Ryan Stirm is a true Riesling fanatic. His arguments for why Riesling works so well in California are hard to refute after tasting his wines. He started his winemaking career in the US, teaming up with the now legendary Justin Willett from Tyler and Lieu Dit. After four years, he ended up working in the Wachau, Austria where he fell further in love with Riesling as well as Grüner Veltliner.
His winemaking philosophy is quite simple: whole cluster press everything, allow for short periods of skin contact, avoid SO2 until fermentation has completed, let indigenous yeast do their jobs, and fine/filter as minimally as possible. The ultimate goal is to let the vineyards shine through.
This bottling, 88% Riesling from Wirz in Cienega Valley, 6% Chardonnay from Glenwood in the Santa Cruz Mtns, and 6% Scheurebe from C5 in Santa Ynez, is an easy-drinking, late summertime wine, perfect for hanging out on the porch, waiting for the sun to set. Dry, with notes of green apple and an intensely zippy minerality, with multitudes of white flowers on the nose.
The grapes were picked by hand over several passes between three different vineyards. At the winery, the grapes were given 24 hours of whole cluster maceration to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins (Riesling/Scheurebe) and direct press (Chardonnay). No sulfur was added to allow the juice to oxidize. After a 36-hour cold settle in tank, the clean juice was racked off the solids to other barrels for spontaneous fermentation. The wine was sulfured post completion of secondary fermentation with elévage in barrel on fine lees. Racked off fine lees a month prior to bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. 32 ppm free sulfur at bottling, Bottled June 5th, 2021. 340 cases produced.