Category Archives: Vineyard Revolution

Defining the “Red Wine Drinker’s White”

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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 →

2016: The Tale of Two Vintages

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In early September, the 2016 Santa Barbara County vintage appeared to be a moderate one.  The grapes picked then will turn into bright, fresh wines with high acids.  Then, a moderate offshore heat-spike hit the weekend of September 17, followed by a slightly more pronounced heat-spike the very next weekend. The vintage can now be clearly divided in half: grapes harvested before heat (BH) and Read More →

New Fermenting Methodology in 2016

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Harvesting Based on Taste We spend much of our days walking the vineyard rows, constantly tasting grapes. West faces, east faces, hilltops – each side of the vine – and grapes from varying positions on clusters; all examined. We taste the sweetness and flavor profile, paying close attention to the softening texture of the skins and seeds – both will define the tannin structure of Read More →

2016 Vintage Update: Diving In

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Across Santa Barbara County, the cold nights and moderate day time highs have resulted in phenolic and sugar ripeness at high acid levels. The resulting wines should be bright and vervy, and, age-able for decades. September 7th marked the first Syrah harvest night at Stolpman. We kicked off with the crown of Ruben’s block and some own-rooted high-density Syrah destined for the Estate bottling. By Read More →

High Density Saga pt.1 – Weeding

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The head-pruned high-density saga This growing season we face the practical challenges of farming 11 acres of newly-planted high-density head-pruned vines.  In previous years, only Ruben’s Block, totaling 6,000 vines, was planted in this fashion.  Throughout the winter and early spring, we added another 66,000 babies.  The vines are planted at 3×2.5 foot spacing to increase root competition.  Each small vine will produce only 2-3 Read More →

Carbonic Sangiovese and the Growing Niche for Chilled Reds

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Our Chilled Red Wine Program Carbonic Sangiovese stirs up a bit of controversy.  When presented as a cold, more substantial alternative to Rose, people often fall in love with the cherry fruit purity and light, refreshing finish.  When people pop the cork expecting a rich, coating, more traditional California red – especially if the bottle is at summertime room temperature – reactions become mixed, often Read More →

The ‘dirt’ on Stolpman Wines

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Naturally adding to the diversity & complexity of our wine making program, Join us as we get dirty with the different soil profiles of the Stolpman property.  Limestone, Clay, Shale & Sand. LIMESTONE Limestone  :  Our founder Tom Stolpman searched the Central Coast for this glorious white rock. Coupled with cold nights, the Limestone bedrock defines the brightness and balance of Stolpman Vineyards wines. Our Ballard Canyon Limestone Read More →

Dry Farming: Pushing the Limits

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By forcing our vines to ripen grapes without irrigation, Stolpman Vineyards achieves naturally concentrated, vibrant flavors. Our dry farming technique might be the most important element of our viticultural methodology. In the 2012-2014 drought years, we reverted to Michel Roland’s definition of dry farming: no vines are irrigated after fruit set when tiny grapes appear. Without rainfall in Santa Barbara County from April through harvest, Read More →

Flowering: Fingers Crossed

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The vineyard is alive with 2016 growth and finger’s crossed, moderate weather will prevail through spring. The early, fragile stages of growth are the riskiest of the year. On the Central Coast, climactic events early in the season often define the vintage profile more profoundly than harvest-time heat spikes and storms. Hoping for Better Luck It’s easy to suspect California’s well-publicized drought as the culprit Read More →

Marc Perrin: Roussanne Fanatic

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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 →