Tag Archives: Ballard Canyon

Nebbiolo, The ‘Tough’ Guy.

    Nebbiolo might be the toughest European vinifera grape for New World winemakers to craft. Attempts to make compelling expressions of the grape seldom result in wines with any resemblance to the Piedmontese greats. This didn’t stop Tom Stolpman from trying: Back in 1995, Dad took a stab at crafting a New World Barolo when he ambitiously (crazily) planted 10 acres of Nebbiolo. For 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 →

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 →

2016: The Tale of Two Vintages

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

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

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 →

Fresh Liveliness + Supple Texture = Wining Combination

Robust flavors and smooth, coating richness define the 2014 vintage. Warmer night time temperatures added richness and depth to bright, fresh fruit profiles. The pleasant, happy year in Ballard Canyon shows through to the wines. Representatives 2014 Estate Syrah and 2014 Estate Roussanne represent almost every exposure within in the hills of Stolpman Vineyards. Our 18 acres of Roussanne stretch over three different blocks and Read More →

The ‘dirt’ on Stolpman Wines

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 →

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 →