Twin Mustang Scores Double Gold at Lodi Competition
April 3, 2017 – Winemaking success happens when you keep and open mind and try different things. So says Jason Schultz, whose Twin Mustang 2014 Edelweiss has just captured a double gold medal at the Bottle Shock Open Home Wine Competition in Lodi.
The Edelweiss experiment started with Frontenac Gris planted in 2007 at Twin Mustang Vineyards, where wife Debora and the couple’s twin sons also tend the vines. The Frontenac Gris had an acidic character, like a Sauvignon Blanc, Schultz told Grape Basin News. It seemed destined to blend well with a sweeter variety like the Edelweiss they’d planted in 2010.
The 2014 blend was the second Edelweiss experiment at Twin Mustang.
“What we did differently this time was to add a small amount of Edelweiss grape juice that we saved from the pressing before bottling,” Schultz explained. “This added a nice sweet flavor at the front of the wine, while the Gris added a nice acid balance at the end.”
And there was an unexpected benefit.
“It added a small amount of bubbles as the juice reacted with the tiny amounts of yeast still present in the wine,” said Schultz. “Beer brewers call this bottle fermentation. It actually aids in the overall balance of the wine.”
While the amateur competition is open to winemakers across the country, Twin Mustang was the only Nevada contestant. The winery also grabbed a silver medal for its variation on a Frontenac that’s performed well in past competitions. The 2014 Frontenac was slightly softened, blended with 20 percent Merlot.
Published results from the competition show one other hybrid wine in the competition, a Chambourcin from Eastern Missouri.
“We grow hybrid grapes due to our alkaline soils in Spanish Springs,” Shultz said. “Even little-known hybrid varieties, when done correctly from vine to wine can yield excellent results in established competitions.”
The Bottle Shock Open was spawned out of the necessity as budget cuts reduced the opportunity for amateur winemakers to compete at California’s state and county fairs, its organizers say.
The Bottle Shock Open website cites as its notable feature special attention to educating the winemakers.
“We feel it is extremely important that home winemakers who enter a wine competition get value for their efforts,” the website says. “Everyone gets a full, written evaluation of the status of their wines.”
View an example here.
Schultz believes the recognition in a California competition validates northern Nevada’s potential as a wine region. This competition was the fourth annual Bottle Shock Open.