formally known as Pacific Echo from 1998 until July 2004. Today, the name has been restored back to Scharffenberger Cellars under the management of Maisons Marques & Domaines.
With the many changes at Scharffenberger Cellars, what has remained consistent is the quality and the original philosophy behind the winemaking. Tex Sawyer, winemaker since 1989, continues to manage the winemaking program and today works with the new ownership to preserve the glory of the original brand name.
"The Anderson Valley is ideally suited to growing grapes for sparkling wine," says winemaker Tex Sawyer. "It is the coolest growing region in California, so our grapes are allowed extra time on the vine and become fully mature before harvest." Over the years, Scharffenberger Cellars has also built strong relationships with select vine growers in the Mendocino County appellation to source additional grapes for their sparkling wines.
The Scharffenberger Brut is blended with two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay expresses itself with subtle tropical flavors of pineapple and hints of pear. The Pinot Noir creates a sparkling wine that is fruit forward with noticeable aromas of strawberry/raspberry and some plum notes. The full malolactic style for Scharffenberger Brut produces a wine that is rich with complex flavors and a round, lengthy finish.