Stolpman – Snail prize
2434 Alamo Pintado Ave.
tel. (805) 688-0400
150 ac-180,000 bt
“Peter Stolpman, current owner of the winery, names their three main tenets as organic farming, sustainable employment, and lack of irrigation”
It was on their honeymoon when Marilyn Stolpman encouraged her new husband, Tom, to follow his dream of starting a vineyard. Their son, Peter, watched the vines grow up right beside him. He took over as managing partner in 2009, along with his wife, Jessica, both of whom have backgrounds in wine retail.
Clay topsoil covers three ridges of three-hundred foot deep limestone slabs. The focus is on Rhône varietals, but experiments with other grapes such as Trousseau and Poulsard have also been successful. Vines are irrigated for the first five years, then weaned for two years before becoming fully dry-farmed. Sustainability plays into employment practices as well: in addition to employing the team full time, vineyard manager, Ruben Solorzano, gives the crew complete control over a two acre block. The profits from this block’s wine are given to the crew as an annual bonus.
Stolpman’s wines tend towards the deep and rich. While the Roussanne 2017 (Everyday wine) evokes coconut husk and honeycomb, it pulls back on the reins enough to allow brighter flavors like pineapple and citrus. The La Cuadrilla 2016, made by the vineyard crew, is a full bodied, Syrah-dominated blend, with a nose of French toast and berries. Their flagship wine, the Estate Grown Syrah 2016, is made from foot-stomped Syrah grapes, natively fermented in concrete cubes. It has dark bass notes of purple plums, mocha, and eucalyptus.
FERTILIZERS green manure, manure
PLANT PROTECTION organic
WEED CONTROL mechanical, mowing
YEASTS spontaneous fermentation
GRAPES 100% estate-grown
Photo Credits @Stolpman