Birdhorse Wines, Verdelho 2022, Lodi Vista, CA
This Portuguese grape gives a complex nose with Meyer lemon, pineapple, kiwi, and honey. It’s Azores style, light bodied and zesty, with citrus and green apple on the palate.
APPELLATION (AVA): Contra Costa County
REGION: Central Coast
VINEYARD: Evina Vineyard
GRAPES: 100% Verdelho
SOIL: Sorrento silty clay loam
VINIFICATION: 2.5 out of 3 tons were direct-to-pressed to a stainless steel tank. Pumped over once a day for 10 minutes until fermentation kicked off in tank, at which time it was put down to barrel for fermentation. The juice was split between 2 neutral puncheons and 1 stainless drum and 3 neutral 225L barriques. Fermented for approximately 4 weeks at cellar temperature to finish primary fermentation, at which time SO2 was added to arrest malolactic fermentation The other .5 ton was destemmed into a very large, food-grade plastic bag in-laid in a macrobin (no SO2 added). The air was then squeezed out of the bag and the top of the bag was sealed completely with zip ties. The bag was moved out into the sun to allow fermentation to begin, and then left to its own devices for 2 weeks to complete fermentation (sealed the entire time). After 2 weeks the bag was drained to 1 neutral barrel and skins were pressed lightly, by hand, to get enough wine to fill the barrel. Barrel aged for 4 months, no racking or stirring. pH: 3.10, TA: 7.6
COLOR: Pale yellow
BODY: Light to medium bodied
PRIMARY AROMAS: flowers, herbs, preserved lemon, fresh laundry, kiwi
FLAVOR: citrus, green apple, flowers
FORMAT: 750 ml
SERVICE AND FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTION: Serve chilled. Serve with grilled white fish with a Meyer lemon and herb chutney.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: "Birdhorse represents a vision for the future of California winemaking, a vision anchored in a passion for diversification. We strive to showcase regions, varietals, and humans that have long had a presence in this industry but have yet to been celebrated by many of its constituents. We are driven by intellectual curiosity, transparency, science, and data, but most importantly an ardor for delicious wines and sharing them with the wider drinking public." (birdhorsewines.com)
ABOUT THE WINEMAKERS: Corinne Rich and Katie Rouse
“Corinne was born and raised in Sonoma County, California, to parents that had zero ties to the wine industry other than being passionate consumers. She went on to earn her B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and, after the world’s briefest stint in pharmaceutical research, she returned to her native northern California and dove head-first into wine production. She spent time working the harvest circuit across a variety of regions, including Sonoma, Willamette Valley, New Zealand, and Australia before returning to school for her M.S. in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis. There she met Katie Rouse and, well, the rest is history! The two worked a harvest in South Africa, got a wallop of inspiration, and returned home to start Birdhorse. When she’s not elbows-deep in a Birdhorse ferment, Corinne has a day job as the assistant winemaker at Scribe Winery in Sonoma.
“Katie did her undergrad at Whitman College, where her rampant enthusiasm for all things rock-related earned her a B.A. in Geology. Born of the grapes into a winemaking family in Rockbridge County, Virginia, Katie naturally gravitated back to winemaking while living in Sonoma, California where she was working in the the Napa/Sonoma Carneros for years. Whilst nerding out and earning her M.S. in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, she fell head-over-heels for Corinne, and is now thrilled to have found a partner in, well...everything! After working in South Africa, Burgundy, and most recently St. Helena, CA, Katie is the assistant winemaker at Bedrock Wine Co in Sonoma.” (birdhorsewines.com)
ABOUT THE VINEYARD: “Our Verdelho grapes reside in the town of Knightsen in Contra Costa County just 2 miles from the San Joaquin Delta. Warm days help bring out the golden, aromatic tones of this variety but cool winds from the Delta help diminish nighttime temperatures and preserve its brilliant acidity. Planted in 2002, the Evina Vineyard sits on Sorrento silty clay loam soils, farmed organically by grower Tom Morgan.”
ABOUT VERDELHO: Verdelho is one of Portugal’s noble grape varieties, most associated with the island of Madeira. It has high acidity and notes of gooseberry, pineapple, ginger, and melon.