2018 started with a bang after 2017 fairly exploded. On January 2 we brought down the burned hulk of the 1916 Craftsman Home which many of you saw while here (burned in 2016) - this after many deliberations with the insurance company. The timing just came together that way, and as it works out we are leading the rebuilding of our nearby neighborhood, Coffey Park, of which 1500 structures burned in last Fall’s Tubb’s Fire. We had no idea our “Private” house fire would prepare us for what was to come, a true environmental disaster. Perseverance and tenacity along with a community spirit proved essential in surviving the aftermath which we still are in the shadow of today.
Meanwhile new things abound. We have planted the “Winery Acre” to a non-irrigated, regenerative agriculture technique of my own design using Mulch made here on site by me. The tree chips we are getting for this technique right now are from the burned trees nearby which means they are loaded with “BioChar” which is amazing for soil microbiology.
The varieties we used in this new planting are mostly white: Riesling, Vermintino, Chenin Blanc, and a block of “Wild Seed” that was grown from seed so we have no idea what variety it will be. The wild seed is the only way to get new varieties so I am committing myself to some fun and exploration in what I grow here at OWW!
February and March was full of pruning the 120 year old “1890 Block” which I call “Abundance” once in bottle, and the 80 year old Abouriou that I call “Luminous” once in bottle. I have developed a hybrid technique of cane pruning along with the bush vine (or head trained) technique to get new wood production and further life growing on those old vines.
Many of you know or have met Susan who has been with OWW for 6 years. She is now here full time doing things like living in the Tiny House, gathering eggs, planting flowers, making sure the Wine Club shipments get out in a timely fashion, keeping Darek on point, and next time you are here take a walk with her to the pig and see her developing flower sanctuary.
Now for the wines. I am sending out a new bottling and some that have been awaiting their close up. The club gets first dibs on re-orders but there isn’t much of any of these so if you are further interested let us know!
2011 Alicante Bouschet, Mendocino County
In 2011, I got a ton of grapes from a great family friend named Bob Dempel. It was so much fun stomping this red juiced variety! But alas it is bittersweet as he pulled out the block the following year. So this is it, only 2 barrels made of this Teinturier (red juice) French variety that was a cross between Petite Bouchet and Grenache.
2011 “Luminous” Abouriou, Russian River Valley
This is a bottling from the 2011 Vintage with 5 years in Barrel! The long barrel age gives an incredible subtle spiciness to the wines. It was bottled in January and is meant to be consumed within the next several years. A one of a kind for sure!
2014 “Era” Late Harvest, Sonoma Coast
This wine surprised me. Pinot Noir shows up to the crushpad from the coast with 34 degrees brix (too much sugar) due to a drying night wind over 6 evenings and I did not know what to do! So I put some alcohol in it and made it like you would make a port, but with less alcohol and less final sugar, this wine can go with the meal or after as you see fit!