Chasing Venus – Page 2 – Matchbook Wines

Category: Chasing Venus



December 5th, 2016

90 POINTS for Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc!

by: Virginia Valdez Sandfer




The 2015 vintage of Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand was awarded 90 POINTS from Wine Enthusiast in the 12/31/16 Issue.

Joe Czerwinski says, “This affordably priced wine… harmoniously blends stone fruit, citrus and grassiness. The finish is smooth and silky in texture…”

Please click here to read the full review.

August 24th, 2016

Convention goes up in smoke at Dunnigan Hills winery

by: Lane Giguiere

Lauren King captured the innovative spirit of the Matchbook story in her August 23, 2016,  feature in the Daily Democrat:

A Yolo County winery is blazing a new path in an industry from an unlikely vantage point.

John and Lane Giguiere began Matchbook Wine Company in the Dunnigan Hills to bring great wine and reputation to the region.

The couple met and fell in love at Woodland High School and after college, they joined John’s brother in taking over the family farm.

“I studied psychology in college and it didn’t seem very relevant. Everything was theoretical, nothing real. Putting a seed in the ground and seeing it come out of the ground and grow, that was real,” said John of his decision to move back to the family home.

At first, the couple tried their hand at the traditional trades of the area — dry grains and sheep. When that didn’t work, they tried planting beans, corn, and other irrigated crops. The couple could still not make ends meet.

“In a last ditch effort, we planted 10 acres of grapes to sell to other wineries. We ended up not selling them and instead hired a grad student out of UC Davis to make wine for us. That worked,” recalled Lane.

In the first year, they sold 4,000 cases of wine. In the next year, that number would grow to 40,000 and to 150,000 in the next.

Read more


August 19th, 2016

Harvest Begins in Yolo County

by: Lane Giguiere

Matchbook Wine Company’s celebration of Harvest 2016 is featured on the front page of the August 19 edition of the Daily Democrat!

A field hand surveys a verdot vineyard at Matchbook Winery in the Dunnigan Hills. JIM SMITH — DAILY DEMOCRAT

By Jim Smith, Woodland Daily Democrat

With a flash of metal against glass, the crush began for Yolo County’s wine grapes of 2016.

Held at Matchbook Winery, the Thursday morning picking and crushing signaled the start of harvest season in the rolling Dunnigan Hills surrounding Zamora in northern Yolo County.

Winemaker Dan Cederquist and owner Lane Giguiere celebrated by “sabering” bottles of sparkling wine before toasting the occasion with others in the winery. Sabering involves using a specially designed knife to remove the top from a bottle of sparkling wine.

“This is our ninth harvest,” said Cederquist just before raising his glass and before several tons of temperillo grapes were dumped into a corkscrew-like device used to separate the berries from stems and leaves.

“There’s something about the ‘nines,’” Cederquist said. “I think it’s an old Scottish proverb (which goes) ‘and to the nines means perfection.’ And this year, 2016, we have perfection, at least in the vineyards.”

“We’ve probably had the most perfect growing season we’ve ever had,” he continued. “We’ve had no issues with pests or bugs or fires — the fires are over there,” Cederquist said pointing toward the northwest, “but they haven’t affected us at all. We had nice rains in the springtime that got everything nice, moist and wet and got everything growing. We had a nice fruit set. No thinning really necessary. Absolutely perfect.

“So, we had the perfect year out there, and now it’s our job in production to make fine wine. So this harvest we’re going to dedicate it to perfection, or to the nines.”

Cederquist has been the chief winemaker at Matchbook since 2004 and the crush came after field hands started cutting grapes of their vines at sun-up.

While some workers used cutters to personally cut verdot grapes in a half-acre area, others used machinery to shake loose temperillo grapes. Late night or early morning is considered the best time to harvest since the sugar content of grapes is at its highest.

The winery has 1,500 acres of grapes.

Matchbook was founded by John and Lane Giguiere after they sold their first winery, R.H. Phillips, located outside Esparto, to a Canadian group.

Matchbook wines were on the shelves in 2005 and today there are four brands: Matchbook Wines, produced primarily from grapes grown in the Giguiere’s Dunnigan Hills vineyard; Mossback, featuring Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hill; Chasing Venus, showcasing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc varietals; and Sawbuck from grapes grown in Yolo County.

