Belong Wine Company is a husband and wife project that focuses on wines from El Dorado County in the Sierra foothills. Bertus Van Zyl grew up in South Africa’s wine country with parents that were wine enthusiasts and knew from an early age that he wanted to make wine when he grew up. Alli Van Zyl grew up in Crocket, California, a small East Bay Town on the San Pablo Bay, with an appreciation for wine and began working in the hospitality side of the wine business when she graduated from college and never left. Bertus is the winemaker at a couple Napa Valley wineries but the couple knew immediately that they wanted their own winery as well and 2022 made their 6th harvest. They’re inspired by the scenic grandeur of the Sierras as well as the sense of vinous exploration in this ascendant and rapidly evolving region. Mourvedre is their favorite grape and we’ve previously had the Tessier Mourvedre from Goldbud Vineyard in El Dorado in the club. Bertus and Alli also work with this organically farmed Ron and Chuck Mansfield vineyard. This nearly even split of Syrah and Mourvedre dramatically ups the percentage of whole clusters from 13% in the Tessier to 100% in this wine, which adds a pop of fruit punch and spice with a multi-level tannin structure that is felt in every part of the mouth and elongates the finish. The label depicts Grand Prismatic Lake in Yellowstone, a sulfur hot spring, and like the lake, there is only naturally occurring sulfur in this bottling. For those of you who’ve had the fruit of the red mulberry tree, that flavor awaits you in this wine along with a cornucopia of red and black berries. The tannins are smooth enough to take a chill if it's hot when you’re popping the cork, and it would happily accompany a wide range of foods from vegetable casseroles to sausages.