9000 Hwy. 128
Philo, CA 95466
7 ac – 36,000 bt
Jason Drew and his wife Molly purchased a 25 acre apple farm on the extreme Mendocino Coast in 2004 with the hopes of carving out a little piece of California to interpret into wine.
Drew studied Agroecology and Environmental Studies at UCSC and enology at the graduate level at the University of South Australia and has worked at prestigious wineries all around California since the early 1990s. Upon returning stateside the Drews moved to the remote coastal forest and in 2005 began construction on their new winery now home to a menagerie of sheep, chickens, horses, cats, and dogs.
The Drew winery is high up in Mendocino Ridge, an appellation that requires a minimum altitude of 1,200 ft. A mere three miles from the Pacific Ocean, the property sits above the fogline, allowing for both a cool growing environment and enough sunlight for the grapes to ripen; here veraison doesn’t take place until September, allowing for an extremely long growing season. The estate vineyard is planted on an ancient seabed and is home to a range of Pinot Noir clones, a small experimental block of mixed whites, all farmed meticulously accordingly to biodynamic principles.
With a panoply of spices from the Indian kitchen the Viognier Valenti 2016 shows a luxurious mouthfeel reigned in by an impressively taut and integrated streak of acidity. Though offering developed blackberries and plums, the dignified Estate Field Selections Pinot Noir instead exalts in its diaphanous layers of cured meat and baking spices. Black cherries, ripe berries, and black olives are enhanced by strong mentholated notes of eucalyptus and bay leaf in the Syrah Valenti Ranch 2016 (Great Wine), whose dense core of complex and developed fruit is illuminated with the floral addition of Viognier and tamed by a firm tannin.
PLANT PROTECTION copper and sulphur
WEED CONTROL mechanical, mowing
YEASTS spontaneous fermentation
GRAPES purchase 43%
Images via www.drewwines.com