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Category: Broken Leg

We are humbled and proud to be on this short list complied by Eric Asimov of inspiring vintners leading the California wine renaissance. And that is the Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah (The Recluse) block behind us!

….”A new wave of energetic California winemakers has helped to push stylistic boundaries while bringing more attention to older producers who had been considered behind the times or out of fashion. These newer producers have been shaped by the same worldwide diversity of wines as their audience. They have been inspired not just by Bordeaux and Burgundy, Napa Valley and a neighboring producer whose wines received 100-point scores. Instead, they’ve looked to the traditions of northeastern Italy and the Jura, of Galicia and Sicily, of the Rhône Valley, Slovenia and many other lesser-known regions that make this moment so exciting for wine lovers.Their aim is not to slavishly copy these wines, but to be loyal to their inspirations while reflecting their California origins.  Read the article here

Eric Asimov June 19, 2013
The Pour,  New York Times



Broken Leg Syrah after we picked it.


Lily tasting the grapes. She makes sure they are ripe.


Sorting the grapes. We did 50% whole cluster and 50% whole grape.


Lunch with 2000 pounds left to sort. We sorted roughly 144,000 pounds of fruit before the photo.


With 50% whole cluster, the first punch down was much easier with feet.

Having just finished The Science of Wine; From Vine to Glass by Jamie Goode, I am now wondering how one tests for Ketones. α,β-ionones are responsible for the smell of violets in wine. I wonder if the compound is present in our Broken Leg and thus responsible for the violet aromas.

Searching around online to learn more, I quickly found that you can purchase the compound from the Good Scents Company. While not interesting for me, I wonder if those that claim wine making is 90% science have considered adding aromas. (We claim that wine making is 90% art…)

On Friday, we spent an hour in the Broken Leg vineyard. It is an incredible place – as steep as Côte Rôtie with a similar climate. Côte Rôtie means roasted slope – it is about as far north as Syrah will ripen in France. (There is or will be some Syrah further north in the Beaujolais but that is another story.) Broken Leg is also a roasted slope. Very cool area but a pocket of warmth.

The vines look good. They have just barely begun to flower. We expect it to complete in the next few weeks. We are beginning to understand the vineyard – seems like it takes us about 3 years to really get it. This will be our third year and we are very excited.

We spent the day in Anderson Valley seeing Broken Leg and Hog Pen vineyards.

Hog Pen will become a great vineyard. Last year and hopefully this year, we will get upper Hog Pen. It is planted with a variety of Syrah clones. Much more exciting, we went and saw lower Hog Pen. This vineyard, planted with Merlot in 1995, is being grafted over with Syrah – 877 and 174 and will be ours for the next five years at least. It is located in Mendocino Ridge Appellation tucked near the top of a ridge.

Lower Hog Pen won’t produce fruit until next year. Upper hasn’t flowered yet.

The only downside, it is beyond the Prius’ reach. We were supposed to meet the grower at the end of the paved road. Due to the lack of cell phone coverage, we missed him. Wanting to see the vineyard, we ventured down the steep road with our little Prius. The Prius is great for vineyard visits – we often get 60 MPG on the road. We made it to the vineyard. It look great and we are very excited!

Only problem, the Prius didn’t have the traction to make it our of the vineyard. We got about halfway up the hill and no go – we started to spin. We had to be towed – oh well, all in a days work.

Next time, we will take photos…