Author Archives: Pete

Pete Stolpman has led Stolpman Vineyards since 2009 and has served as the President of Ballard Canyon Winegrowers Alliance since the AVA was approved in 2013. Prior to taking over the family operation, Pete worked in the wholesale side of the business at Henry Wine Group and the winemaking side in Barossa Valley and Chianti Classico.
Today, Pete focuses on experimentation in both the vineyard and winery. Pete believes his new own-rooted, high-density Syrah and Mourvedre vineyards will once again redefine the quality threshold at Stolpman.
Outside of the Stolpman label, Pete and Rajat Parr bottle estate grown Trousseau, Trousseau Pet’Nat, and Chenin Blanc under the Combe Label. Pete also partners with Ruben and Maria Solorzano to make fresh and lively wines called Para Maria.

The Joy of Magnums: Celebrate and Collect

The birth of our son, August James, brought home the fact that Stolpman Vineyards needs to produce more large-format bottles. Rather than wait for Auggie’s 2017 birth-year vintage, we will return to bottling magnums of the stunning 2016 vintage. The age-worthy wines that already last decades in 750mL, stay fresher longer in bigger bottles.  I look forward to Auggie trying his birth-year wines when he Read More →

Own Rooted Vines: The Risk

Today, Stolpman Vineyards stands at 41% own-rooted, with over 100,000 vines on their own European Vinifera roots. While this exposes us to the risk of phylloxera, we believe that Ballard Canyon’s arid climate, combined with our practice of withholding irrigation for six months every year, greatly reduces the likelihood that the bug could live and thrive in our vineyard. The root louse is much more Read More →

Heat & Wind

The beginning of May brought with it the first heat-wave of the year, with temperatures on the vineyard climbing above 90 degrees. The warmth and sunshine turbocharged the vines, with Sangiovese and Grenache both beginning to bloom. Potentially disastrous, the heatwave was followed by a storm. High winds were forecasted in front of the weather system. Because we are situated on Point Conception west of Read More →

Winter Rain and its Implications – Drought, Weeds and Sheep

A panelist at Rhone Ranger’s 2016 San Francisco Seminar said it best, “there is only one vintage in California, and that is Napa Cabernet.” One only needs to look back to 2011 to find a prime example. Sections of Napa Valley received 5 inches of rain during Cabernet harvest. That same storm brought less than .5 inches to the greater Santa Ynez Valley, yet California’s Read More →

Flow Theory: One with the Vine

Vineyard Manager Ruben Solorzano returned from his research trip to Burgundy brimming with excitement and new ideas. Ruben identified the major difference in approach between French vintners farming old, healthy vines versus those that routinely rip out mature vines due to lack of productivity: The former group fixates on the natural flow of the vine’s energy. Ruben immediately implemented Flow Theory technique into our younger Read More →

‘Love You Bunches’ – A whimsical label for a whimsical wine

  The story of our new Carbonic Sangiovese label goes back to August of 2016, when our friends Emily and Patton Penhallegon served the 2015 vintage at their beautiful wedding in Flathead Lake, Montana. Our mutual friend, Italian Wine Importer extraordinaire, Joanie Karapetian posted a photo of the Carbonic Sangiovese bottle. Under the bottle shot, framed by the Montana backdrop, she wrote “nothing says ‘I Read More →

Simon and Sirch Method: A Revolution in Pruning

Simon & Sirch Pruning Method from Stolpman Vineyards on Vimeo.   This January we were honored with a visit from “The Italian Pruning Guys”. The group travels the world teaching vintners the Simon and Sirch method of pruning. The method has been developed to extend vines’ lifespans. I was shocked to learn that the average vine lives less than 20 years in Europe.  Increasing a vines’ Read More →

2012 The Break Out Vintage

The stars aligned in 2012. After two cold vintages filled with extremes, Mother Nature mellowed and gave us a brilliantly even growing season. Artisans worked all summer fabricating our new concrete fermenters. The thick, naturally-insulating tanks enabled us to gently extract every delicate nuance from the happy grapes. In short, 2012 eschewed in a whole new chapter for Stolpman Vineyards. Today, as we taste the Read More →

Throwback to 2013

All harvest we obsess over the flavor and texture of the fruit on the vine. In the winery, we become all-consumed with fermentation temperatures and extraction management. For the next one, two, and even three years we systematically check in on each barrel, examining how the flavors integrate and settle. Once bottled, we live with the wines through release, writing tasting notes and popping corks Read More →

Defining the “Red Wine Drinker’s White”

In 2016, Roussanne clusters hung on the vine through October.  La Cuadrilla waited for the Roussanne to ripen for almost a month after finishing the red harvest.  The crew passed the time picking olives and taking down bird nets.  This delay explains a lot about the behavior of our Roussanne wines.  With the longest hang-time in Ballard Canyon, the extra month of maturation allows for Read More →