Review: ‘Wine’ not ‘sip’ back and relax with Horsehill Vineyards

By Megan Freeman, Oct. 26, 2021

Since I turned 21 this past June, I have wanted to bask in the newfound freedom of enjoying alcohol. Cal Poly Pomona has a vineyard, and the school-produced wines are easily accessible at the Farm Store, giving every ordinary Tuesday the potential to sparkle.

The university’s vineyard, Horsehill Vineyards, has released two wines in the last four years. They have released a zinfandel and a zinfandel rose. Three colleges collaborated in the making of these splendid wines: the Huntley College of Agriculture, College of Environmental Design and the Collins College of Hospitality Management.

According to the Cal Poly Pomona website, the Huntley College of Agriculture tends to the cutting, nursing, cultivating and harvesting of grapes for the wine. The College of Environmental Design oversaw the design of the bottle.

The zinfandel can be easily described as a classic red wine, and it was made in 2017. The zinfandel rose is a classic rose, very vibrant and alluring in color, and the rose was created in 2019. The bundle of both wines sells for $18.75, which is a pretty good deal.

My trip to the farm store was on foot. It was a beautiful walk though, with the fall leaves and the pumpkins on the hill waiting to be picked up at the Pumpkin Festival.

It took me a while to find the wine, but I was so glad to bring it home and perform a taste test. I bought some Colby-jack and sharp cheddar cheese that I thought would complement the wine nicely. When I got home, it was a struggle to open the bottle as my corkscrew was not working; I called a friend and ended up using a butter knife to open the wine, which is something I shouldn’t have done, but it got the bottle open!

The zinfandel is a classic red wine which is very dark and robust in flavor. As I drank it, I got hints of berry, pomegranate and coffee undertone flavors. This wine did not go well with any cheese I bought as its hefty taste overpowered any cheese paired with it. I can see this wine being paired with a nice steak dinner, something hearty and full of flavor.

The wine could be compared to a spiked POM pomegranate juice. The aftertaste stayed with me for a while, and I was easily aware that I was drinking alcohol with this wine because of the strong flavor. It is very bitter, and the wine color itself is beautiful, perfect for fall. The color of the wine is a winsome dark red almost purple color. I can see myself carving pumpkins with friends or watching a horror movie while sipping on this wine. On the negative side, this wine is also reminiscent of a medicinal taste.

CPP’s zinfandel wine will make you feel relaxed, loose and at ease. The smell reminds me rubbing alcohol and grapes.

The zinfandel rose, on the other hand, is an entirely different experience. For starters, it is pink, and I love the color pink. In comparison to the zinfandel, it is a complete 180 in terms of flavor. It is bubbly, light and fresh. I sense notes of pear when tasting this wine. It is a lot more drinkable compared to the zinfandel, and it is more of a summer wine.

This wine goes perfectly with Colby-jack cheese; the subtleness of the cheese mixed with the light flavor of the wine make for a match made in heaven.

I taste strawberries, pears and summery fruits when I drink this wine. I feel like I am in Paris with a giant croissant in one hand and this zinfandel rose wine in the other.

Horsehill Vineyards did an excellent job curating this wine. It is not overpowering; it is reminiscent of juice with a hint of the pungent alcohol taste. This is the kind of wine one would see a Disney princess drinking, very girly but subtle. This wine will make you feel bubbly and warm. It would go best with a light and fresh dish, maybe a strawberry salad or an excellent panini.

The College of Environmental Design created the logos as well as the bottle designs for this wine bundle, and I saw that it was well crafted. The label was sleek and matte, and the embroidery on the top of the bottle was genius; it features a bundle of grapes. I also liked the color scheme for both bottles, the zinfandel rose had CPP’s colors while the zinfandel featured a dark blue and gold color scheme.

Overall, CPP’s Horsehill Vineyards did an excellent job curating these wines. I am grateful to have the privilege of going to a school that is a farm, vineyard and a university all in one. It was a genius idea to make these wines. If anyone is looking for a classy, tasty, heavy or light drink for your Friday night, Horsehill Vineyards has it for only $18.75.

Featured image courtesy of Megan Freeman. 

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