USNW Classification: Natural, Piquette
Varietal & Type: Carignan and Riesling pomace, Ume, Hibiscus (Contra Costa County, Arroyo Seco)
"Piquette! An old school wine cooler of sorts, this is a low alcohol wine made from re-hydrating pressed grape pomace. Piquette was traditionally enjoyed as a mid-day thirst quencher on the farm. In order to take piquette from the farm to the market in a shelf-stable form, we had to bring some natural sources of acidity to the cuvee. Enter ume - which is technically an unripe apricot - and hibiscus, two of our favorite sources of sour. Our friends at Tsubaki (Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA) introduced us to Nicholas Family Farms, who grow ume in the Central Valley. Our friends at Masienda (Los Angeles, CA) turned us on to the incredible heirloom hibiscus they source from several farms on the Oaxacan coast. Born of collaborative sourcing, recycled grape pomace, and home kitchen experimentation, Free Your Mind Lite is a product of the spirit of Los Angeles."
Ume was harvested the week of April 24 and preserved with rock candy sugar. Carignan and Riesling pomace
were vinified separately and hydrated with sterile, carbon-filtered winery water. Ume preserves were blended evenly into the fermentors. Pomace fermentations were punched-down twice daily and pressed to tan (blended together) after 7 days.Hibiscus was brewed to a maximum concentration with boiled distilled water, cooled, and blended into the piquette tank along with 30 ppm sulfur (KMBS). On October 23, the
piquette was racked, blended with a small amount of frozen Riesling juice, and bottled under crown cap. No additional sulfur was added at bottling and the bottles were cellar conditioned for 5 months.
Site & Farming Practices
Sandy Lane Vineyard is located in Antioch, CA between Mt. Diablo and the Sacramento River Delta. Gary Gonsalves farms a few acres of 120-140 year old head-trained vines adjacent to the famed Evangelho Vineyard. The Vineyard is interplanted to Carignan, Mataro, and Zinfandel. These muscular own-rooted vines
strike an iconic silhouette atop 40 feet of pure sand soil and scattered PG&E electrical towers placed under eminent domain. Rugged, scaly, hot, and impossibly sandy - this is a bonafide California terroir. Sandy Lane Vineyard With over 100 years of practice, these vines know how to do their job without much help. Sulfur dust is applied regularly to address mildew pressure. Deficit irrigation is maintained with overhead sprinklers when needed under extreme drought pressure. Deep, pure sand precludes the need for a weed management program. No pre-emergent herbicides or insecticides are used.
Zabala Vineyard Luis Zabala, a 10th generation California farmer (!) tends to over 1,000 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, and Syrah first planted in the 1970s in the dry riverbed of Arroyo Seco (Monterey County). The vineyard is famously windy and cool, which helps retain acidity and
temper sugar accumulation. Alluvial soils are heavily studded with all sizes of round river stones. Zabala Vineyard is a Lodi Rules certified sustainable vineyard that was certified organic in 2010 by the Monterey County Certified Organic Program (MCCO) and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
About the Winemaker
Wonderwerk (House of Fermentation) is Issamu Kamide and Andrew Lardy, two high school friends from Virginia seeking new directions in fermentation. We live in LA (Echo Park!) and make supernatural wines from all over California. We produce and bottle with our own hands and feet. We ride the wavelength from low-intervention to high-innovation, making collaborative ideas come to life in funky new ways. Wonderwerk began as a long night on a disco dancefloor (Despacio!) wound down and we didn’t want the party to end. Now, it’s flowed from there into the wines you see and drink today. Come along for the ride fam, bring your dancing shoes and an open mind, we promise we won’t disappoint.