Wineries everywhere have reinvented themselves to respond to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most visible ways is through the introduction of virtual wine tastings. In these tastings, viewers can follow a live broadcast via a home computer or smartphone and taste a pre-selected flight of wines that they have ordered. A representative or two from the presenting winery joins the fun.
Less than two weeks after the stay-at-home orders went into effect, Silt Wine Company became one of the first local wineries to engage with customers using this new platform.
Every Thursday, David and Phil Ogilvie present the “Clarksburg Silt Show.” Viewers are greeted by the brothers who remain socially distanced behind the bar at the Silt Wine Company tasting room in Clarksburg. As with traditional wine tastings, these red-headed twins lead viewers through an educational tasting of three wines and discuss how the wines are made, along with describing taste and aroma characteristics. Because they are wine grape growers as well as winemakers, they also get into some detail about the viticultural practices they use to ensure premium grape quality.
Here’s where the conversation gets exciting for advocates of Sacramento’s local wine regions: the Ogilvies’ passionate promotion of Clarksburg as a wine producing region. While the Clarksburg AVA was established in 1984, it still flies well under the radar for many wine drinkers. The Ogilvies aim to change that.
Each week, the brothers pepper their presentations with bits of history about the Clarksburg Delta. During their “Reclamation Flight” tasting, viewers learned about the history of reclamation districts in the region, and their importance in maintaining the Sacramento River Delta as a viable agricultural center.
Additionally, the brothers draw comparisons between Clarksburg and other, more famous wine growing regions in California. They remind viewers of the special aspect that makes the Delta such an appealing wine growing region: the diurnal shift. Diurnal shift describes the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. As any Sacramentan knows, the days can get very hot, but relief comes off of the Sacramento River in the form of the famous Delta breeze most evenings. This dramatic cooling at night allows the wine grapes in Clarksburg to recover and retain their acidity, which offers balance to the sugars that develop during the hot days.
The Ogilvies draw viewers in with enthusiasm that is contagious. Their mission is clearly stated on a chalkboard behind the bar: #EnjoyClarksburg.
Wine enthusiasts across the Sacramento region—and anywhere in the world—can tune in to Silt Wine Company on social media each Thursday at 5 p.m. (PST), and learn more about the winery, Clarksburg and the exciting wines that are being produced from this underappreciated appellation. For more information, visit https://www.siltwineco.com/ and @SiltWineCo.