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May, 2021

bee on flower


Although grapevines don’t need bees or other pollinators to produce fruit, California winegrape growers understand why pollinators matter. Pollinators support our ecosystems and that’s why sustainably minded grape growers plant habitat for beneficial insects, and why the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance has joined the California Pollinator Coalition. You can help in your own home garden by cultivating plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The most suitable pollinator plants vary by region, so check online for recommendations for your area. 

The Pour

Sparkling wine elevates any occasion and any menu; it certainly dresses up a stack of pancakes. Choose a Brut if you like your sparkling wine brisk and dry; open an Extra Dry or Demi-Sec if you like a softer, off-dry style. Forgot to chill that bottle? Plunge it into a bucket of ice water to cool it faster than the freezer will. A carafe of fresh strained orange juice on the bar will make the Mimosa fans happy. A fifty-fifty ratio of wine and juice is what many people like, but guests can always adjust to taste. 

Don’t forget to check out our free Spring California Wine Cocktails e-book for more ways to use wine in your next festive cocktail!

Meet the Grapes: Explore more wine pairings.

The Recipe

Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Make these fluffy pancakes the centerpiece of a Mother’s Day brunch or serve them to weekend guests you want to impress. The pancakes have no leavening other than beaten egg whites; they are almost souffle like. You can make the blueberry sauce the night before and reheat to serve. 

Wine suggestion:  California sparkling wine or mimosas

mother's day ricotta blueberry pancake for mother's day


Blueberry sauce 

  • 1 pint blueberries 
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for serving (optional)

Makes about a dozen 3 to 4-inch pancakes


Prepare the blueberry sauce: Set aside ½ cup of the blueberries. Put the remaining berries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup and ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries completely collapse, about 10 minutes. The mixture will still be thin. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved ½ cup berries. Let cool to room temperature; it will thicken as it cools. Rewarm gently to serve. 

Prepare the pancakes:  Preheat a griddle or large skillet to medium-low. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla until pale and thick. Whisk in the milk, then the ricotta, whisking until smooth. Add the flour, whisking just until blended.  In another bowl, by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to firm peaks. Gently fold them into the batter. 

Lightly brush the griddle with melted butter in the spots where you intend to make pancakes. You can make the pancakes any size you choose; this batter is sufficient to make about a dozen 3- to 4-inch pancakes. Spoon the batter onto the griddle in desired amounts; ¼ cup batter will make about a 4-inch pancake. Dot the top with blueberries. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom, then turn with an offset spatula and cook on the second side until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. 

Transfer the pancakes to serving plates as they are done. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and spoon warm blueberry sauce over and around them. Serve immediately, with butter if desired. 

Wine Institute is an association of California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact