I love working with my friends. Let’s collab(for real). Working with my friend Dave Rothschild(ex Sonoma Mountain Winery) as he grows his Sonoma grape and vineyard management operation has been super inspiring. To source grapes from someone that is just as nerdy as I am about viticulture, that I trust, that I can be myself with, that I can party with... it is honestly better for me than growing the grapes myself. This was the first fruit I got from Dave. In 2022, I got Chardonnay and Merlot as well. Moving forward he is going to be a big part of the Stagiaire program :D
Syrah from a plot planted by Phil Coturri in the 90s. I dont know what the soil is. Ask Dave. Honestly the vineyard has very little sex appeal. South of the town of sonoma. On the valley floor, so cooler, and with more fog influence(which somms love to talk about... the fog getting sucked up the valley yada yada... but realistically the fog influence on Napa and Sonoma in the last few dry years has been very minimal :/) But is a lesson for me, that as much as grapes love a view, there are still great vineyards producing great wines in nondescript locations. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover I guess.
Somehow I am good in a crisis. It became apparent recently in conversation with a friend and then later in an actually crisis with that friend. And by ‘somehow’ I mean just by existing as a small agricultural business in california in the times of climate change. Wine making is managing chaos. I am not in control. I do everything I can to expect it and prepare for it, and every year shows me new ways I could never have dreamed of having my shit rocked. I love it.
33% Whole Cluster. 33% destemmed on top. 33% direct-pressed over the rest. 3 weeks infusion. It really tastes like some fancy Syrah which is what you want I guess. Fruit kinda in the purply and blue spectrum. There is a brightness to it’s darkness. Thin mint girlscout cookies with their cooling breeze effect. Sappy herbs. That good blood thing that turns to the meaty side on day two. I won’t compare this to a french or rhone style wine... bc well it isn’t really standing out as an of them regionally or by producer to me. But some people have said Cornas when tasting. Some have said Beauger. Some have said Stagiaire. It’s from California.
The French word for apprentice and what the winemaker I worked for in Jura called me when other local vigneron asked who the hell the guy speaking really bad French was.
The name encapsulates humility, impermanence, and the pursuit of knowledge.
I work with vineyards that are organic at a minimum, actively seeking thoughtfull and regenerative practices instead of recipe farming. Most importantly I want to work with good people that are trying to farm with nature instead of against it. Starting in 2020 I am farming a few parcels of my own.
If we have good grapes, why add anything to them in the cellar?