In 2003, Leonesse Cellars was established by Mike Rennie and Gary Winde. They are both long time grape growers in the Temecula Valley AVA. Leonesse means “village of dreams.”
The 2005 Pinot Grigio was whole cluster pressed and then fermented in stainless steel containers to retain the varietal’s delicate characteristics. The 2005 growing season had a very early budbreak and the grapes were harvested on August 24th. This wine has delicious apple and citrus aromas and flavors.
Leonesse Cellars’ 2004 Chardonnay was made with grapes grown in Los Caballos Vineyard. It was whole cluster pressed and then fermented and aged in 100% French oak barrels. A limited amount underwent malolactic fermentation which rounds out the edges quite nicely.
The winery also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cinsault Port, Riesling, Muscat Canelli, and White Merlot. Of these wines, the Cinsault Port is particularly interesting. It has 20.5% alcohol and 11% residual sugar.