The Stoner Brothers Winery of Napa Valley have come away from the 2010 California Wine Awards with the title "Best of California" in the Experimental Wine Category for a lovely little white wine they developed in 2005. Their Cannabis Chardonnay was by far the most interesting entrant into the newly developed Experimental Wine Category and handily won top honors.
"Not only did I find the bouquet to be slightly earthy and even a bit smoky, but the flavor of this particular wine brought me back to my early days in college; we would sit around the bong and let the citrusy smoke from the sangria envelop us in an almost surreal state," claims Verner Grimlich from Haagen Daz, Sweden, one of the top judges giving this wine its highest marks.
"This is one groovy little chardonnay," exclaimed Buzzy Finklestein, another of the judges who couldn't get enough of the wine. "I tried it with the cheese and crackers, then the hummus; hell, man, it even tasted good with the goose liver pate and that is not an easy feat when you're pairing it with a chardonnay."
When asked what fruits the cannabis was paired with when developing the wine, Bruce Stoner, lead winemaker, told us that he wasn't quite sure. "I mean, we were so busy testing out which cannabis would make the best wine that we only gave the fruit a second thought. I am pretty sure there were grapes involved, and maybe even some oranges, but other than that, I couldn't really tell you."
And maybe that is what makes this wine so special. The Stoner Brothers have opened up a whole new pathway to winemaking. For years they tried to get dandelion wine the recognition they thought it deserved but their offerings were always met with disdain. "For some reason, 'weed wine' as it is unofficially called, never really caught on," said Stoner. "That is, until marijuana became the weed of choice."
The Stoner Brothers have another weed wine they developed a year after the cannabis chardonnay that they call MaryJane Merlot. "It should be ready in spring," said Stoner "and if the tastings to date are any indication, it will also receive very high marks in the next competition."