Claiborne & Churchill Presents: Cheese Plates from Fromagerie Sophie

If you haven’t met them, Sophie and Paul Boban-Doering are the owners of Fromagerie Sophie, a cheese shop in downtown San Luis Obispo that has quickly proven itself to be one of SLO’s most treasured and unique gems. When Sophie and Paul opened Fromagerie Sophie, the cheese game in SLO was immediately elevated, and no one is more appreciative of that then those in the local wine industry.

Here at Claiborne & Churchill, we finally have the opportunity to offer our guests a fantastic new tasting experience: a flight of five wine-paired cheeses from Fromagerie Sophie! Each pairing was painstakingly and lovingly selected, and the cheese plates are offered daily in our tasting room. Recently, our tasting staff had the pleasure of receiving an educational cheese tasting with Paul, and we couldn’t be more excited to talk about these cheeses with you and share some of the stories that he passed along to us! Each day this week, we’ll be telling stories about a different cheese from our cheese flight.

Read below for a description of each Fromagerie Sophie and Claiborne & Churchill pairing, and if you like the sound of these, come in to our tasting room today to try them!

Cheese Plate: (1st Cheese) L'Muse Signature Gouda with Claiborne & Churchill 2014 Dry Gewurztraminer

1. 2014 Dry Gewürztraminer with L’Muse Signature Gouda

Our well loved Gewürztraminer, with its bright, spicy aromas and notes of lychee, is the perfect pairing for this caramely, aged gouda from Beemster, Holland. L’Muse Signature Gouda is aged for two years, and is deep amber in color with well-distributed protein crystals. Creamy with slightly salty, nutty notes, this cheese has a deep, complex, and long finish that sets off the bright acidity, spice, and tropical fruit of our Gewürztraminer!

Whats that crunch?

You’ll notice this cheese has some tiny, crunchy crystals in it, giving it a remarkable texture. The crystals found in exquisite aged goudas, cheddars, and grana padanos are not “salt crystals” as some suspect. Rather, they come from tyrosine, an amino acid found in cow’s milk protein. When, during the aging process, the amino acid chains break down, tyrosine is released into the cheese, forming those amazing little crunchies!

Enjoy these Pairings With Us

These pairings are a truly remarkable way to experience our fine wines and the incredible cheeses that Sophie and Paul have scoured the world for, bringing the best that Europe has to offer here to our little town on the Central Coast. Come experience these pairings daily at our Claiborne & Churchill tasting room, open daily from 11-5, and when you are done, stop by Fromagerie Sophie on Garden Street and pick up some cheese to pair with wines at your next gathering!

Wine Tasting Flight:
$12 (Free for Cellar Club)

Cheese Plate with Pairing Guide:
$12 ($9 for Cellar Club)

Stay tuned for more cheese pairings!

Claiborne & Churchill 2014 Holiday Wine Tasting Notes Video: 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 “Runestone” Pinot Noir,
2012 Clueless Red

We hope you enjoy our Holiday Wine Tasting Notes Video by Owner Clay Thompson and Winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia.

2013 Chardonnay, Righetti Vineyard: Whether it’s rosemary-roasted Cornish game hen or butternut squash and pumpkin ravioli, serving up a glass of Chardonnay from the Edna Valley AVA is a guaranteed way to bring out the most in your meal. Continue reading here.

2012 “Runestone” Pinot Noir: After its 8 month absence, our limited production, barrel-selected Runestone Pinot Noir is back! Winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia selected 8 standout barrels from the 2012 vintage, which he blended together to create a remarkably elegant, yet complex wine. Contiunue reading here.

2012 Clueless Red: Starting with the 2008 vintage, we released a new blend with a “puzzling” wine label by the name of Clueless Red. It bore nothing more than a crossword puzzle. The puzzles and blends changed every year, sparking excitement with every vintage. Continue reading here.


Claiborne & Churchill 2014 Fall Wine Tasting Notes Video: 2012 Estate Dry Riesling, 2013 Pinot Blanc,
2012 “Classic” Pinot Noir, 2012 Malbec

Tasting Notes:

2012 Estate Dry Riesling: 2012 marked the fourth official harvest of our SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certified Estate Riesling vineyard. And what a great vintage it turned out to be! Rather than releasing this soon after bottling (as we do with our Central Coast Dry Riesling)…Continue reading here.

2013 Pinot Blanc: Speaking of SIP, we are happy to source sustainably grown Pinot Blanc from our neighbors down at Laetitia Vineyards. This rich and mouth-filling wine delivers intense jasmine, peach, and citrus aromas while offering flavors of melon, toasted almond, and spice. Continue reading here.

