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Madson - 'Red Tail Vyd' - Syrah - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA - 2022
Madson - 'Red Tail Vyd' - Syrah - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA - 2022
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Madson - 'Red Tail Vyd' - Syrah - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA - 2022

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VINEYARD This Syrah comes from the smallest vineyard that we work with. The vineyard produces just two barrels of wine each year. Steep, rugged, and far from any main roads, Red Tail Vineyard is perched above a deep, forested ravine. There are no other vineyard plantings nearby. On the adjacent ridge line lies the Demonstration forest. Winter 2021-22 was warm and dry, making for an early bud break. During Spring a statewide frost limited our yields. We harvested Red Tail Vineyard on August 30th, 2022. WINEMAKING We ferment this Syrah 100% whole cluster using only indigenous yeast. Aged 9 months in barrel before bottling. The resulting wine is complex and structured with plentiful length in the finish. 13 % ABV, 48 cases produced. TASTING NOTES Aromas of white pepper, cold cuts, cured ham, dried sage. The palate shows sautéed mushrooms, cacao nibs, and dark blackberries. Pairs well with an herbs de Provence dressed rack of lamb, among other hearty meals. We made this wine thoughtfully to show itself best with age. Enjoy now or cellar for savoring at its peak.


We think critically about our farm decisions and our impact on ecosystems. At Madson, we believe that in order to produce great wines, one must understand the soils that lie beneath the vines and the climate that surrounds them. Only then can one understand the fruit, to make thoughtful decisions about farming and harvesting. Without quality wine grapes, the vinification is more about hiding mistakes in the vineyard than it is about expressing the vineyard to its full potential. With this in mind, Madson has made an effort to lease vineyards and carry out all farming practices instead of buying fruit. We do not directly own our vineyards but we farm all of our vineyards or consult local Santa Cruz Mountain growers with their viticultural practices.

As a standard, all of the vineyards that we work with have been converted to 100% organic practices. We use only ecologically based pest controls and biological fertilizers including animal waste and nitrogen fixing cover crops to help regulate and maintain the health of soil microbes. Many of our vineyards were not organic prior to our adoption; we find that motivating vineyard owners to adopt organics is more rewarding than merely searching for growers who already understand its value. However, organic agriculture does not encompass all of the solutions for responsible agriculture. We must explore beyond the organic system to maintain and improve our surrounding ecosystems and communities.

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farm system that enriches and sequesters carbon dioxide in soils, increases biodiversity, and improves watersheds. While organic agriculture ensures a healthy crop for anthropogenic purposes, organics does not necessarily improve surrounding ecosystems and soils. With an evolving climate, we believe that agriculture must evolve to not only care for people but also care for the environment and the atmosphere.

Our pledge to be carbon neutral.
It is our belief that our rapidly changing climate is the most pressing threat to the planet, our communities, our vineyards and our future generations. With this in mind, we have adopted regenerative agriculture practices. However, our winery production still uses electricity from the grid and all of our shipping is carried out by traditional means. As a business that is dependent on the health of our vineyards and environment, we pledge to operate 100% carbon neutral, or sequester an equal amount of greenhouse gases as we emit. In collaboration with Terra Pass, we will plant 318 trees in 2020 and we will reassess our emissions each year after. As our environment changes so must our business structure and ethos, which is why we believe it is our responsibility to regenerate and protect the fruits of our labor.

We aim to minimally interfere and guide fermentations to show vibrancy.
Although we believe that winemaking begins with quality farming practices, ultimately, the transformation of fruit to wine occurs in the cellar. We begin by finding ripeness based on physiological cues as well as the flavor of the fruit on the vines. All fermentation occur naturally and spontaneously, and we often utilize pied de cuves (or small mother fermentations that begin in the vineyard) to inoculate our fermenters. We find that the natural yeast strains found in the vineyard make fermentations that are slower and more diverse, ultimately showcasing a greater complexity of flavor.

​Élevage occurs mostly in neutral or seasoned oak casks. Generally, each wine will be racked once after pressing and once before bottling. Each wine remains in the same cask for the majority of its life. At bottling, the wine will receive a small sulfur addition. Bottled wines are stored in a cool cellar until they are released.

With love,
Cole, Ken & Abbey
​Cole's love for wine originates from his love for agriculture. Prior to his career in wine, he worked as an organic vegetable farmer, as an edible landscaper, and as manager of the Demeter Seed Library (a non-profit seed saving project​). Cole found viticulture when he started working for Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Cole moved to Victoria, Australia where he worked in vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula. Crafting Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Shiraz at Paringa Estate Winery. Cole returned to Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard for four years, as Assistant Winemaker applying and gaining new perspectives of vinification and tradition. Then, an opportunity arose to work in Central Otago, New Zealand for Prophet's Rock and Amisfield Winery in 2017. It was in New Zealand, that Cole discovered many techniques for making natural wine. Cole returned to the Santa Cruz Mountains to launch Madson Wines in Spring 2018. Winemakers such as: Ken Burnhap, Jeff Emery, Lindsay & Jamie McCall, Sam Hambour, Paul Pujol, Stephanie Lambert and André Lategan have inspired Cole to make California wines that express terroir with poise and concentration.

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