In Books and in Wine There is Truth

By Published On: November 10, 2019

Guest Post by Joe Campbell aka: Sierra Wine Guy

Over the past 150 plus years, the foothills of El Dorado County has brought us rugged gold-miners, innovative pioneers, and brash adventurers seeking fulfillment at every turn.  In Niles and Sheila Fleege’s case, it was a passion to make an unpretentious, and very drinkable wine.

Growing up on a dairy farm in Louisiana, Sheila read a tremendous amount of books in the evenings, which further fostered a curiosity to know more about the world around her.  Concurrently, Niles enjoyed a small town midwestern Norman Rockwell upbringing.  Both paths would eventually collide while Sheila was stationed at McClellan Air Force base in Sacramento and Niles was managing a municipal water system. They met at a singles event in Sacramento, in a simpler time, before the challenges of internet dating came into the fold.

The Fleege’s would eventually settle in Placerville, Calif. and create Bookshelf Wines, which combines their love of literature as well as their passion for the craft of winemaking.  In 2015 after completing the UC Davis winemaker extension program, they partnered  with Dominic Mantei, consulting winemaker.

Bookshelf Wines first harvest was not without its challenges. Fires had damaged the  Vine Hill Vineyard in Georgetown, Calif. impacting what they could produce and bottle.  A decision was made to create a White Pinot Noir, and born by fire, the 2016 Dichotomy White Pinot Noir rose from the ashes to provide a flagship for Bookshelf Wines.

Tasting Notes:

White Pinot Noir “Dichotomy” 2017

A fun, jovial outdoor summer wine with lovely hints of apple and a slight touch of honey, which comes through in a  golden color as though a treasure chest had just been unearthed from the deep.  A seemingly contradictory wine, more likely to be found in the Willamette Valley than the Sierra Foothills, that’s bating you to come back for more.

The Dichotomy  pairs amazingly well with shrimp cocktail,  fish tacos and any cream based mushroom dishes.  Consider looping it in with Salmon Temaki if you are ordering Japanese.

Disclosure: The wines featured in the Wine Recommendations section were provided by the winery for the purpose of review. The selection and tasting of these wines were independently conducted. No compensation or incentives was provided from wineries or importers for inclusion in the story. As always, the top priority is to provide readers with informative and unbiased reporting.

Viognier 2016

A juicy, mouthwatering delight with slight touches of orange blossom and pear tickling your senses as intense aromatics radiate from the glass with every swirl.

The Viognier goes great with roasted turkey, halibut, lobster or possibly cauliflower, leeks, bell pepper onions.

Zinfandel 2015

A beautifully structured ruby red jewel with some slight black cherry nuances tantalizing your senses complimented by a nice balancing of fruit flavors.

The Zinfandel would do well with pork, bacon –any barbecued red meats you are looking to served up. Red peppers, caramelized onions. The ideal companion on a camping trip.

Zinfandel 2016

A young, passionate lad with touches of bramble berry and sweet vanilla staring passionately back at you.  The food pairings would be on par with the 2015 Zinfandel.

I had a nice big hearty bacon cheeseburger with this wine that brought all of the great flavor profiles together.

On May 21st and 22nd, Bookshelf will be bottling their 2017 Sangiovese, 2017 Pinot Noir (red) and their 2017 Zinfandel. Stay tuned it will be a real page turner.

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About the Author: Joe Campbell

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Located out of the Sierra Foothills of California, Joe Campbell provides color commentary as well as insight within the wine industry both from the lifestyle consumer and business segments of the industry. He can be reached via email at : .