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Birichino Jurassic Park Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, Chenin Blanc 2016
Alex Krause and John Locke foundedBirichino in Santa Cruz in 2008. Drawing on a combined four decades making wine in California, France, Italy, and beyond. Sourcing from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned vineyards planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates. Their preference is for minimal intervention, most often favouring native fermentations, employing stainless steel or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible.
Planted in 1978, the age of this ungrafted Chenin vineyard qualifies it as "old" in Southern California. The vines are treated gently, and fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeasts, and keep it company through the winter. Each vintage shows a new dimension, a new potential expression of place, with botrytis occasionally making an appearance. Consistently small berries and clusters and low vigor soils lend depth, dimension, and structure to this noblest of varieties.
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