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Ursa Vineyards

Ursa VineyardsSituated in the beautiful foothills of Northern California, Ursa Vineyards was founded in 2001 by husband and wife team, Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray.

Ursa VineyardsAt Ursa we believe our highest task is to encourage the grapes’ inherent potential with minimal, skilled intervention. All of the wines made by Ursa are created using traditional winemaking style to capture the essence of the grape varietal and region.

Both started their winemaking careers in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they gained extensive knowledge working for various wineries.

The couple met while a part of the winemaking team at David Bruce Winery, where Greg headed up Grower Relations. Greg is a highly regarded viticulturist and a consultant for numerous vineyards. In 2001, Greg and Deborah moved to the Sierra Foothills to pursue hotter climate varietals.

Deborah grew up spending her summers visiting family in the Pyrénées Mountain town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France where she gained an appreciation for her Basque heritage. The region inspired work on a Basque Blend that makes predominant use of the Tannat grape, known for its powerful tannin and dark pigmentation. The couple fell in love with the varietal and have been making wines with it every year since.

They were awarded "Best of El Dorado County Winemaker"  2017

For more information about Greg and Deborah Click Here.

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  1. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Basque Blend

    Basque Blend 2014
    The Basque Blend was conceived after winemaker, Deborah Elissagaray, travelled with her family back to the Pyrenees to the village where her father was born. This vintage offers watermelon and herbes de Provence in the nose. As in previous vintages, toasted tea and strawberry flavors are supported by a well balanced and pleasantly structured palate.

    This wine is dark and intriguing: juicy blueberry, blackberry, and red plum combine with a sturdy backbone filled with woodsy aromas and a bit of tar. Dried rose and gravel hints round out this full-bodied profile. This wine takes you right to the sunny southwest of France!

     
    Delicious with aged hard cheeses, lamb stew and pintxos of course!

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  2. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards Lone Meadow Vineyard Tannat

    Lone Meadow Vineyard Tannat

    Cherries in the nose with a dusting of cocoa powder and a trace of minerality. The mouth echoes the cherry fruit, adding boysenberries and baking spices (a contribution of the oak). Palate is firmly structured with refreshingly not-over-the-top tannins. A sippable tannat.

    Vineyard: Lone Meadow
    Harvest Date: September 17, 2014
    pH: 3.58
    TA: 6.8 g/L
    RS: .12
    Alcohol: 15.2%
    Oak: 100% American
    Cases produced: 150

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  3. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards Viognier - Hidden Mesa

    Fermentation starts in a stainless tank, then finishes in barrel for a deeper structure.  While fermenting in barrel, we do battonage once a day. Because of this process, the wine shows sur lies characteristics in the nose, with a yeasty aroma followed by peaches and white flowers. The peachiness continues in the mouth with toast from the barrel fermentation.
    This wine has a crispness that lends itself well to spicy or Asian fusion style foods.

    Vineyard: Hidden Mesa Vineyard
    Harvest Date: August 26, 2015
    pH: 3.53
    TA: 6.2 g/L
    RS: 0.0
    Alcohol: 13.7%
    Oak: Partial barrel fermentation in neutral French oak.
    Cases produced: 300

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  4. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards Major Red

    All fruit sourced from El Dorado vineyards. The nose shows a broad range of dark fruits, (cherry, boysenberry), with smoky white pepper undertones. An explosion of cherries and flavors linger on this soft, low tannin palate.

    33% Zinfandel
    22% Syrah
    12% Barbera
    11% Alicante Bouschet
    11% Viognier
    11% Petite Sirah

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  5. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards Chardonnay

    This cheerful wine opens with lemon curd and sage in the nose. Bright green apple, spiced lemon peel and honeysuckle lends the palate a refreshing crispness with firm acidity. This wine was not put through ML. Fermented and aged in neutral oak.

     

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  6. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Petite Sirah

    Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah
    This wine smells like the Sierra Foothills themselves: dark berries, warm malt and granitic dust.

    The nose opens nostalgically into “Good n Plenties”.
    The mouth is jammy without being overripe with flavors of strawberry, white pepper and juniper berry. This palate is remarkably balanced for a petite sirah.

     This is the wine that won Greg Stokes “Best Winemaker in El Dorado County, 2017”

    Vineyard: Mixed Sierra Foothills
    Harvest Date: October 2014
    pH: 3.74
    TA: 6.3 g/L
    RS: .09
    Acohol: 14.5%
    Oak: American and Hungarian​

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    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Barbera Sierra Foothills

    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Barbera - Sierra Foothills

    Is it black pepper and purple plums? Or purple pepper and black plums? The nose is dark and intriguing with toasted coconut and chocolate shavings.

    Salted, dried Japanese plums explode in the mouth follow by carob and anise. This Barbera has a well rounded palate with firm acidity leaving your mouth feeling juicy with a lingering finish.

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  8. Ursa Vineyards

    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Syrah Sirah, Blend, Sierra Foothills

    Ursa Vineyards 2014 Syrah Sirah, Blend, Sierra Foothills

    The nose offers a buffet of smoked meats, blackberries in vanilla cream and cardamom. Dark cherries and rich blackberries in the mouth are followed by subtle black tea. The palate has good grip but remains balanced.

    AVA: California
    Blend: 50% Syrah, 50% Petite Sirah
    Alcohol: 14.8%
    Oak: 25% mixed new American andHungarian
    Cases produced: 250

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