Read the article and see the video of the harvest celebration on line here



August 16th, 2016

Cheers to Chasing Venus

by: Senica Gonzalez

It’s safe to say that Sauvignon Blanc is a summer staple. When the days are long and the temperatures are high, it’s nice to just sit back and sip something crisp and refreshing.

Marlborough is the largest wine growing region in New Zealand and it’s also home to some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. It’s only natural that Matchbook Wine Company chose this location as the source for our highly aromatic 2015 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc. But why Chasing Venus?


In 1769, an intrepid explorer by the name of Captain Cook set out on a mission aboard the HMS Endeavor. Disguised as a voyage to study the passage of the planet Venus across the disc of the sun, Cook’s true objective was to discover the elusive “Southern Continent.” Although Captain Cook was hoping to discover Australia, which he eventually did, he first came upon New Zealand.

In honor of that voyage and Captain Cook’s aspirations, Matchbook Wine Company has crafted a Sauvignon Blanc that matches the spirit and vigor of that mission. The response has been overwhelming.

The grapes that go into producing Chasing Venus come from small family farms in Marlborough. Herbal aromas mesh with gooseberry, grapefruit and passion fruit. Flavors of citrus, guava and passion fruit pith with a zesty lime finish invigorate the senses.

With an “Exceptional” rating, 92 Points and a Gold Medal from, Chasing Venus also picked up this honor, “tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, medium-long lemon curd, lime, gherkin, and grass finish with fruit tannins and no oak …”

Dan Berger over at the Napa Valley Register, and also the namesake for Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition where Chasing Venus received a Gold Medal, praised Chasing Venus by saying, “… This sensational New Zealand screw-capped effort has wild blossomy notes to add interests to grapefruit and gooseberry primary aromas …” Read his review here.

Over at Crave Local, Chasing Venus captured these words of praise, “ … Floral notes with a bit of passion fruit and guava on the long dry finish make this one (of) our favorite sauvignon blancs this season …”

Jeremy Wilson at Texas Wine Lover, a blog founded in 2011 by Jeff Cope to help promote Texas wine, had this to say about Chasing Venus, “This is a classically styled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that I can highly recommend. It is bright, bold, and quite frankly a joy to drink, especially on a hot afternoon on the back porch with friends and family …” You can read the full article here.

Ironically, at Rockin Red Blog, which shares wine stories and introduces fellow wine lovers to new wines by making them less intimidating, shared this about Chasing Venus, “… rich and round texture, crisp and bright acidity that is mouth-watering good, lingering zesty finish…”

Here at Matchbook, where passion fans the flames of our winemaking, we are proud to have crafted a wine such as Chasing Venus that produces great reviews, wins awards, and receives points in the 90s, but most importantly brings pleasure to people when opening a bottle and sharing it with friends.

Try a bottle and review it for yourself, or visit our tasting room with your friends and enjoy a bottle on our shaded, misted patio today.

July 28th, 2016

Crave Local Covers Matchbook Wine Company’s Arsonist Red Blend and Chasing Venus

by: Senica Gonzalez

Since 2008, Crave Local has regularly reviewed products, businesses, and services in an effort, “To help people make better buying decisions.”  To expand on that, the Crave Local community “is all about discovering new, innovative businesses that satisfy our core values: Products that are good for you, make life easier, eco-friendly, and give back to the community.” 

Matchbook Wine Company is proud that Crave Local chose our wines to review in their article titled, “Red, White, and Rosé: 90+ Point Wines To Kick Off Your Summer.


In their Matchbook Arsonist Red Blend, 2013 review, they had this to say:

“Light a fire, and pour a glass of Arsonist, as this California red is nothing but big, bold, and ready to
entertain. Dark ruby in color, with a nose of chocolate and leather, you’ll note flavors of black cherries and cassis, dark brambleberry, pepper, and tobacco on the finish …” Read the rest here



CV-FrontBtl-15NZSB-HighIn their review of Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc NV – Marlborough, New Zealand, they had this to say: 

“This little gem is part of the Matchbook Wine collective of brands, and our first introduction to their non-US wine portfolio. Notes of herbaceous grass and citrus are present on the nose, with typical NZ grapefruit, gooseberry, and lime on the palate …” Read the rest here