Well, not really Irish wines, but wines with an Irish heritage. In honor of St. Patty’s Day, we thought we’d call attention to a few wineries that got their start from good Irish folk.
Owen Roe: This pacific northwest winery takes its name from the 17th century Irish patriot, Owen Roe O’Neill, whose home town of County Cavan is also where Owen Roe’s winemaker, David O’Reilly, comes from. The winery further commemorates O’Neill by using pictures of placed the patriot lived, fought and died on its wine labels. The wines are sourced from both Oregon and Washington State and range from Syrah to Riesling to Pinot Noir. You can also find their second label, O’Reilly’s, in many Irish pubs, particularly in the Northwest. I highly recommend O’Rielly’s Pinot Gris for good summer drinking!
Concannon: In 1883, Irish immigrant, James Concannon, began making wines in the Livermore Valley of California. His wines still live on today under the Concannon label, which produces Bordeaux and Rhone blends, as well as its very well-known Petite Sirah, which they call “America’s First Petite-Sirah.” The Irish roots are still around today as John Concannon, James’ great-grandson, is still involved with the winery today.
Chateau Lynch Bages: This Bordeaux property fell into Irish (Lynch) hands in 1749, when Thomas Lynch inherited the estate through his wife, Elizabeth (of French decent). The property became known as “Cru de Lynch,” and stayed in the Lynch family for 75 years. In 1824, it went back into French hands and has been there every since. As a cinquiemes cru (or fifth-growth), Lynch Bages is hailed as one of the best of its class, making world-class Bordeaux under leadership of the Cazes family.
Jim Barry: Not the winery or the founder, but rather one wine – Jim Barry’s “The Armagh” Shiraz has a bit of history to it. The Jim Barry website says, “The name of ‘Armagh’ was bestowed by the original Irish settlers who arrived in 1849, and named the lush rolling hill after their homeland.”
So there you have it – some diverse Irish history in your wine! Any other wines you know of with Irish history? Do share!