A Winemaker's Philosophy
I have been making wine since 1982. The first ten years felt like the decade of trying to find which end was up. The second ten years was the decade of trying to figure out which road to take.
After that I started to feel pretty good about my craft and the fact that this is who I am and what I do.
My only reservation in the third decade was that I constantly had these dreams about how mesmerizing the wines could be, only to have them come up a little bit short in reality. While I believe I made very good wines throughout this period, there was still this thing that the craftsman in me was chasing. Now, as I enter my fourth decade of winemaking, the most exciting thing is that the gap is narrowing. I feel as though my current wines are getting oh so close to what previously could have only been a figment of my imagination. Will I ever get it perfect? I almost hope not. But I do like the idea of pulling corks on wines that are like a dream come true. That’s when I will look at the words Optimum Quod Possum and really feel like everything is complete.
I suppose it's my right brain that has lured me into my current fascination with a sense of place in wine. Inspired by the phenomenon of terroir, I am now producing an ethereal collection of 'micro vineyard' Pinot Noirs. For access to these wines, I recommend joining our Terroir Extraordinaire Wine Club. Less than 500 cases of each wine are produced, and they tend to sell out quickly. Overall, there is an extreme prejudice for character throughout this portfolio. I usually try to throw a full-blown, barrel fermented Chardonnay or two into this lineup as well.
It’s my left brain that that tells me to stick to the classics. It’s this side of my winemaking persona that inspires me to produce Estate Grown versions of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chenin Blanc. These bottlings, along with a couple of Pinot Noirs that are geared for distribution can be found in Club Royale. Here you will also find a Pinot Noir that I make from organically grown grapes, called Psi Clone, as well a Cabernet Sauvignon "Block 15", and a Syrah "Upper Crust" from the two vineyards that I consider to be the best respective sources for these varieties in Santa Barbara County. Oh, I guess there is actually a second Syrah here as well. It’s really more of a right brain phenomenon called Identity Crisis, and it is my best attempt to make a white wine from this noble red grape.