a brief stay at Newton vineyards I departed in 1993
to represent a French cooperage.
Although I regretted leaving my true love, making wine,
I welcomed the passport to numerous wine regions of
the U.S., and ultimately the goal of making my own wine.
In 1994 I had spare time during harvest and I worked
for an Oregon producer coordinating the picking and
production of Pinot Noir. Despite my involvement in
making beautiful wines I decided I could not trust the
fickle mistress we call Pinot, perhaps a more sturdy
wine, less feminine, more reliable was what I sought.
A tomboy of Pinot.
the winter I toured through the Rhône using my
cooperage connection and visited Chave, Rostaing, Voge,
and Beaucastel. It was then I became enlightened and
found Syrah. Oddly enough, Syrah is one of the few feminine
varieties, in French "la Syrah". I have been known to
describe my wines as a ballerina who has taken up kick-boxing,
the tom-boy who doesn't mind getting a bit grubby, earthy,
grounded, but is attractive, pretty, and alluring in
expression. The Syrah grape has enlightened me to the
versatile yet unpredictable facets of the resulting
wine. Syrah also has a remarkable ability to adapt from the cool climate of Sonoma Coast and Santa Barbara
to the heat of a dry farmed vineyard in Calistoga. All
the wines have a unique and desirable expression of
Syrah from each site. Thus, many (but not all) of my
wines are single vineyard designated.