The Deno label caught my eye at the Garagiste Festival in Paso Robles in early November. A bright splatter of red on white summoned my friend and I from between all of the colorful booths. Owner and Templeton local Dennis Sharpe, a very warm gentleman who recently retired to focus on his wine and who planted his estate vineyard in the early '90s, poured us his 2017 Deno arneis, an Italian white variety that's exciting to find, even for the most seasoned wine connoisseurs. Arneis originated from Piedmont, but this particular wine's grapes are from the El Pomar District in Paso. It literally translates to "little rascal," because it can be somewhat difficult to grow. In fact, Doug Minnick, co-founder of the Garagiste Festival said he tried his very first arneis at this year's fest! The small batch of 115 cases is a treat with pear and apricot notes, and I was happy to hear Deno (Dennis' nickname) is now pouring his crisp, floral, full-bodied arneis at Nature's Touch. Deno Winemaker Eric Ogarsolka (Zenaida Cellars) also makes a Paso Rouge GSM and grenache from the Alto Pomar Vineyard, among their many beautiful Rhones. It's phenomenal wine from just the most down-to-earth people.
Learn more about Deno Wines at denowine.com. To taste the Deno arneis ($24 per bottle), and other delicious wines (such as their Rojo 49), visit Nature's Touch, 225 South Main St., Templeton. Call (805) 434-3062 for current tasting hours. Δ
Flavor writer Beth Giuffre is floating away on a river of arneis. Send your favorite sips to email@example.com.