Right idea. Right wine.
The owners of Paloma have started a second label, and it’s a move that makes sense.
The producers of what is arguably California’s preeminent Merlot realized that putting all their eggs in the Merlot basket had its risks.
Tonnage off Jim and Barbara’s Richards’ 16-acre Spring Mountain Vineyard is highly variable. One year they might make 2,500 cases, as they did with the 2001 vintage, but the next year the output might be only 1,400 cases.
Those kinds of production swings make it challenging to run a business, so in 2005 they decided to add a new line of wines.
“It was a business decision,” said Jim Richards.
The couple chose to buy Syrah from Hamilton Vineyard, a steep, well-manicured property in Healdsburg, in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley area.
It will be bottled under the Palomita (little dove) label. No price yet.
Syrah is a natural for the Richards, since they used to grow and produce a small amount of Syrah from their estate vineyard.
So they know the grape and the wine, and it’s something they're excited about.
In 2005, they produced about 10 barrels, which might yield 250 to 300 cases, and they’re making more this year.
Moreover, if this works the way they hope it will, the Richards will continue to explore other possibilities with other grapes.
“I’d like to make something interesting in the 250- to 300-case range,” said Jim. Their winery isn’t big enough to do more.
Here’s hoping there’s more good wine to come.