Tag Archives: Ballard Canyon Ava

The Ballard Canyon Bottle: Syrah Identity for the Syrah Territory


Ballard Canyon, the only American Viticultural Area dedicated to Syrah, now has its own custom bottle. The words BALLARD CANYON encircle the shoulder of the glass, with the letters raised above the surface. Only Syrah will be put in this new bottle, honing Ballard Canyon’s identity for the varietal, which accounts for over half of the planted acreage in the AVA. The Ballard Canyon Winegrowers’ Read More →

Spice will turn America to Syrah


The Best Article on Stolpman Ever On February 5th, Author Evan Dawson published perhaps the most spot-on article about Stolpman Vineyards written in our 24 year history. He interviewed Sashi and I for the story and ended up taking the angle that the extremely high prices of Cote Rotie and Hermitage will lead wine connoisseurs to drink Stolpman. I can’t pop $120-$380 bottles of Cote Read More →

Clay vs The Drought


Tom Stolpman’s singular obsession with noble limestone permeates every discussion of our wines. He purchased our vineyard land only once he discovered it lies on a 300 foot deep slab of the white, porous rock. Because we are so proud of Limestone’s mineral, high acid effect on the wines, we seldom discuss the thin layer of dirt above. Our clay topsoil is light gray when Read More →

The Indifference of Roussanne


We still can’t quite believe how early our red wine harvest came this year. We finished picking on Wednesday morning, October 16. We are now barreling down those last Grenache lots. Harvest came so fast in fact, that Ruben and La Cuadrilla had to frantically pick Sangiovese because the Grenache was already ripe and ready to be harvested on the heels of the Sangio. In Read More →

Tough Job – Staff Meetings: First Taste of our 2011 Vintage


Prior to our April 1 Release, the entire tasting room staff sat down with me to taste through the newly bottled wines. Sashi and John usually join us for these mandatory – tough job – staff meetings, but they were both in France on a research trip – yes, even tougher jobs. 2012 Rose: The Grenache (60%) portion of this wine was peachy in color Read More →

Ballard Canyon AVA just days away… How it Came to Be

Ballard AVA map 2.2011

It seems like yesterday, a bunch of us huddled around a map outside of Michael Larner’s barn to discuss boundary lines with Wes Hagen. Attendees Keith Sarloos, Jeff Newton, Steve Beckmen, Roger Harrison, John Falcone (Rusack), and Matt Dees (Jonata) had recently agreed to hire Wes to put together a petition for the Ballard Canyon AVA. I was so immersed in the map; I didn’t Read More →