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- Wines in Portfolio -

WIRZ VINEYARD RIESLING

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Type: Dry White

Site & Vines: Old-vine, dry-farmed vineyard was planted in 1965 on its own roots.  It's located at about 1000' in the Gabilan Mountains about twenty miles north of the Pinnacles National Monument in the Cienega Valley AVA (San Benito County).  Although it lies only twenty five miles east of the cold waters of the Monterey Bay, the coastal influence is dampened by the mountain topography and geology surrounding this site. The San Andreas fault runs through the property highlighting the convergence of two giant tectonic plates.  Granite and limestone are the dominant geologic influence here.  As these rocks eroded over the eons, they weathered into very deep sandy loam (Salinian granite) and clay loam (limestone) with plenty of fist-sized granite and limestone cobbles remaining. The rocky, nutrient poor soil forces the roots to grow deep in search of water and minerals.  These old vines ripen late and are extremely low-yielding, around 1 ton/acre annually.

Vinification & Elevage:  The grapes were picked by hand and clusters infected with noble rot were retained, about 1% botrytis. At the winery the grapes were given 24 hours of whole cluster maceration before being pressed, in order to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins. No sulfur was added to allow the juice to oxidize.  After a 36 hour cold settle in tank, the clean juice was racked off the solids to another tank for spontaneous fermentation. The wine was sulfured post completion of secondary fermentation with elevage in tank on fine lees. Racked off fine lees a month prior to bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. The only addition we ever use is sulfur.

Notes: Rich, intense, structured, and bone dry, this is the California equivalent to an Austrian Smaragd.

KICK ON VINEYARD RIESLING

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Type:  Dry white

Appellation: Santa Barbara County 

Site & Vines: Sits about ten miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the gently rolling hills of the Los Alamos Valley. It has a very similar orientation to the Sta. Rita Hills directly south, in that it is an offshoot of the transverse range that makes Santa Barbara County unique. Wind and fog come in uninhibited by any mountain range to keep temperatures moderate/cool throughout the spring and summer months.

The soils are comprised of mostly sand, via the wind, known as eolian sand. The block of Riesling Stirm works with sits on a stream terrace, so there is some clay and chirt cobbles at the lower elevations of the vineyard.

Vinification & Elevage:  The grapes were picked by hand and given 24 hours of whole cluster maceration to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins, followed by pressing the grapes.  No sulfur was added to allow the juice to oxidize.  After a 36 hour cold settle in tank, the clean juice was racked off the solids to another tank for spontaneous fermentation. The wine was sulfured post completion of secondary fermentation with elevage in tank on fine lees. Racked off the fine lees a month prior to bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. The only addition we ever use is sulfur.

Notes: This is a precise wine with laser like minerality and acidity. If the Wirz Riesling is the California equivalent of a Smaragd, Kick-On is the Federspiel - complex and textured but light on its feet. Bone dry.

KICK ON EøøLIAN RIESLING

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Type:  Dry white 

Appellation: Santa Barbara County

Site & Vines:  Kick On Ranch sits about ten miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the
gently rolling hills of the Los Alamos Valley. It has a very similar orientation to the Sta. Rita Hills directly south, in that it is an offshoot of the transverse range that makes Santa Barbara County unique. Wind and fog come in uninhibited by any mountain range to keep
temperatures moderate/cool throughout the spring and summer months.

The soils are comprised of mostly sand, via the wind, known as eolian sand. The block of Riesling Stirm works with sits on a stream terrace, so there is some clay and chirt cobbles at the lower elevations of the
vineyard.

Vinification & Elevage:  The grapes were picked by hand and clusters infected with noble rot were separated in the vineyard. At the winery the grapes were given twelve hours of whole cluster maceration to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins, followed by pressing the grapes.  No sulfur was added to allow the juice to oxidize slightly.  After a 36 hour cold settle in tank, the clean juice was racked off the solids to another tank for spontaneous fermentation.  The botrytis juice was pressed and vinified separately. The wine was sulfured post completion of primary fermentation with elevage in neutral barriques on fine lees.  Racked to tank two months prior to bottling, cold stabilized and filtered.

Notes: The time in barrel makes this bottling more unctuous and textured than the straight Kick-On. Yet the wine retains every bit of its vibrancy and focus.

Cienega Valley Old Vine Zinfandel

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Type: Dry red

Site & Vines: The old Wirz Vineyard was originally planted around 1900 to “mixed
blacks” as Pat Wirz, the longtime farmer/owner likes to call them. The mix is the typical field blend of vineyards in the Diablo range that
consist of Mataro, Carignan, Zinfandel, and the oddball Cabernet Pfeffer. However, in 1964, about 45 acres of white Riesling were planted. The San Andreas Fault runs through the vineyard, which sits at the base of the Eastern flank of the Gabilan Mountains. There are
several different soil types found here. The Riesling is mostly planted on deep granitic sand, and some is on the darker clay loam that’s weathered from limestone. Dry farmed, head trained, and organic.

Vinification & Elevage:  The grapes were picked by hand, sorted in the field. At the winery the grapes were hand sorted into a 1 ton fermenter, without de-stemming. About 5% of each Orange Muscat and Mission grapes were picked with the Zinfandel (field blend). Pumped over once daily, pressed after a 10 day fermentation. Elevage in old (10 years) barriques for 18 months. Racked to stainless just before bottling. Unfined, unfiltered.

