A True Harvest Handshake

When we reflect on our journey, we are very proud of our diverse and nuanced wines. We continue to embrace challenges and are always open to trying new things. Over the years we’ve made wine with more grape varieties than we can remember, we’ve tried different winemaking styles and have worked with a community of diverse farmers on California’s long coastline.  

Our portfolio is uniquely eclectic, and our experimentation and curiosity is always met with your support. In fact, if we’re certain about one thing, it’s that we have the coolest and most open-minded customers!

 Each vintage we learn so many new things and make a ton of friends with unique talents and interests along the way. 

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We met Ben and Chelsey when they were in the process of building their brewery and cidery in Lincoln Heights more than two years ago. We immediately connected over our shared appreciation for old-world fermentation traditions to produce beer, cider and wine. We invited Ben and Chelsey  to our winery, and over a lunch of homemade Santa Maria BBQ we wondered … How can we combine our passions and share them with our friends? 

 This year we finally did - we swapped Pinot Noir grapes from our estate vineyard and Newtown Pippin apples from Benny Boy’s favorite orchard in Watsonville, CA. Together we created two unique co-ferments that let the fruit do all the talking (and natural yeasts do the fermenting). Enter ‘Chardonnapple’ and ‘Harvest Handshake!’

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‘Chardonnapple’ is young, fresh and zippy with natural bubbles. We co-ferment our estate grown Chardonnay with Newtown Pippin apple juice in a single stainless steel tank. Together, the sweet fruit  juices ferment slowly before they are bottled at the tail end of their primary fermentation to capture the carbonation in the bottle.

 Our winemaker, Aaron Walker describes “Chardonnapple”:  “fresh apple aromas jump out of the glass, backed with honeydew, lemon verbena and sea salt with a beautiful straw color. Dry, crisp and refreshing on the palate with flavors of fresh apple, lemon peels, crushed flowers, graphite and peaches.”

“Chardonnaple” is not our first foray in natural winemaking, but usually this style of wine is bottled under our sister label Neighborhood Winery.

Natural winemaking is ancient; these age-old fermentation techniques and the hand crafted equipment are what Ben and Chelsey find most exciting about their brewing and winemaking operation. When Ben ferments, he draws inspiration from the legendary craftsmen he’s met in travels from Belgium, UK and France. Ben has  learned to make beer and cider straight from the farm, without filtration, as natural as possible.

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