Hi, my name is Brian, and I’m a winemaker. It’s been two days since I last crushed fruit.
Welcome to my blog! I was pleased that the gang at Wine Spectator asked me back--especially after reading my 2004 harvest blog. I’m also somewhat surprised that I agreed. While I enjoy looking back on the 2004 blog now and then, I also remember how much time it took to write it--during our busiest time of the year. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. But how could I resist this gigantic soapbox?
I think I’ll use the bandwidth to talk about winemaking issues that we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis at the winery. Since crush is going on, I think that is the natural thing to do. Hopefully, it will give you some perspective not only on what we do, but why we do it. There’s so much to discuss, including deciding when to pick fruit, the new ideas of what constitutes ripe fruit, adding water and/or acid, using enzymes, cold soaking, native versus inoculated fermentations, free run versus pressed juice, barrel selections and science versus religion in winemaking. I’m already itching to start typing!
Before we start going forward, I’d like to take a moment to look back. My sister, Kimberly, and I owe a huge debt of thanks to the people that came before us--the folks that helped pioneer Pinot Noir in California. I know that these people didn’t view themselves that way, nor do they necessarily now. They were just struggling to create wines that they were proud of, which is what all winemakers do each and every day. Nonetheless, what they accomplished allows us to live our dream.
People like Josh Jensen, Richard Graff, Joseph Swan, David Bruce and Richard Sanford showed that Pinot Noir could be grown successfully in California. Francis Mahoney’s work with clones helped chart the way for future plantings. Winemakers like Bruno D’Alfonso, Jim Clendenen, Merry Edwards and Burt Williams lifted the fruit to new heights. Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley created the setting where Pinot could be the star. And Adam and Dianna Lee and Ed Kurtzman helped create a new generation of bigger, bolder California Pinot Noir. Without the efforts of these and other forward-looking people, I’d still be sitting at a computer terminal writing software all day long. Kimberly and I can’t thank these people enough.
As the days of October play out, I’ll be musing on some of the aforementioned topics, and maybe throwing in some perspective of starting out in the wine biz as seen through the eyes of Mike Padrick, who’s making wine for the first time at our place this year. I’m sure some of the questions asked by you, the reader, may take us into uncharted waters--which is cool with me. I just hope we all enjoy the ride!
James Suckling — — October 4, 2006 5:41pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — October 4, 2006 6:27pm ET
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — October 4, 2006 7:59pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 4, 2006 8:38pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 4, 2006 8:54pm ET
Bruce Sanderson — New York — October 4, 2006 9:36pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 4, 2006 9:43pm ET
Kevin Flynn — Oakland, CA — October 4, 2006 11:26pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 1:58am ET
Filippo Recchi — Florence, Italy — October 5, 2006 4:19am ET
James Molesworth — October 5, 2006 9:19am ET
Larry Schaffer — Central Coast — October 5, 2006 10:34am ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — October 5, 2006 11:55am ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 1:40pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 1:43pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 2:42pm ET
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — October 5, 2006 2:54pm ET
Steven Gower — Sonoma, CA — October 5, 2006 4:12pm ET
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — October 5, 2006 4:42pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 8:00pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 8:34pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 9:27pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 5, 2006 10:09pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 6, 2006 1:39am ET
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — October 6, 2006 2:17am ET
Winston Walker — Texas — October 6, 2006 4:49am ET
Filippo Recchi — Florence, Italy — October 6, 2006 9:41am ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — October 6, 2006 1:28pm ET
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