Cheers! Oakland boutique winery splashes on scene with lavender libation

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The Bay Area's food and wine scene is, of course, world-class and often pretty innovative. A new Oakland winery is producing a vintage like no other where flowers -- not grapes -- are the star of the bottle. (KGO-TV)

The Bay Area's food and wine scene is, of course, world-class and often pretty innovative. A new Oakland winery is producing a vintage like no other where flowers -- not grapes -- are the star of the bottle.

Winemaker Sam Prestianni has never grown a grape in his life. But he knows all about flowers and plants especially those so abundant in the Bay Area.

"There's a lot of infusion based on products out there, ice cream, Kombucha, lemonade...but we haven't found anything that's straight up lavender," said Prestianni.

Prestianni says, why not lavender wine? The new label, simply called L, could be a first from his new Oakland venture, Free Range Flower Winery.

"Lavender is the main ingredient in the fermentation process. That's what makes it so unique," Prestianni added.

The boutique winemaking and bottling is happening at the company's West Oakland facility using organic lavender and lemons.

Prestianni isn't saying how lavender is made into wine but flower-based wine does have a history.

"There was dandelion wine in colonial times in America," he said.

ABC7 News reporter Cornell Barnard tasted the libation and said: "It's good." The wine is described as dry, bubbly, not too sweet and surprisingly didn't smell like lavender.

But will the Bay Area take a sip?

"I'm certain the public will go for it. If it won't happen in the Bay Area, where is it going to happen?" Prestianni questioned.

Free Range Flower Winery doesn't have a tasting room yet, but you can order from its website.
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