2022 Clairette Blanche
Nolan Ranch Vineyard
Alisos Canyon AVA
Santa Barbara County
The "Love Letters" Issue
Alc. 12% by vol.
Overall we saw a cool and moderate growing season, which ran until September. At the the beginning of September there was a tropical storm near Baja Mexico, and it created a heat/ humidity wave that stuck around for a week. This kept the temp and moisture up higher than normal. With Clairette being a Rhone varietal, we feel it helped weather the heat decently. Minimal damage was noticeable on the fruit and yields were super good. Being our first vintage, we can only wait to see what this varietal has in store.
The grapes were hand harvested at night and brought to the winery in the early morning of October 3rd. We dump the fruit into the bladder press and run the press cycle for 3 hours. The pressed juice is pumped directly to a steel tank and settles for two days. It is racked to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation. We let the juice naturally ferment over the course of 5-6 weeks. Around the three week mark, we consolidate the barrels and fill them up completely. From here we top every two weeks and let the wine evolve. The wine is then racked super clean to tank on Jan 29th, then bottled unfined and unfiltered on Jan 30th. We added minimal SO2 just prior to bottling to lock in the freshness.
Wet stones, slightly underripe tangerine, tea leaves, prickly
63 cases made
Minimal Intervention winemaking
About The Label:
While bottling one day, I noticed the wine cases stacked in this funny pattern. I thought, "Wow, this kind of looks like the Q*bert game from back in the day." So I Started with that idea, but as the design progressed, the pattern also had wooden children blocks style to them. Right away it reminded me of the only Pro Skateboarder that I share a birthday with, Jeff Grosso. One of his first Pro skateboards from the 80's was a cartoon doll playing with wood blocks that had his name on them. So that transitioned Q*bert to the kids block style and having the Clairette name sake on. Also there's a little heart on the blocks, which the doll on the Grosso board has as well. I've always been stoked on Grosso's skating, as well as a show he made on YouTube titled "Love Letters to Skateboarding". So when trying to come up with an issue name, made sense to give it the same name as Youtube show as a nod to both Grosso and skateboarding.