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Region: Santa Ynez Valley < CA
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: biodynamic farming, loam and slate soil; whole-cluster pressed then fermented and aged in tank; <20ppm sulfur
Winemaker: Sashi Moorman
Peter and Jessica Stolpman practice not only clean farming and winemaking, but also employ what might be the most progressive fair trade policies in the US wine business. Their vineyard team is employed year-round (instead of seasonally, as with most wine operations), earn true living wages and a share of the profits. The vineyards have been organic and dry farmed since day one, so the soils have never seen pesticides. It shows the ripe yellow peach and flowers typical of Viognier, yet remains clean and light, with none of the oak heaviness from which many Viogners suffer. At first it’s all minerality and a slightly crunchy texture, but then it opens to reveal round, pretty stone fruit, orange blossom and tangerine flavors.