A Millennium Celebration Wine to Last a Millennium
Wilson Creek Almond Sparkling Wine... The Back Story
Jennifer Wilson wanted something unique for a very special occasion. After all, there was a lot to celebrate. She, along with husband Bill and his parents Gerry and Rosie Wilson, had just completed the perilous first year of business at Wilson Creek Winery. The year was 1999 and the family and winery were preparing to ring-in the New Year, and new century, with a gala affair at the new winery. She was looking for something special to toast in the new millennium.
She went about tasting a variety of sparkling wines, but was not overwhelmed by any of them. She was looking for something that was "oh-my-gosh" special. Then a friend told her about an almond flavored wine that was produced back in the 1960s, and she thought that maybe, with the help of her new found family of vintners; she could create a version for her Y2K celebration.
Since the new found winery was not set up to produce sparkling wines, she enlisted the help of an experienced sparkling wine maker and soon she was tasting a variety of almond wine recipes based on her recommendations. Some were too sweet and some were too dry, but she kept at it until she had just the taste she was looking for.
Husband Bill liked her selection and might have even been the first person to say "oh my gosh" after taking a sip. He ordered the winemaker to deliver 10 cases for the party, and after party sales. Needless to say, the Almond Sparkling Wine (formerly known as Almond Champange) was a big hit at the party and sold out immediately. Bill realized his wife was on to something and ordered another 55 cases, thinking they could sell it as a sideline to their estate bottled wines, which were also making a name for themselves in the burgeoning Temecula Wine Country.
The new order of Almond Sparkling Wine (formerly known as Almond Champange) sold out in the first week.
"There is something about the distinctive flavor of this wine that gets people's attention," says Bill. "From the very first shipment, people would taste it, look at each other and say "oh my gosh," and then buy it. We started off hand delivering them to stores and restaurants, but then we couldn't keep up. In fact, it's still a struggle to keep up, but it's a good kind of struggle."
Today Wilson Creek Winery's "Oh My Gosh" Almond Sparkling Wine (formerly known as Almond Champange) is one of the best known wines from the Temecula Wine Country and is available in more than 26 states. And, in addition to the original, there is now a flight of Wilson Creek sparkling wines including Orange Mimosa and Peach Bellini. Who knew that once they popped that first cork on the first bottle that the celebration would last well into the millennium.