2020 Gearhead 'Ride the Funk' Pet’Nat
Region: Redwood Valley + Madera < California
Grapes: Grenache Blanc, Petite Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; fermented carbonically for 14 days, no treading or adding of Co2; hand-disgorged and bottled under crown cap with nothing added (zero-zero); 12% ABV; 40 cases
Winemaker: Craig West
Our buddy Noel of Purity turned us on to his buddy, Craig West, who makes wine at Noel’s Richmond facility for his upstart natural wine label, Gearhead. Craig was a fisherman and a baker for Acme Bread, but when he met Noel and started helping him with production, he decided that this was his calling and pivoted to wine. Now he makes tiny lots of wine from organic farming, all foot tread, many with carbonic maceration, and all sans added sulfur.
Craig is scrappy like most of the new natty crew in California, and searches high and low for organic fruit to purchase. For this wine, he sourced the Grenache Blanc from Love Ranch Vineyard in Madera, and pristine Petite Syrah from Redwood Valley, Mendocino, both farmed organically.
Once again, Craig kills it with this exotic neon pink juice that is dry and tart, with hibiscus and yellow peaches, and zippy acidity. He says, "this was funky out of the gate, so I let it rest for October through December, then checked in with it one day and it was Magic Ride The Funk!" We say it is pure joy in the glass, and that glass goes down real fast. Which is unfortunate, because Craig only made 40 cases, he allocated a mere 6 to us, and they'll all be gone in the blink of an eye...