Tag Archives: Syrah

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 →

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 →

2008 Stolpman Horizontal Collection

2008 Vintage The extremes of 2008 are written across the wines. Spring frost burnt our newly budded crop for the first time in the vineyards’ history. The April cold snap reduced the crop load dramatically, meaning each vine would concentrate its energy on only a few clusters. Then in mid-June, unprecedented weather stuck again in the form of an early heat wave. Temperatures soared to Read More →

Ruben & his Legacy Project

For the past 27 years Ruben Solorzano has soaked up every drop of knowledge from his mentors. He first turned to his older brother Marcos for guidance, and through the 1990s, Jeff Newton took Ruben under his wing. Then Sashi Moorman and Alberto Antonini came on the scene in 2001, and a few years later, Michel Rolland began consultations. Today Ruben stays in regular contact Read More →

HECHO POR RUBEN – Made by Ruben

In order to further understand the consequence of each plow, snip, and touch he takes among the vines, Ruben decided to make wine. Over the past 15 years, Ruben’s intensive interaction with Sashi has enlightened him to barely distinguishable consequences of timing and care in each of the Stolpman Vineyards micro blocks. In order to branch out and learn anew, Ruben purchased fruit from some Read More →

Jumping off into Generation 4

  The project started in January of 2013 with only 50 special Syrah cuttings. As we prepare the steep hills for planting the fourth generation of vines, the extent of the project is now plainly visible. An army of metal stakes, orderly spaced at 3 x 2.5 foot intervals, covers the entire ridgeline, 15,000 strong. In the evening sun, the metal reflects a gleaming white. Read More →

A Light Harvest Finished Early

2015 Vineyard As Cuadrilla selects the last golden clusters of Roussanne, we officially conclude the 2015 harvest prior to October 1st. Two weeks earlier than ever before, and finishing at extremely low yields, 2015 wine will carry a pronounced vintage stamp. The lighter yields gave La Cuadrilla the opportunity to pick each block across the vineyard at optimal ripeness. Instead of prioritizing our favorite blocks, 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 →