2020 Southold Farm & Cellar White Blend 'Don't Forget to Soar'
Region: Texas High Plains < Texas
Grapes: Roussanne, Grüner Veltliner
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming;vineyards on iron rich sandy loam soils 3000 foot elevation; grapes were picked and fermented separately. Both lots were fermented in concrete eggs and spent primary and secondary fermentation in concrete before being racked and blended in one stainless steel tank prior to bottling; bottled without fining or filtering with <20ppm So2; 11.7% ABV; 557 cases
Winemaker: Carey Meador
Southold Farm + Cellar is a winery and vineyard that started on the North Fork of Long Island and after a long and arduous battle with local officials over expansion plans, now exists in Gillespie County, Texas. The new property consists of 62 acres, 30 acres of which are fairly steep limestone hillsides. Southold’s move from New York to Texas means the climates and varieties have changed, but his stylistic approach and cellar practices have not from the New York days. Here, Texas-native Meador is helping to take the state's wine industry to the next level with his low-intervention approach and focus on freshness and acidity. In Texas, that means harvesting way earlier than most producers do. He also differs from his Texas brethren by using native yeasts for fermentation and aging in vessels that don’t impart flavor (stainless steel, concrete, or neutral oak) to let the fruit express its own natural character. He says his first goal is to make delicious wine. “But I want to be transparent about my process and do as little as possible, to let the vineyard make the wine. Wine, at its pinnacle, is something that should capture a time and place. So, for me to get in the way of that by pushing ripeness, acidifying, adding water, and further manipulating the wine . . . only obscures it.” Amen to that!
This pretty white blend is textural, with apple, pear and a pinch of honeysuckle and a dash of salinity. If you're in Texas you might drink it ice cold on a hot November day, but here in NorCal this feels like the perfect wine for cool days, to drink not icy cold but cool, for a cheeseboard to start, or with a veggie-forward dinner. As you explain to your guests about the first natural wine from Texas they're about to enjoy. So it is not only a lovely wine but excellent conversation starter that makes the host look very savvy.