Tag Archives: La Cuadrilla

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 →

Planting Mourvedre Cuttings

Planting Mourvedre Cuttings The sight of tiny, neatly stacked bundles of cuttings taught us our first lesson about Enz Vineyard Mourvedre. The piles were much smaller than we expected. Ruben had asked vintner Russell Enz to give us vine cuttings containing five buds each. Upon examination, each tiny stick did contain five buds, but they were twice as compact as we are accustomed to seeing Read More →

Cuadrilla BBQ

We gathered in the shade of our famous oak tree the afternoon of Friday, October 30th. After taking the day off, all of our vineyard workers arrived with their families to enjoy a party held in their honor. Another year of hard work has passed, and meanwhile, our customers have purchased yet another vintage of La Cuadrilla. The Cuadrilla blend accounts for 10% of our Read More →

Para Maria de los Tecolotes

Para Maria Those who visit the vineyard catch only fleeting glimpses of Maria Solorzano. She zooms through the vineyard on her ATV inspecting blocks, occasionally jumping off to check in with La Cuadrilla members spread out on foot across the hillsides. As forewoman of Stolpman Vineyards, Maria executes all of Ruben’s viticultural ideas. While Ruben consults on other properties, Maria takes care of the home Read More →

Tacos + Mariachis – A La Cuadrilla Fiesta

The entire Stolpman Vineyards team spent the evening of May 30th enjoying the vineyard to celebrate La Cuadrilla. On the lawn under the magnificent Oak, we gathered to relax and take in the natural beauty of the vineyard. Of course, we enjoyed plenty of wine together, the fruit of our combined labor. The day prior, Ruben slaughtered a lamb to slow cook in a vat Read More →

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

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

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 →

La Cuadrilla + Limestone

  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 →

Gracias from La Cuadrilla

On Friday November 7th, we gathered under the oak tree for our annual Cuadrilla profit sharing party. It’s a day I look forward to all year. Early in the morning, Ruben and his chef buddies broke down a whole pig and slow cooked big hunks in the animal’s own fat. The smell of Carnitas wafted through the dormant vineyard. The crew members requested goat cooked Read More →