Meet the Maker

The Cool Climate Wine Queen Delivers Our First Bubbly Red

Nicole Walsh brought us seven gold medal wines. Now she's back with a brand new winner: Maker's first sparkling red.

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By Sarah Hoffman

May 15, 2024

two cans of Ser Winery bubbly red with a glass of red wine


Nicole Walsh of Ser Winery is kind of a big deal. This Santa Cruz surfer also happens to be a coastal wine savant. Over the last ten years, she’s created four wines rated 90 points or above. Her dry Sparkling Riesling is a food lover’s dream. And her super rare Cab Pfeffer and fan-fave Rose of Grenache have helped Maker rack up seven gold medals. 

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2023 Ser Winery Bubbly Red Can and Glass
Nicole Walsh and 6 pack of 2023 Bubbly Red

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Bubbly Red

Ser Winery, Central Coast, CA

Bright strawberry, cherry, and rose petal – a sultry red bubbly that loves a pepperoni pizza.

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So what makes Nicole’s wines stand out? The coastal climate, for one. Rather than growing grapes in super fertile soil or where the weather may be a bit more moderate, Nicole embraces cool-climate grapes in rugged terrain. You can practically taste the freshness of the wind and the waves. 

Nicole Walsh - Ser Winery - Meet the Maker

Nicole Walsh uses biodynamic and organic farming practices at her winery, Ser

On top of that, all of her wines are single-varietal, single-vineyard, sustainably farmed. They’re made naturally with indigenous yeasts, and are a pure expression of where they came from. That’s why Nicole chose the name “Ser” for her winery, meaning “to express origin.”

Lucky for us, she’s back at it again. This time, with a brand new carbonated red—by Maker’s request.

Fun, Floral, Flirty, Red

“When I was asked to create a sparkling red wine, Cinsault immediately came to mind,” Nicole says. Cinsault is a very delicate grape with almost no tannin and very light pigmentation.  

“Paired with an expressive floral and red fruit character, I knew this would be the right variety to deliver a delicious bubbly red."

This specific Cinsault was sourced from Rick's Vineyard in Monterey County. The cool climate allowed the Cinsault to express all of the perfumed character combined with fresh red fruit, which was picked at a low brix to retain some natural acidity, resulting in a lower alcohol red wine. 

Nicole Walsh sipping Cabernet Pfeffer. Photo credit: April Burkhart.

Nicole Walsh. Photo credit: April Burkhart.

Destemmed to a stainless steel tank and then saignéed, Nicole drained the free run juice from the tank, removing ~35% of the juice. This red fermentation extracted more color from the skins and concentrated the fruit flavors. Completing malolactic fermentation in a stainless steel tank, the Cinsault was carbonated at the time of canning to produce a dry, sultry, wonderful bubbly version. 

With notes of rose petal, bright strawberry, and cherry, we recommend pairing this carbonic red with pepperoni pizza, Char Siu, or BBQ ribs and crisp summer nights. We can’t wait for you to give it a try.  

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