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Grower Visits & Six Cloves Updates

June and July are the bottling seasons in wine country. Six Cloves 2023 wines are getting ready to be bottled next month. Over a month ago, I presented a barrel sample of Castanon Vineyard at the Garagiste wine event in Sonoma. It tasted as good as 2022, and I can't wait to release the wine as soon as it becomes ready!

Summer vacation has already started in California, and grapes are growing fast and steadily this year. Before the growing season got underway, I visited growers whom I respect the most with my Japanese client Take-san from Jean-George Tokyo.

Exploring the Innovations of Steve Matthiasson: A Pioneer in Regenerative Viticulture

We met with Steve Matthiasson, who has generously shared Linda Vista’s Chardonnay since the 2018 vintage at Matthiasson's Winery in Oak Knoll, Napa. As a multitasking owner of respected growers, he graciously spared time for us. Steve is at the forefront of regenerative viticulture and imparts his wisdom at UC Davis' Viticulture and Enology Department. During our visit, he showcased his innovative practices, highlighting how he integrates native plants, insects, and animals to revitalize the sustainable environment at his Phoenix Vineyard.

After the vineyard tour, we had the opportunity to taste Matthiasson's wines with Steve one by one, and each of them genuinely reflected his passion and philosophy, which he has been dedicated to for many years. I am so lucky to make wines for Six Cloves from his vineyard, which is farmed by his passionate vineyard team!

As a bonus, I ran into two of my UC Davis classmates from the class of 2011 – Dan, who is a winemaker for Matthiasson, and Sam, who is a winemaker for Ash & Diamond and also makes wines with his dad, Daniel Barron, the founding winemaker of Silver Oak. It was a wonderful experience to have a mini-reunion with my classmates, who have grown into accomplished winemakers over the past 13 years!

Discover the Serenity of Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino County

We drove 100 miles north to Alder Springs Vineyard in Laytonville, Mendocino, to meet Stuart and his young assistant viticulturists, Matt and Dalton.

I’m fortunate to source 2021 vintage grapes from the magnificent vineyard, owned and farmed by Stuart Bewely since 1993. After selling the California Cooler brand in the mid-1980s, Stuart returned to his farming roots, studied viticulture, and visited famous European wine-grape growing areas. He began searching for the perfect site in California to produce high-quality, world-class grapes. He found a high elevation, a rugged former cattle ranch in a remote location in the far north of Mendocino County. The vineyard sits on a 6,000-acre property with 150-acre planting ranging from 1,700 feet to 2,700 feet, with 40 + grape varieties. Many esteemed, young, and upcoming winemakers have been sourcing grapes from him and producing world-class wines yearly.

As soon as we arrived, Stuart drove us through his entire 150-acre vineyard, which sits on a 6,000-acre property, in his vintage Toyota Land Cruiser. His vineyard is as massive and breathtaking as ever. While discussing with Stuart, I realized that Alder Springs' grapes' unique characteristics come from its location, surrounded by a deep pine forest. I was very pleased to confirm that Alder Springs' unique foresty and darker undertoned characteristics come from its terroir, which is so unique that we can't even compare it to other sites in California.

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