Winemaking is quite the ride.
For 15 years now my seatbelt has been locked in place while the car races straight ahead. Good thing most of the roads are well paved, albeit not always well marked. I am still surprised I get to share this with you.
The 2018 vintage was extraordinary, as they all are here in Santa Barbara County. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Gentle, sweet, cool and long - this is the nature of the business when you start with Pinot Noir and end with Mourvèdre. Each year creates challenging moments with glorious memories and always too many of both to list here for you now. Make an appointment for a vineyard tour or a Grenache roadshow so we can have some time to talk. Come and taste the vineyard and vintage variations. Each year holds its own breathtaking story. You can always give me a call or email me questions, too. I LOVE questions. I am always seeking new ways to give you a backstage pass to understand the magic of this world, without actually having you do any work. That’s my job. Your goal is to enjoy the romance.
I will share a recent answer to a question I was asked about why I chose to make wine in Santa Barbara Wine Country. I had been living in Malibu for a year in 2003 completing my graduate thesis and working at Cosentino’s Flower shop when my dad came to visit from Michigan. He wanted to go to Napa for the day. When you don’t live in California everything seems close. Someone overheard our conversation, laughed and said, “You should really go to the Santa Ynez Valley.” “Where?” I asked. “Just take the 101 to the 154 - it’s worth it.” It was on that trip that part of my world fell into place while another part broke open. We visited Firestone Winery and Vineyards, took the tour, walked the path to what was then Curtis Winery and leisurely drove the length of Foxen Canyon to Santa Maria savoring every curve along the way. With sunshine on our faces and smiles in our hearts we went home full of wonder. Every opportunity I had I would drive up for the day to reenergize that feeling again. One year later I helped plant a vineyard and make wine in a garage. Never in my wildest imagination did I think wine was something people actually did as a profession. I quickly came to understand that wine is an all encompassing way of life, each season holding a secret ingredient for the next, as long as you are paying attention.
If you haven’t picked up the Grüner Veltliner Cider, you will want to give this refreshing beauty a try. Promise. Or your money back guaranteed.