Month: February 2021

Drink…Eat…Play: Olema’s Guide to a Perfect Sonoma County Getaway

Pack your picnic, a couple govinos and your go-to bottle of Olema wine as you head out to explore the beaches, vineyards and trails of Northern California’s scenic Sonoma County. #DrinkEatPlayOlema

Photo credit: @WineCountryChick

As we look to the warmer months of spring and summer as inspiration to soak up the great outdoors, Sonoma County has countless adventures for locals and visitors alike to set out and explore. 

From breathtaking beaches and vineyard-lined biking routes to wildflower drenched hiking trails, we’ve put together our favorite Sonoma County adventures that pair perfectly with a picnic full of goodies from local purveyors and your favorite bottle of Olema wine.

Beach Day + Olema Rosé  

Photo Credit: @a_well_traveled_life

With over 60 miles of scenic coastline, the Sonoma Coast features endless sandy beaches, secluded coves and rugged cliffs. No matter what coastal location suits your adventure, nothing says beach picnic more than a refreshing glass of chilled Olema Rosé as you unwind to the scents of sea spray and soak up the sun. Our favorite SoCo beaches include Goat Rock Beach for an easy access shoreline, North Salmon Creek Beach for plenty of white sand to spread out and enjoy, and Gleason Beach to take in the dramatic rocky coast.  

Biking Excursion + Olema Pinot Noir

Photo Credit: @lightspeed_films

With its winding off the beaten path roads, family-owned farm stands, historic barns and world class vineyards, Sonoma County transports cyclists into a quaint countryside paradise. Olema’s Pinot Noir is the perfect wine to post up and enjoy as you take in the views of the vineyards where the wine’s exceptional fruit is grown. The West County Regional Trail is a flat, 14 mile paved trail running through the heart of the Russian River Valley. The perfect ride for those looking for a slow paced, meandering ride–to pair with your pinot make sure to stop at the Sebastopol Berry Farm for fresh berries from one of the oldest blueberry farms in California. For a more challenging ride, the Valley of the Moon route takes you through the tiny town of Glen Ellen and the backcountry roads of Sonoma Mountain (stock up on picnic goods at the Glen Ellen Village Market) .

Hiking Adventures + Olema Sauvignon Blanc

Home to 11 California State Parks, Sonoma County offers a hiking trail for every adventure. From mountains and valleys to coastlines and lakes, it’s impossible to narrow down our favorite hiking trail as the possibilities are truly endless. When being one with nature, it’s our belief that education and knowledge is the best way to understand this majestic land. The Sonoma Ecology Center offers free guided hikes while also teaching hikers how to restore and protect the land. For a hidden gem of an experience, the Quarry Hill Botanical Garden self-guided hike offers a glimpse into the world of flowering shrubs, exotic plants and serene ponds, all overlooking the vistas of Sonoma Valley. A perfect location to throw out a blanket, pour a class of Olema Sauvignon Blanc and just chill!

Do you have a favorite Sonoma County adventure? Tag us with #DrinkEatPlayOlema to let us know

From France with Love

What makes Provence rosé Provence rosé?

Meet Jean Compeyrot, our partner in Provence who helps us produce our Côtes de Provence Rosé. Jean talks with us about his inspiration, meeting Olema proprietor John Harris in Bordeaux, their quest to produce an authentic rosé from the birthplace of French rosé, terroir, family and celebrating an important milestone in the midst of a pandemic.

Raise a glass with Jean who has a lot to celebrate, the 2020 vintage, his marriage and a baby on the way!

Use offer code PROVENCE to save 15% off six bottles, 20% off cases on the 2019 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé
(limited quantities available before the 2020 vintage arrives)


You come from a multi-generational winemaking family. Did you always know that winemaking or working in the industry would be your path? Did you ever consider other ventures? 

When I was a student, wine was part of my family story but I was not much into it. I liked agriculture and wanted to work in development in Africa. In my Agronomy engineer school I was the member in charge of the money of the tasting club. I fell into wine with this club. The diversity of the French terroirs, the producers, the stories, the friendship you create with the wine. It’s not just about making great wines, it is also about connecting people. 

You met John Harris when he was living in Bordeaux. Is there a story behind how you two connected? 

We did! I used to babysit his children. When I came to Napa Valley to work as an intern for Opus One, I was living at John’s house. John is my “Father” from America. He taught me Entrepreneurship and Optimism! Everything is possible when you work hard. 

Producing an authentic rosé from the birthplace of French rosé, Côtes de Provence, is important to the Olema team. Can you share your perspective on the history and legacy of Provence rosé. 

Provence has a very long history with wines. They made wine in this region before Bordeaux: in 600 BC. The Provence rosé was famous during the 17th century. The French King Louis XIV especially loved it. At that time it was called claret: between red and rosé. At the same time, the Bordeaux claret was loved by the English. The legacy of the Provence rosé comes with the 20th century. After the phylloxera issues, producers of this area worked on a specific appellation to make rosé with the specific varieties of the region: Grenache / Syrah / Mourvèdre / Carignan. In 1951 the appellation was born. 

What makes Provence rosé Provence rosé ? 

The varieties: Bordeaux cannot produce the quality of the Provence rosé with Merlot and Cabernet. The terroir: Shale / Red Sandstone / Specific genetics of the vines that are adapted to this terroir / The difference between hot day and cold night / the wind coming from the Mediterranean sea. The experience of the people:  They produce rosé like we produce white wine in Burgundy. It’s not about doing a “saigné” to have a better red wine but doing a great rosé. Rosé is very technical, if you don’t have the experience, you will produce a very bad rosé. If you do a blind tasting of Provence rosé and white wine from Provence you might have a surprise. Some Sommeliers think that rosé is not a “wine.” They are very mistaken. 

What makes the growers, vineyards and grape varieties of Ville de Vidauban remarkable? 

As we discussed: Quality of the Terroir and Experience. 
Producers from Vidauban live in the square made by four villages: Lorgues / Vidauban / Les Arcs / Taradeau. In this square you can find top producers such as Domaine Ott, Astros, Roubine, Etc. It is not a coincidence: terroir! Having several producers that harvest in several places offers the possibility of creating several blends and work on the style that we want. 

Why Olema? What makes this team the right partner?

First because of John! After I created my company with my brother, I told John we need to create something together. He had this idea of Olema Provence Rosé. I said let’s do it! Second, because of the team: working with Bob, Melissa, Tony, Jesse, is just amazing. Everytime they come to France, I know that we will have a great time. I have several amazing “souvenirs”. With Jesse and Melissa, we did a tour of the French Vineyard, starting with Saumur, going to Sancerre, Beaujolais, Cote Rotie, Chateauneuf and Provence, in three days. Loved it!!! With Bob and Tony and a GREAT bottle of Gigondas discussing family. With John, Jesse, and Bob and the happiness of our first blend! 

Key words: Professional, Friendship, Family, Hardworking, Innovative. 

What are your thoughts about the 2020 vintage of the Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé? 

Scared during the winter and the beginning of the growing season. We had hard rain and frost. Happy at the end of the harvest because we had, at the end, the volume and the quality we wanted: complexity, acidity, color. What I love about the 2020 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé vintage is its creaminess, freshness and silky touch. It’s a great vintage.

On a personal note, you were married in 2020. Congratulations!  We know that John and other guests were unable to attend due to the pandemic. Would you be willing to share your thoughts about celebrating a milestone in these extraordinary circumstances? 

Thank you!  It was sad that he couldn’t come. Our wedding was postponed from the 13th of June to the 4th of September. All our partners: catering / priests / tent men stayed with us. Our families supported us. We are very lucky because we had the people we love with us and the weather was with us in Saint Emilion. We didn’t sleep!

Use offer code PROVENCE to save 15% off six bottles, 20% off cases on the 2019 Olema Côtes de Provence Rosé (limited quantities available before the 2020 vintage arrives)

Need Valentine’s Day Inspiration? Olema Wines + Volo Chocolate Pairings

Complete your Valentine’s Day with Olema wines paired with bean-to-bar Sonoma County chocolate.

Whether you’re planning a cozy night in with your sweetie or you’re in search of the perfect gift for a loved one who you haven’t seen in while, it’s safe to say we all need a little extra love this Valentine’s Day.

To kick off this loving season, we sat down with local chefs Susan and Jeff Mall, owners of our favorite artisan chocolate company, Volo Chocolate, to get their take on how they enjoy wine and chocolate.

Much like wine grapes, cacao has terroir that’s specific to how and where it’s grown. Certain flavors in fine chocolate come from the region where the cacao is grown. Based in Sonoma County, Volo crafts delectable bean-to-bar handmade chocolates that pair perfectly with our Olema Sonoma sourced wines.

For those looking for inspiration on how to spread the love this Valentine’s Day or treat yourself to a little extra indulgence, Olema wines paired with Volo chocolate complete any celebration.


Olema 2019 Chardonnay + Volo 73% Chocolate Orange
The wine, with its blend of bright acidity on the front and creamy richness on the back really mirrors this bar. The Volo Chocolate Orange has pieces of candied orange peel that Susan and Jeff make from their own home grown oranges. The orange delivers a bright punch of citrus at first taste. Then the richness of the cocoa butter takes over giving a nicely balanced and creamy finish. This is a great pairing for people who can’t imagine pairing a white wine with chocolate!




Olema 2019 Sonoma County Pinot Noir + 70% MexiCali with Chiles & Dried Cherries
The chiles in this bar are very mild and deliver a slight warmth to the palate. This bar is made with Cacao from Haiti which, on its own, has notes of toasted nuts. There are several flavor parallels between this bar and the wine. Volo adds a pinch of cinnamon to all of their chocolate. The MexiCali has a touch more. The cherries, mild spice & cinnamon in this bar are an almost seamless transition into the wine.



Olema 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon + 62% Dark Milk with Dried Figs & Roasted Hazelnuts
Susan and Jeff bounced between a couple of their bars before settling on one. At first their palettes went to their 73% Deep Dark Chocolate made with Cacao from Guatemala. That bar has a natural, rich red fruit flavor in the cacao that really goes great with Cab. Then they thought that, like the Pinot Noir, the MexiCali would be good. Then they tried the 62% Dark Milk with Dried Figs & Roasted Hazelnuts. Truly it is the concentrated fruit of the dried figs along with the richness of roasted hazelnuts works great. The Cabernet, with it’s notes of cocoa and mild oak, was made for a chocolate bar with toasted nuts. The figs seal the deal.


Clink here to view our current wine selection.

Volo chocolate can be purchased and shipped straight through their website.