East V West

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Still Sun v. Late Blustery Wind Throughout May, night time temperatures dip into the low forties. Well before 9am the fog burns off. Then, for a fleeting moment, mid-morning on the vineyard defines perfection: seventy degrees and an ocean breeze. Around noon that breeze whips into a fury – first in gusts and then filling in to become a wall of constant arctic invasion. On Read More →

History of Stolpman Sangiovese

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Tom Stolpman describes himself as an Italophile – he loves everything Italian, but especially, Italian wine. Tom’s passion served as the sole motivator to plant Italian varietals on our Ballard Canyon property in the mid ‘90s. He chose perhaps the two most heralded grapes from the top of the Boot – Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. While the cold nights and gale force winds of Ballard Canyon Read More →

The Sangiovese Scare

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Even before we bottled the inaugural 2013 vintage of Carbonic Sangiovese, rumors of Estate Sangiovese’s discontinuation spread throughout our mailing list. Over the past 15 years, Wine Club members have become fiercely devoted to the Estate bottling. Upon hearing my enthusiastic rantings about a new style of Sangiovese made to drink chilled, folks feared the hipster Carbonic bottling might eat into the Estate production. A Read More →

One isn’t Always the Loneliest Number – The Art of ‘Thinning’

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One Cluster per Shoot Thinning all of our Syrah to one cluster per shoot might be the most striking example of Stolpman’s dedication to quality at the sacrifice of quantity. Key to Dry Farming Ruben will not water any of our Syrah once the vines set grapes in mid-May. The vines’ fight through the summer will yield naturally concentrated, vibrant, and nuanced Syrah. Thankfully, Syrah Read More →

Omar Oliver – The New Kid & his Block

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We are now 3 years deep into our unprecedented Syrah experiment! Short white cylinders protect tightly spaced vines spanning up the steep hillside in perfectly straight lines. Each plant roots downward within two meters of 8 neighboring vines. Stacked on top of one another to force competition, the vines immediately penetrate limestone subsoil. In 2013 we started with 50 special Syrah cuttings. 49 grew, and Read More →

Ballard Canyon: Ruben Solorzano’s Wild Empire

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Beautiful Weeds In early spring the vineyard lies covered in an array of weeds speckled with bright mustard and purple lupine. La Cuadrilla moves through the chest high forest concentrating only on pruning. Ruben and the team take great pride in the wild appearance of the land. We leave the weeds and planted pea-shoot cover crop until the forecast indicates an end to winter rain. Read More →

Research Trip: The Young Minds of Paso Robles

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Today there are so many beautiful wineries dotting the hills of Paso Robles, it’s getting increasingly difficult to decide where to take the Stolpman staff on Central Coast research trips. So in between visiting Saxum and Epoch, we lunched with three young winemakers to learn about the new generation set to take over Paso. Aaron Jackson – Aaron Wines Aaron built his brand on Petite Read More →

Australia Dispatch No. 3: The Other Shiraz – Jamsheed and Timo Mayer

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Gary Mills and Timo Mayer aren’t making Shiraz to rebel against the Australian Establishment. They’re simply making the wines they love. Gary honed techniques alongside Paul Draper at Ridge. German Riesling winemaker Timo ignored the modern Australian winemaking movement when he moved Down Under in 1990. Both winemakers turn out complex, compelling Shiraz. J A M S H E E D Gary loves Granite soils Read More →

La Cuadrilla + Limestone

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  T H E  L A B E L by Kari Crist, the label’s creator & creative director of Stolpman Vineyards Champagne, Loire, Chablis, Ballard Canyon… What do these guys have in common? Limestone. The calcium rich soil that sky rockets ordinary Vitis Vinifera into rock star status. Limestone. The soil that directed Tom Stolpman to his family’s legacy on Ballard Canyon. Limestone. The only Read More →

Research Trip: Justin Smith of Saxum

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If we could only meet one winemaker in Paso Robles, it would have to be Justin Smith. Yes, there is Saxum’s allure: the waiting list and the 100 point score. But there is more to Saxum than the winery’s reputation – owner winemaker Justin Smith’s discoveries and innovations – and his willingness to share them – have shaped the methodologies of the Central Coast’s highest Read More →