Notes: This is a highly aromatic Zin, with intense bramble and floral notes - the Muscat truly makes its mark.


Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir


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Type:  Dry white 

Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains

Site & Vines:  Although this is an appellation wine, this Pinot Noir comes from a single vineyard in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Located at about 1000 ft. in elevation, this southeastern facing 2 acre block was planted in 1997, and has been farmed by us since 2016. It is dry- farmed, no-till, and organic, and is located in a canyon in the Glenwood area surrounded by second growth redwoods, bay trees, and coast live oaks. It is steep, about 30% slopes, and grown on sandy loam soils weathered from Lompico Sandstone.

Vinification & Elevage:  The grapes were picked by hand, sorted in the field. At the winery the grapes were hand sorted into a 1 ton fermenter, without destemming. Pumped over once daily, pressed after a 9 day fermentation. Elevage in old (10 years) puncheons for 18 months. Racked to stainless just before bottling. Unfined, unfiltered. Bottled February 19th, 2018. 70 cases

Notes:

Stirm 

California

http://www.stirmwine.com/

Organically farmed

“If you know of Ryan Stirm, you know him for Riesling. His single-vineyard renditions from Central Coast vineyards have put Stirm’s Rieslings among the brightest stars of German- and Austrian-inspired winemaking in the U.S., and his low-intervention approach to winemaking has endeared him to the natural wine community” – SF Chronicle, Dec. 31, 2017. Ryan cultivated his passion and skill working at renowned estates in California and Austria - Tyler and Grant Tatomer (Santa Barbara) and Weingut Tegernseerhof (Wachau). He farms all of his vineyards himself (with the exception of the historic Wirz vineyard), all of which are dry farmed and without chemicals. Harvest is always done by hand, fermentations are always native yeast, and all wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, with minimal to no sulphur.

In addition to Riesling, Ryan farms Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Santa Cruz mountains and is also concentrated on working with some of the state’s historic vineyards, such as the Enz and Wirz vineyards and historic or native grape varieties such as Mission, Pais and Rosa de Peru. His reds are all aged in old American redwood, which lends an old school character and elegant rusticity, making his wines unmistakably classically Californian. Ryan’s goal of keeping alcohol levels in check and highlighting the fruit’s natural acidity makes the wines incredibly food friendly and approachable.

All whites undergo a 24 hour cold settle before being racked off for spontaneous fermentation.

Los Chuchaquis

San Benito

Certified organic

LOS CHUCHAQUIS (choo-CHA- keyz) is a small subsidiary label of Stirm Wine Co. from Santa
Cruz, California.   

Label art & design by partners Cameron Forsley & J. Brandon Loberg.

THE VINEYARD

Originally planted in 1895, the Enz vineyard is located beneath the shadow of the Gabilan mountain range in Lime Kiln Valley, 23 miles south of San Juan Bautista where my parents were married and my grandfather Manuel Botelho farmed apple orchards.  The vineyard was originally planted predominantly to Iberian varietals: Mataro (Mouvèdre), Carignan, Mission, Palomino, & Orange Muscat (also, Cabernet Pfeffer & Zinfandel).  In 2016, Ryan Stirm farmed all 28 acres of vines.  There are no pesticides or herbicides used in the vineyard and since many of the vines are 90-120 years old, everything is completely dry-farmed.  Vines are planted in sand and decomposed granite.  Yields are generally under 1 ton per acre. 

THE WINES  

All of the wines were farmed, produced, & bottled by Stirm Wine Co. out of Santa Cruz, California.  There has never, nor will there ever be, any commercial yeast used at the winery.  Other than a minimal amount of s02 that was added to the rosé, the wines are 100% made exclusively from organically farmed grapes.  

Chuchaqui (choo-CHA-key) is a Quechua word I learned from my best friend Amanda that literally means "without legs".  In Ecuador, the word is colloquially used to refer to "he or she who is perpetually hungover".  Jehan and I met while both working for The Spanish Table in Berkeley.  We were a couple of Iberian wine geeks who dreamed of one day making a rosé in California from Iberian varietals.  Now we both work in varying levels of the same industry where we open wines from all over the world on a daily basis and often find ourselves "perpetually hungover" as an occupational hazard, or rather, chuchaqui for life.  

Santa Ynez Valley Albariño Ancestral

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Type: Dry white

Vinification & Elevage:  Fermented in tank, then re-fermented in bottle with small amount of riesling. Un-fined. Unfiltered.    

Notes: Looks and acts like a pet nat. Zesty, peachy, fizzy and refreshing. Dry

San Benito County "Tiburcio Vazquez" Old Vine Red

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Type: Dry red

Appellation: San Benito County

Site & Vines: A field blend of Mataro, Carignan, Mission, Cabernet Pfeffer, Zinfandel, Orange Muscat, Palomino and honestly probably a few other varietals that we haven't officially figured out yet (from 50-120 yr old vines). 

Vinification & Elevage:  Grapes were hand picked during the last two weeks of September and then co-fermented 100% whole cluster with their own yeasts during the first two weeks of October.  The wine has been in barrel since late October and most likely won't be bottled until early the following year.  

Notes: Old school California - big, brambly and spicy yet tannins are refined and alcohol is under 14%.