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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hey, Barkeep!

    Alex Guyton

    Jen Piatt (left), Alex Noirot (center) and Lisette Lespron (right) pose in front of a wine rack at Bear Track U on Wednesday. Less than a month ago, Bear Track U opened on University Boulevard near the UA campus.

    DW: This is a pretty new installation, isn’t it?

    Lespron: “Yes, just shy of a month.”

    Can you tell me a little bit of the history?

    “We used to be on Sunrise and Swan. We were a taste room up there. We went under the name Bear Track Winery because we did a lot of our own blends. A lot of the wine in here is predominantly blends, but a lot of our wine is also pure varietals, which come from Ruidoso, New Mexico. … As of right now, we are just a taste room; we are not blending anything in the back because we are very sparse for space.”

    You said there are two different kind of wines, the pure and the blended?

    “It’s not pure. When we say ‘pure varietal,’ it’s just that grape. So, like this one is Refosco. We call it Refosco because it’s 75 percent of that grape. Generally, in order to qualify as a pure varietal, you have to be 75 percent of that pure grape. … A blend is anything, so you’ve got a 50 percent Chardonnay, and then we throw in 10 percent Viognier, and then the rest with Sauvignon Blanc. That is a blend. … Usually, blends get a fancy name of some sort.”

    How did you get into it?

    “I took this as kind of a second job, just for fun, mainly. I used to be an LPN, and I got really burned out on my work, and then I had my own company. I did in-home care, and then after awhile, like I said, I got super burned out. I decided to jump aboard here, and I study wine on my own. I’m studying to hopefully get my [sommelier certification] very soon.”

    You said at the other location is where you actually had the room to actually make blends. Did you do that?

    “I did, actually. I helped make a couple blends, some of the newer ones. When you blend wine, it’s just basic chemistry. … We still do make the mead. We actually just came out with two different types. We have a Bochet, which is a burnt mead. It’s burnt honey, where it actually goes in the barrel. … It is nicely burned, and it actually gives the mead a dark, caramel looking color to it. It’s very nice. And then we have a regular mead. We spliced it with some strawberry wine. … It gave a really good hint to the mead, so it’s a strawberry mead.”

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