What's Cookin' on Wine with Michael Horn

01/25 KATIE GRASSINI, BRADLEY LONG, GRASSINI FAMILY VINEYARDS, DANIEL DAOU, DAOU VINEYARDS & WINERY

January 27, 201652 min
KATIE GRASSINI, CEO & BRADLEY LONG, WINEMAKER - GRASSINI FAMILY VINEYARDS The Grassini Family winery is as singular as the wines crafted inside. Borrowed and adapted from 17th century southern European approaches, the winery itself is embedded in a prominent hillside with the rear opening into spectacular wine caves. (The Romans stored their wine in catacombs, while the French used abandoned creyeres from which limestone had been excavated.) The caves ensure humidity and temperature control, while using a fraction of hydrocarbon or electrical energy sources. All the wood in the winery is reclaimed antique fir, having been milled from timbers discovered recently in the Columbia River. The timbers were used in the late 1800s to move materials downriver to lumberjack camps.  These same reclaimed timbers were used to build the handcrafted bar in our tasting room in the Wine Collection of El Paseo in the historic Presidio Neighborhood of downtown Santa Barbara. The entire winery and vineyard is solar powered and the water used for irrigation is from the estate’s well-fed lake.  Additionally, all water used in the wine production process is reclaimed and used to irrigate all of the landscaping surrounding the winery.  With a constant eye towards sustainability, both history and the future will be served. "Patience is a Necessary Ingredient of Genius." The vineyard management works tirelessly and closely with our winemaker to ensure that every vine in the vineyard gets the kind of personal attention that will allow each precious berry to ripen to perfection. High-density planting, vine crop reduction and hand-training and careful timing of the pick come together to produce the soft tannins and overall balance of the structure, vineyard acid levels, beautiful aromatics, and an elegant mouthfeel in the resulting wine. Each lot from the different vineyard blocks is then fermented separately in small batches to ensure proper fermentation temperatures. As in the vineyard, patience in the wine caves pays off. Both red and white wines are allowed to spend leisurely and generous amounts of time in barrel in order to mature and reach the sought-after balance. When all goes well, our wines accurately express the unique character of this special estate and those who work there. In the Cabernet-based wines, this approach results in the inherent power and richness of the Cabernet grape being balanced with the finesse and elegance that define its character. In the whites, all of this work is intended to capture the typical freshness and liveliness of the Sauvignon Blanc grape and balance it with concentration and depth. HAPPY CANYON – THE HEART OF SANTA YNEZ Northwest of Santa Barbara lies the 40-mile-wide Santa Ynez Valley. At the valley’s eastern edge is the appellation Happy Canyon, an area blessed with warm days and cool marine influences with few variations. Nestled on ridge and valley, as the quintessence of this rarified wine-growing region, is where you will discover Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery—a tranquil refuge where all the conditions necessary for great wine happily converge. The location is just inland enough so that a north-south mountain range blocks the Pacific coastal breezes, preventing them from cooling the canyons. While certain grape varieties need substantial warmth during the day to mature, all vines benefit greatly from respites provided by cool nights. The combination of the extreme temperature swings between day and night make Happy Canyon unique and ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes to optimum ripeness and quality. Some believe terroir makes the wine. When the Grassini Family decided to plant vines on the property the family had owned for decades, they called upon Jeff Newton and Larry Finkle, the talented creators of Coastal Vineyard Care, to help them realize their dream. The vineyard would be placed in the best, and most experienced, of hands. Ben Merz, the vine

Chat About 01/25 KATIE GRASSINI, BRADLEY LONG, GRASSINI FAMILY VINEYARDS, DANIEL DAOU, DAOU VINEYARDS & WINERY

For You