It feels like spring has finally arrived and summer is teasing us this week with warm temperatures ahead of the long weekend! When the weather gets warm and the days get longer, we tend to change up what we’re drinking. And we were so excited to meet with Megan Schofield to learn about Robert Mondavi’s Fumé Blanc. You see, we drink more white wine when the temperatures are warm because we’re looking for something refreshing! Megan Schofield, a winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery, was visiting Toronto from Napa Valley where she lives and works. I met with her at TOCA at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto to taste and learn about Robert Mondavi’s Fumé Blanc and learned a little about Megan along the way!
ABOUT ROBERT MODAVI FUMÉ BLANC
The Fumé Blanc was light and refreshing and had some floral and citrus notes. I agreed with Megan when she noted that Fumé Blanc is a perfect wine for spring. Megan also shared with me the fascinating history of Fumé Blanc which makes it even more compelling. Bring the wine along with you to a dinner and you have a great story to tell.
Megan shared that Robert Mondavi started his winery in 1966 and his vision was to create wines that would stand with the best in the world. At the time, lots of wine was being created in California. But that wine wasn’t known for great quality and Mondavi wanted to change that. He knew that putting Sauvignon Blanc on the label would not entice people to buy, given that Sauvignon Blancs from California didn’t have great reputations. He got creative in a marketing sense and came up with the name, Fumé Blanc, from the wine itself. Mondavi never trademarked the term and wanted others in the region to use it. Megan explained that he saw “your success as my success.” His dream is what happened to Napa – that it emerged as one of the great winemaking regions in the world.
Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc is available at the LCBO for $23. Megan explained that the wine is fermented in neutral barrels so you get the texture of the barrel but not the flavour. It is a fragrant and floral wine with a lot of citruses and some peach. She described it as “refreshing and mouth-watering but still with some weight” and said, “it pairs well with a light lunch and even with a pasta dish at dinner.” In fact, all of Robert Mondavi’s wines are made to complement a meal, not to steal its thunder. So they make great gifts for your dinner party host or hostess!
ABOUT MEGAN SCHOFIELD
I took some of my time with Megan to learn about her and about Napa Valley since she’s made it her home for the past 18 years. She grew up in St. Catherines but never thought about winemaking. Not until being accepted to the inaugural Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock University. Following that, she moved to California and worked for a number of wineries before joining Robert Mondavi Winery as a Winemaker in 2015.
I asked Megan what she loved about Napa Valley and what to do there in case you’re planning a trip to the region in the future. She told me she “loves everything” about living there. It’s thirty minutes from the ocean, she has vineyards in her backyard and there’s great wine and great food. And it’s an hour from San Francisco. There are other things to do in Napa beyond visiting any number of the great wineries. Downtown Napa has a great nightlife and many great restaurants. The riverfront area along the Napa River has beautiful restaurants and bakeries. And in Napa Valley, you can go mountain biking, road biking, take a balloon ride, visit the hot springs or go hiking. She noted that it’s so gorgeous; you can just go for a drive. Megan also told me she“thinks it’s really one of the most beautiful places in the world and not just because I live there.”
I also asked Megan for some advice for any aspiring winemakers or young women who may want to follow a path similar to hers. And her advice resonated:
“I identified strong women in the industry that I emulate, you know, if I could picture myself in twenty years, that’s who I want to be. I want a reputation like hers, I want to make the wine she made, I want to have the respect that she has commanded based on her career and what she has done. Identify a few people in the in the business like that and then keep that insight when you make some career choices along the way. I think that’s helped me a lot, helped guide me.”
We are definitely adding Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc to our wine list for the summer. We can’t wait to enjoy a glass on a patio or dock sometime very soon! To find out more about Robert Mondavi Wines, Fumé Blanc in particular and Megan Schofield, visit their website.