2012 “Classic” Pinot Noir: Since the late 1980’s our “Classic” Pinot Noir has been a staple of Claiborne & Churchill. It has always been made to showcase the elegance and complexities of Pinot Noir from the Edna Valley. Continue reading here.

2012 Malbec: Malbec is back! It’s been over 3 years since we last released our Malbec, and we couldn’t be more excited to have it back in our line-up. Continue reading here.

2014 Summer Release Tasting Notes Video:
2013 Edelzwicker, 2013 Pinot Gris,
2012 Twin Creeks Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:

2013 Edelzwicker: We’ve been making an Edelzwicker every year since day one back in 1983. It has long been a favorite quaffing wine, something you can serve on all sorts of occasions, to all sorts of wine drinkers, from novices to oenophiles. Continue reading here.

2013 Pinot Gris: Pinot Gris has been a big part of our repertory since the late ‘90s. It’s much more serious than your typical Italian-style Pinot Grigio, as it delivers good acid, pear and white peach aromas, and a rich mouthfeel. We barrel ferment it in 100% neutral French oak. Pinot Gris serves as a great accompaniment to Lasagna Alfredo, Cioppino or enjoyed on its own. Continue reading here.

2012 Twin Creeks Pinot Noir: Since last summer, when we sold out of the ’11 Twin Creeks, many of you have asked when the new vintage would be released. Lo and behold, it’s back! Here at Claiborne & Churchill, we produce three different Pinot Noir bottlings, each with its own unique profile. Continue reading here.

2014 Spring Release Tasting Notes Video:
2013 Dry Riesling, 2012 Dry Muscat,
2013 Dry Rose, and 2011 Pinot Noir

2013 Dry Riesling: Just as our supply of the 2012 Dry Riesling runs out, here to the rescue comes the new vintage! Once again it is a harmonious blend of fruit from a vineyard in neighboring Monterey County and a vineyard just down the road from us in our own Edna Valley. Continue reading here.

2012 Dry Muscat: Now here is a wine that’s still flying under the radar. And yet, what a beauty it is! When we tasted it at the winery prior to this wine club release, we were blown away, declaring it a real sleeper, the winning wine of the 2012 vintage. Continue reading here.

2013 Dry Rosé “Cuvée Elizabeth”Well, it is surely Spring if it’s time for “Cuvee Liz!” This one-time cult favorite of ours has become a regular part of our repertory. And with the rising popularity… Continue reading here.

2011 “Classic” Pinot Noir: Gold – 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
The 2011 “Classic” is a blend of several Pinot Noir clones from a number of vineyards in the Edna Valley. It is an excellent representative of this cool microclimate, which is ideal for the growing of Pinot Noir. Continue reading here.

2014 Winter Release Tasting Notes Video:
2013 Dry Gewurztraminer, 2012 Pinot Blanc,
2010 Pinot Noir and 2012 Syrah

Hello and welcome to our new Claiborne & Churchill Winery Blog! We are excited to share what’s happening at Claiborne & Churchill with you. Stay tuned for blog posts featuring recipes and wine pairings, a history of Claiborne & Churchill by our founder and owner, vineyard and cellar updates and much much more!

2013 Dry Gewurztraminer: As is appropriate for our flagship white wine, this Gewürztraminer is our first new release from last fall’s harvest. And what a winner it is! Continue reading here.

2012 Pinot Blanc: We consider Pinot Blanc to be part of our “Alsatian” portfolio, but of course it is very much at home in other wine regions. It was until recently a significant part of Burgundian viticulture (often confused with Chardonnay), a connection reflected in the name for the wine in Germany and Austria (Weissburgunder). Continue reading here.

2010 “Classic” Pinot Noir: I am tempted to call this wine a “Picture-Perfect-Pinot,” but of course modesty prevents me from doing so. Honestly, if you are looking for all of the varietally-true hallmarks of Pinot Noir, you need look no further. Continue reading here.

2012 Syrah: By now I think it’s safe to say that Syrah has become a full-fledged member of the Claiborne & Churchill wine family. To be sure, our three (soon to be four) Pinot Noir bottlings testify to the preeminence of that grape in our Edna Valley viticulture, but a cool-climate Syrah such as the one we make (from grapes grown at Wolff Vineyards) is a welcome addition to our portfolio and a nice alternative to Pinot Noir. Continue reading here.