What's Cookin' on Wine with Michael Horn


February 9, 201652 min
TAYLOR HART - MARKETING MANAGER, BECKMEN VINEYARDS After graduating from CU Boulder with a Business Marketing degree in Spring 2012, I worked for Turanga Creek, an organic and biodynamic vineyard outside of Auckland, New Zealand. While working there, I fell in love with the wine industry. Upon returning to the United States, I worked with the Santa Barbara Vintners to promote Santa Barbara as a world class wine region. I then decided to narrow my focus from 120+ wineries to just one: Beckmen Vineyards, a biodynamic estate winery in Los Olivos, CA. ABOUT BECKMEN When you open a bottle of BECKMEN, you are opening a piece of our history. Good wine comes from good grape juice - that comes from good grapes, that comes from great plants, that grew on the right soil - all nurtured by the vision, passion and dreams of a family. FAMILY The Beckmen family established their Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1994. After years as leaders and pioneers in the electronic music business, Tom and Judy Beckmen, joined by their youngest son Steve, set out to make wines as well-crafted and distinctive as the keyboards and synthesizers that built their successful careers as founders of Roland Corp, US. Their search for a promising vineyard ended in 1994 when they discovered a 40 acre winery near the picturesque town of Los Olivos, CA. It was here, in the heart of the blossoming Santa Ynez Valley wine region, that the family laid down their roots and established Beckmen Vineyards. The Beckmens’ commitment to building a world class estate vineyard led them to purchase an unplanted 365 acre ranch in nearby Ballard Canyon. Named after the ranch to which it once belonged, Purisima Mountain Vineyard was established in 1996. Beckmen Vineyards’ wines are composed exclusively from the 150 acres of grapevine grown on these two vineyards, crafted with care in the original Los Olivos winery. SOIL Beckmen Vineyards consists of two separate vineyards with dramatically different soils and climates.  On the western side of Ballard Canyon lies our acclaimed, 365 acre, certified Biodynamic Purisima Mountain Vineyard. Comprised mostly of clay and clay loam, with varying amounts of gravel, the most unique aspect of this site is the limestone subsoil. Found in great Rhône regions like Côte Rôtie and Châteauneuf du Pape, the limestone soil limits vine vigor and produces smaller vines with lower yields and more intensely flavored fruit. With peaks reaching 1,250 feet, Purisima Mountain boasts 500 feet of elevation change with multiple exposures. The Winery Estate vineyard is 25 acres of rolling hills, situated in a wide valley just south of Los Olivos and two miles west of Ballard Canyon. The site is warmer than the Ballard Canyon property, due to its lower elevation and its location farther inland. PLANTS Each plant selection in our property brings its own unique character and quality to our wines. Tending vines from dormancy through harvest since 1994, the Beckmen family has learned a great deal about their two distinct vineyard properties. Over time they have discovered, acre by acre, the unique soil and microclimate that best hosts each grape varietal, ensuring every block in the vineyard consistently produces the highest quality fruit possible. The Winery Estate is mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah. The Purisima Mountain Vineyard is home to our white wine production including Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay, as well as our Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Counoise. GRAPES 20 years in pursuit of the ideal palette to achieve balanced flavor, structure, color, and complexity. When planting our first vines, the grape varieties were chosen through recommendations from accomplished peers and regional history. Over time, we’ve let experience be our guide in determining which grapes thrive best on our two vineyards. Over the last 20 years we have been in constant pursuit of th


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