This is my first Newsletter. Or call it a “blog.” I’ll, hopefully, find something interesting to say a few times a year so that I can keep in touch with you.
My 2016 releases are crafted from grapes that very naturally call Santa Barbara County home. I don’t typically make wine from single vineyards. I make what I call “Appellation Wines” that are focused on the AVAs from where the grapes are farmed. Certain grapes do better than others in specific AVAs and that’s what captures my attention – the microclimates and terroirs of various appellations.
My Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Happy Canyon AVA. My Chardonnay was born in the Santa Maria Valley AVA. My Pinot Noir is from the Santa Rita Hills AVA and my Syrah from Santa Barbara County AVA. I’m clearly Santa Barbara-centric these days.
I may start producing some blends in the future. I would call them my “246 blends.” I’m considered a “HWY 246” winemaker due to the fact that I work within many of the appellations and with specific vineyards along the Highway which runs east to west from Lompoc to Happy Canyon along California’s Central Coast. I drive Highway 246 every day and feel very in touch with all of the nuances and variations of this growing region, my growing region.
The farm-to-table movement really shouldn’t be considered a movement. It only makes common sense to know where your foods and wines are coming from. I have relationships with all of the growers that I work with and I’d like to believe that the people who follow my wines do so in part because of those relationships. I like to keep it very up close and personal.
My kids help me in the winery on occasion or, better said, when they’re not getting in my way. I hope to expose them to everything this world has to offer so that they make smart decisions in their lives.
I took my five year old son Buddy to Belgium and France this past summer. We saw the reenactment of the 19th century Battle of Waterloo on the original battlefield in Waterloo, Belgium. Buddy was mesmerized. My father, who lives in Belgium, and Buddy accompanied me to our cooperage, Francois Frères, in Burgundy, France. We tasted some great Burgundy wines. Buddy dipped his finger in my glass, the best way to introduce a child to wine. I think he liked it. He certainly slept well in the car on the way home.
Tasting! People should sample wines with every opportunity they have. Wines are complex. Wines are interesting. Wines are subjective. Everyone has their own taste. The more you explore wine, the more confident you’ll become about wines. Confidence comes with experience.
Please come and experience our wines at our recently opened tasting room. The Easy Street Wine Collective “softly” opened in May of 2016 at 90 Easy Street in the Industrial District of Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. If we have your name and email address on our mailing list, we’ll let you know the date of our Grand Opening later this summer. I hope that you’ll join us.