In 1979 Lou Bock jumped at the chance to buy land in Mendocino County. The site was planted to long-ago-abandoned Palomino grapes (used for ‘Sherry,’ once a popular California product). Bock removed them and replanted Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese—the only two varietals grown here then as now. He also dug a creek bed through the property, hence the name of Bock’s fledgling estate—Chance Creek.
Another old-timer, John Parducci, gets the credit for explaining to Bock that Redwood Valley was Mendocino’s best terroir for Sauvignon Blanc. And Chance Creek’s incredible “Terroir 95470” is perhaps the crème de la crème. The site’s high acid soil and cool nighttime climate preserves this white’s wonderful bright fruit flavor and piquant, gooseberry/flint aroma. A mineral note on the finish calls to mind the great Sauvignon Blancs of Bordeaux and the Loire. Drink this as they do in Mendocino—with cracked Dungeness crab.
· Proprietor and long-time Mendocino local Lou Bock grew up in rural California where he learned about agriculture on his family’s olive and almond farm.
· While studying at U.C. Santa Cruz, Bock worked under Alan Chadwick—an ardent proponent of natural agriculture and an inspiration behind the Biodynamic method.
· Chance Creek has been farming in accordance with organic principles since its inception in 1979, and all of the estate’s fruit is certified organic.
· "Terroir 95470" comes from the winery's organic, rocky benchland vineyards in Mendocino's Redwood Valley.
On the nose: apple and lemon
On the palate: Zesty lime, peach, and passion fruit flavors with nice acidity.
I bought my vineyard property in 1979 and ripped out an abandoned Palomino (Sherry grapes) vineyard that had been let go for over 25 years and was full of young oak trees, too. We built a pond and had a seasonal creek going through the middle of it all. Built a house from redwood that I had harvested and milled myself from Molino Creek.
Thomas McGuane is one of my favorite authors. The name Chance Creek came from one of his books on "sport" -Outside Chance, i.e., the luck of the draw is all important...You make the most of what you get.
Our Sauvignon Blanc came with no pedigree from a Healdsburg nursery, but is actually a stellar clone and loves our rocky benchland soils. It has rewarded us with years of prize winning wines.
Old timer John Parducci always told me Redwood Valley was the best place in Mendocino County for Sauvignon Blanc. The high acid soil and cool nights keep the fruit very bright in flavor profile and tight in structure for the wines. They live a long time in the bottle and always win awards.
We've gotten best Sauvignon Blanc in Mendocino County at the Crab and Wine festival in Fort Bragg two years in a row, along with numerous medals at the Mendocino County Fair in Boonville and in Orange County. Our wines always stand out in a crowd.
Pair with any seafood, white meat dish, a light salad, or buttery pasta dish.