Laurie Jervis: Veteran Feminine Winemakers Be part of Forces in Lompoc Wine Ghetto | Houses & Way of life

Editor’s Notice: With the change in possession of Buttonwood Farm Vineyard & Winery earlier this yr, longtime winemaker Karen Steinwachs wanted a brand new facility during which to craft her personal wine labels. Enter her colleague and pal Kathy Joseph, proprietor of Fiddlehead Cellars in Lompoc. For this classic, the duo — with many years of expertise — are sharing cellar area, strategies and lots of laughs. We observe these pioneering winemakers by way of the top of 2022.

Eighteen years have handed since Karen Steinwachs and Kathy Joseph made wine beneath the identical roof.

In 2004, when Steinwachs was comparatively new to the business, she labored as Joseph’s assistant winemaker “and head cellar rat,” she recalled.

When she took a break from her high-tech job in 2001, Steinwachs began on the backside rung of the wine business — doing the important heavy lifting and seemingly limitless cleansing required to make wine. After seven vintages, which included her stint at Fiddlehead, she was employed as winemaker at Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard in 2007, ultimately including basic supervisor to her title.

Kathy Joseph, owner/winemaker of Fiddlehead Cellars, pours a 2008 Fiddlehead Cellars sparkling wine to toast the first press run of the current vintage.
Click to view larger

Kathy Joseph, proprietor/winemaker of Fiddlehead Cellars, pours a 2008 Fiddlehead Cellars glowing wine to toast the primary press run of the present classic. (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk picture)

Alongside the best way, Steinwachs and her late husband, Dave, began making wine beneath their very own label, Seagrape Cellars, and collectively based Vintegrated Solutions, a Lompoc firm offering e-commerce, logistics, net design and warehouse area for the wine business.

As we speak, Seagrape Wine Co. contains two labels. Seagrape Cellars is known as for the seagrape tree (coccoloba uvifera) and reminds its house owners — Steinwachs and her fiancé, “Crabby” Steve Escobar — of their mutual winemaking roots and Karen’s time dwelling within the Caribbean. Le Pecheur (“The Fisherman”) represents Escobar’s day job as a industrial fisherman.

Steinwachs and Escobar are nearing completion of a house rework in Los Olivos and in recent times planted two small hillside vineyards behind the home. The grapes rising within the “property” vineyards be a part of their lineup of chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir sourced from vineyards within the Sta. Rita Hills.

I joined Joseph and Steinwachs at Fiddlehead Cellars midmorning on Sept. 6.

Joseph drove the forklift that hoisted the bins, and Steinwachs stood atop the press, able to shovel into the machine the 2 tons of sauvignon blanc grapes picked earlier that morning from La Presa Winery in Solvang — the primary grapes of the 2022 classic.

Matt Miller of Fiddlehead Cellars and Karen Steinwachs of Seagrape Wine Company, right, prepare to load sauvignon blanc grapes into the press at Fiddlehead Cellars.
Click to view larger

Matt Miller of Fiddlehead Cellars and Karen Steinwachs of Seagrape Wine Co., proper, put together to load sauvignon blanc grapes into the press at Fiddlehead Cellars. (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk picture)

After the press run, Joseph popped open a bottle of Fiddlehead Cellars’ glowing wine for a conventional “harvest kickoff” toast.

Whereas the extreme warmth over Labor Day weekend and past did hasten some grape picks, the bigger impact was an intensified, shorter harvest season. Suppose quick and livid: Picks that usually happen over two-plus months had been condensed right into a five-week span.

After that preliminary sauvignon blanc September crush, Steinwachs and Escobar went on to choose pinot gris from the Sta. Rita Hills, and from one in all their two vineyards within the Los Olivos District, their property syrah for Le Pecheur Rose.

Rising of their Joaquin’s Winery are syrah, chenin blanc, melon de Bourgogne and alicante bouschet grapes, Steinwachs mentioned. Their second web site, Jack’s Winery, grows sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc vines, however they’re simply two years outdated. In 2023, these vines are will attain their third leaf, making them harvest viable.

Within the fog early Sept. 27,  Steinwachs harvested from her longtime pinot noir supply, Hibbits Winery on the western fringe of the Sta. Rita Hills.

The grapes survived greater than 2 inches of rain from a storm on that stalled over the Lompoc Valley on Sept. 10-11. The subsequent day, she harvested chardonnay grapes from one other winery, additionally within the Sta. Rita Hills.

— Laurie Jervis tweets at @lauriejervis and will be reached by way of [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her personal.

Sauvignon blanc harvested from Solvang’s La Presa Vineyard gets pressed around late morning Sept. 6 at Fiddlehead Cellars in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. The grapes had been picked in the wee hours that morning.
Click to view larger

Sauvignon blanc harvested from Solvang’s La Presa Winery will get pressed round late morning Sept. 6 at Fiddlehead Cellars within the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. The grapes had been picked within the wee hours that morning. (Laurie Jervis / Noozhawk picture)



Source link

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.