2019 Folk Machine Valdiguié Redwood Valley
Region: Redwood Valley < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: CCOF-certified organic farming; 100+ year old vines; stainless steel fermentation; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added SO2; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Kenny Likitprakong
The Folk Machine label comes to us from Kenny Likitprakong and falls under the umbrella of his Hobo Wine Company, which also houses his other labels – Banyan, Camp and Ghostwriter. The name Hobo came from his experience traveling the country in his early 20’s, journaling and pursuing the life of an American hobo. He found that this character was something of a forgotten treasure in our country’s landscape and he makes wine to channel this ideal. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t own any vineyards, nor does he want to. All of Kenny’s projects were founded with a theme in mind, and Folk Machine is where he nestles his more esoteric bottlings, all extremely small production. Kenny is young and laid back, but he’s no slouch – the wines are clean, precise and distinctive. As well as super tasty and affordable.
Like this Valdiguié, about which Kenny has a lot to say: "We have been crushing Valdiguié for a long time now. Something about the variety and its uncertain California history have always intrigued me. The wine that we were originally producing was good, interesting and unique, but always more of a blender. Beginning in 2009, we started bottling Valdiguié as a single variety. I think we sort of figured out the grape and the vineyard and a style that we liked for the two. The Label was created by my long-time design accomplice, Landon Dowlen Each year we put a new camera on the label and they are all from a collection of working and not working cameras that Landon hordes."
As for how it tastes, well, you’d be forgiven for guessing a close cousin of Pinot...but you’d be wrong. Indigenous to France, this used to be so widely planted here in CA that it was called “Napa Gamay.” But DNA studies have revealed its true heritage as the delicate and heady aromatic grape of the French Alps, pronounced ‘Val-de-gay’. Kenny got his hands on some of this rare varietal a while back and worked it into his mix. Resulting in this aromatic, chillable red with bright, tart red berries, an herbal finesse and vibrant acidity that butts up agains an earthy edge, this wine is light and easy to drink, but far from simple.
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED