2014 Front Porch Farm White
Region: Sonoma < CA
Grapes: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices, loam and slate soil, fermented and aged in large oak barrels
Winemaker: Sebastian Pochan
Peter Buckley, a founding exec of Esprit, left the world of fashion to put the millions it earned him into eco-forward projects. He and his wife Mimi founded the nonprofit Center for Ecoliteracy, as well as the experimental Front Porch Farm. Cradled in a bend of the Russian River on the edge of east Healdsburg, the 110-acre organic farm has been producing obscure varieties of produce, grains and livestock since 2010. There are also 12 acres of vineyards, but most of the land is planted to flower meadows, vegetables, alfalfa, herbs, berries, experimental seedlings, and heritage grains such as ancient einkorn wheat, plus fruit, olive and nut orchards where chickens roam next to goats and pigs, contributing natural fertilizer to the grounds. Sebastian Pochan (previously the winemaker for Unti) is the new winemaker, and he brings his balanced, old-world style (he’s French) to the estate, toning down the more exuberant California-ness of the wines made by his predecessor. He makes only 4 wines, including this full-bodied and aromatic white Rhone blend. It’s bright and crisp, with unctuous floral and stone fruit notes, and enough weight to cut through light meats and creamy sauces. And a total deal for this quality.