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Vineyards: Our first Red Wine blend was sourced from three unique vineyards in the North Coast AVA. The wine is crafted from Zinfandel from The Poor Ranch and Carigane from Bartolomei Brothers Vineyard, both in Mendocino. The third variety in the blend is Charbono coming from Frediani Vineyard in Calistoga. The Poor Ranch is an organically farmed vineyard located in the foothills east of the town of Hopland in Mendocino County. Our Carigane from Bartolomei comes from 70-80 year-old vines. Finally, the Charbono from Frediani is one of the few Charbono plantings left in California.
Winemaking: Each of the three components of the blend were fermented and aged separately until just before bottling. The Zinfandel was harvested in mid-September at 25 brix. It was more than a month later that the Charbono (on October 25) and Carignane (on November 4) were harvested. We utilized a blend of 20% new French and American oak barrels for aging.
Tasting Notes: Our Red Blend drew inspiration from grape varieties that have a long history in California. Zinfandel, Carignane and Charbono have all been characterized as both work horses and blend enhancers over the years. And while they make solid wines when standing alone, they really rock and roll when they are all jamming together. The Carignane is the soul of this blend, providing fruit, spice and soul to the wine. The Zinfandel’s red berry fruit and silky tannins keep things round and mellow. And the Charbono provide color and structure for depth and long-term aging.
45% Carignane, 38% Zinfandel, 17% Charbono
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It didn’t take long before we fell hard for Pinot Noir. We were living in San Francisco and Matt was working at Bacchus & Venus in Sausalito, right at the moment when the Sideways effect was propelling California Pinot Noir to new heights. After the drive home across the Golden Gate Bridge, he would usually arrive at our shoebox apartment with a leftover bottle or two from the day’s tastings. We would eat dinner and drink some incredible wines, and think about our future. Was it possible to one day make our own Pinot Noir?
Suddenly it was 2007 and we were engaged and driving a U-Haul to start a new life in Sonoma County. After an internship at Siduri, Matt began working at Vinify, a custom crush winery full of people who were living their winemaking dreams. It was an ambitious, contagious environment. The bug bit hard, and it was not long before we purchased our first ton of grapes.
Vaughn Duffy is now part of the boom of first-generation winemaking families in California. We feel lucky to be living in a time when hard work, creativity and a little help from your friends can trump the need for huge amounts of capital investment. Two kids who didn’t really know any better can now get their wine on the shelf next to the icons who inspired them to make wine in the first place. We invite you to be a part of the journey ahead.
All the best,
Matt Duffy & Sara Vaughn
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