A Taste of Spring

A San Francisco Bay Area maker is turning flowers into wine. Free-Range Flower Winery, in Oakland, is truly bringing a splash of spring into the glass. They ferment various flowers such as hibiscus and lavender to produce a glorious glass of wine.

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Courtesy Enat Winery/ Leonard B. Ghee photo

Before you dismiss the idea as novelty, know that one of its bottles, L, won a bronze in the highly regarded San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The “L” in the name stands for lavender, the prime ingredient of this naturally effervescent wine that is best compared to a sparkling rosé, as one review states. Free-Range Flower’s wine are available to try at alaMar restaurant in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood or at Second Sundays at Wine & Design in Jack London.

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Courtesy Enat Winery/ Leonard B. Ghee photo

Another Oakland producer bottling the blossom is Enat Winery, which makes a sweet Ethiopian honey wine or Tej. You can visit the winery by appointment. The wine also is on the list at several Bay Area restaurants, including Cafe Colucci on Telegraph in Oakland. Because it’s sweet, it pairs best with spicy foods.