Category Archives: Refining Winemaking

Corks: A Giant Leap Forward


With the debut of 2014 Grenache and 2014 Angeli, a bright white cork color denotes a revolution in perfecting quality. Every cork Stolpman now uses has been individually sniffed by acutely sensitive human technicians in Benicia, California. Out of 3,500,000 corks sniffed last year, only 3 returned corks snuck through with detectable amounts of TCA. A near perfect .999914%. A Huge Investment Up until now, Read More →

Marc Perrin: Roussanne Fanatic


Marc Perrin visited two wineries when he briefly came through California last week. On Saturday he met with Rajat Parr to walk the rows of our sister winery Domaine de la Cote. Sunday, Marc met us on the vineyard to learn more about our Roussanne techniques. Stolpman Roussanne Many winemakers laugh at us because of our obsession with Roussanne. Most admittedly obsessive, La Cuadrilla hand Read More →

2015 Rose – A Different Shade of Pink


I thought Sashi nailed the 2014 rose – super light and refreshing – firm, fresh strawberry fruit and racing acidity. The color was a pale peach, and at least once last spring, I did a double take thinking I poured Sauvignon Blanc rather than rose. To my surprise, Sashi approached the 2015 vintage with a deviation in mind. 30% of the fruit fermented for 21 Read More →

Welcome Back, Kyle Knapp


When we started to look for a talented winemaker to add to our team, I made one call. Kyle Knapp began his winemaking career in 2005 at Ballard Canyon neighbor Beckmen Vineyards. Beckmen’s Purisima Mountain Vineyard borders Stolpman and like our ranch, lies on Limestone soils. In 2006 Kyle embarked on an ambitious triple vintage first in Australia’s Flying Fish Winery Margaret River. Kyle returned Read More →

The Roller Coaster Ride that We Call Combe


When Rajat Parr convinced us to plant our first one acre block of Trousseau, I had no idea just how madly I would fall in love with the wines. Light, fun and perfect for fresh, flavorful food. And then the orders started flowing in. Upon tasting the newly fermented wines, the Rouge still in concrete and the Pet’Nat yet to be disgorged, Rajat hinted about Read More →

Concrete Post Press


Throughout California, low yields defined the 2015 vintage. Vines concentrated ripening energy on a few small clusters each. Intense wines will surely result. Tiny grapes translate to higher skin-to-juice ratio, more tannin. In short, 2015 presents the opportunity to create blockbuster wines, but to do so, the juice must be handled delicately. With potential for such strength, the wines’ profile might be dominated by robust, Read More →

The Whole Cluster Question


Taking advantage of our dry California conditions, we’ve recently pushed the envelope of whole cluster fermentation. Sashi has increased the percentage of stems each vintage beginning in 2011. Originals Syrah now ranges between 2/3 and ¾ stem inclusion and Ruben’s block remains 100%. Without rainfall and irrigation all summer, by the time we harvest, the stems are lignified to a yellow-brown. Instead of astringent green Read More →

The Sangiovese Scare


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 →

Because of Wine, I Walk the Line


With harvest finished, Grenache barreled, and the first rainfall since March penetrating into our Limestone; November gives us a chance to take stock of our recent journeys and give thanks for the amazing opportunities we have. R E C E N T  J O U R N I E S The past three vintages enabled phenomenal wine quality and Sashi pushed the envelope in ways Read More →

Roussanne Opulence in 2014


R E D  R E C A P No doubt the 2014 red vintage will go down as a supple, voluptuous one. Sashi and the team started picking Syrah early to retain acid and ensure alcohols didn’t get out of control. By the time we finished Syrah, the fruit tasted very ripe, and the cuvees now finished with primary fermentation smack of rich fruit. Cuadrilla Read More →