2016 Old World Winery Early Harvest Sparkling Abouriou
Region: Sonoma < California
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming, dry-farmed; 120 year-old vineyard on iron-rich volcanic soil; made in the ColFondo style, the ancient way of making Prosecco; two days of skin contact provides the color, then two years in barrel, sur lies, to age the base wine. Then fresh juice from the current vintage and bottled right after refermentation then spends a year in bottle; un-disgorged, with zero added SO2; 12% ABV; 100 cases
Winemaker: Darek Trowbridge
Sparkling red, Lambrusco-style, from Darek Trowbridge, one of the OG Cali natural winemakers! Darek has been making low-intervention wine in Sonoma for 20 years, way before it was a thing. In fact, he named his winery ‘Old World’, because he’s all about a return to the old-world methods of his grandfather Lino Martinelli (of Martinelli wine/cider fame), who started making wine in the early 1900s, with no technology or chemicals. Derek adds nothing to the wine except a minimal amount of protective sulfur before bottling. He has no press, just his feet (and the feet of his friends who respond to his cattle call for help) to stomp the grapes. He uses no temperature control or additives of any kind, including sulfur.
This is his sparkling red made from old-vine Arbouriou (an obscure French grape, and the only known planting in the US) that he picks early for freshness and acidity and ferments it ColFondo style, the Italian ancestral method for making sparkling wine. And it drinks very similarly to an Italian Lambrusco - refreshingly bone dry, high-acid, with inky black fruit, tart rhubarb and under-ripe strawberry that cuts through fat and salt like a knife. In our opinion, Darek is one of California’s top winemakers – and perhaps the best kept secret in the state. And he's a passionate pioneer in the realm of biodynamic and regenerative farming. He embodies everything we love to support at Rock Juice -- and his juice is damn good. Win.