Tortoise Creek Wines
Tortoise Creek is a range of very fine varietal wines from the Languedoc district of the South of France and Lodi, California.
The French wines of Tortoise Creek include many of the principal varietals grown in the region, such as Viognier and Carignan, but in addition, we also produce newer varieties successfully introduced to the region such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
From the South of the Rhône Valley, the "Le Charmel" is sourced from a superb vineyard in the Costieres de Nimes. Sustainably farmed with only limited fertilizers allowed, this red wine benefits from the bright fruit of the Grenache and the richness of the Syrah, combining into a smooth wine that is ready to drink.
“Le Charmel" refers to the father-son partnership of Charlie and Mel Master that produced this wine.
Our Pinot Noir “Les Olivieres” is less “jammy” than its Californian cousins. It is perhaps more Burgundian and is delicate. It has lovely aromas of violets and shows red berry and cherry fruit characteristics on the palate. It is a gorgeous food wine and works well with roast meats, tuna and cheeses.
“Les Oliviers” refers to the olive trees that surround the vineyards that produce our Pinot Noir.
Our Sauvignon Blanc “Cuvée Jeanne” is beautifully balanced and aromatic with suggestions of passion fruit and grapefruit. The palate is crisp and dry but not too acidic with a good depth of flavor. The wine is perfect as an aperitif or with chicken, fish or creamy pasta dishes.
“Cuvée Jeanne” refers to “Janie’s Blend”
So often Viognier is over oaked and loses it wonderful delicate charm. Our Viognier “Le Verger” is completely unoaked and therefore bright with lovely aromas of peaches, pears and honeysuckle that lead to a palate that is fresh and crisp but packed with fruit. Wonderful as an aperitif or with any fish or pasta dishes and excellent with a great chicken dish.
“Le Verger” refers to the beautiful apricot orchard that is close to the vineyards that produce our Viognier.
Our old vine Carignan has a deep, red color and lovely aromas of wild herbs and red berries. On the plate it is rich and full bodied with hints of spice and leather.
In 2008, Mel and Janie Master joined forces with the Sager family who own the national importing company, Winesellers, Ltd., and together they have extended the Tortoise Creek range to include a superb range of sustainably grown Californian wines from the Lodi region.
Certification: The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program. It promotes practices that enhance biodiversity, soil and water health, community and employee well-being, while meeting our needs today without compromising the needs of future generations.
These region-wide standards have been endorsed by Protected Harvest a non-profit organization comprised of scientists, academics and environmentalists that certifies farmer’s use of stringent environmental growing standards.
To be certified a grower must pass an independent audit of their viticultural practices.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon “Cherokee Lane” is loaded with aromas and flavors of red and black cherries supported by vanilla and cedar nuances. It is beautifully balanced with both fruit and tannins.
“Cherokee Lane” pays tribute to the old stretch of Highway 99 running through the town of Lodi and surrounding vineyards.
The “Jam’s Blend” Chardonnay boasts bright, fresh aromas and flavors of citrus, pear, apple and white flowers. Its creamy texture is supported by fresh acidity and a long, clean finish. Ideal as an aperitif or with poultry, salads, cream based pastas and softer cheeses.
“Jam’s Blend” refers to Janie and Mel Master, the creators of Tortoise Creek.
This Merlot is full of fresh, bright aromas and flavors of red and black berries, cherries and herbs. It is round, rich and ripe with soft tannins.
No other variety represents the region of Lodi like Zinfandel. Over 100 years ago European settlers believed it to be the best fit for the climate and soils, and their keen insight paid off. Our Zinfandel “The Chelonian” has a lovely spicy, cherry like bouquet and is bursting with sweet, berry flavors. There are also delicious overtones of blackcurrant and plums, with a welcoming finish of vanilla and cinnamon toast.
“The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles.