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The Shop

The Shop

This is how The Shop got its name: Back in the ‘90’s, I worked in Carneros at a winery called Saintsbury. During that time I got to know two men named Brian Shepard and Tim Rodgers, who worked for a company called Walsh Vineyards Management. They, along with their company, farmed all the Saintsbury estate vineyards (excellently, I might add) and I made a pest of myself by asking questions and generally trying to pick their brains as much as possible in order to improve my understanding of those vineyards, and the wines that came from them. A few years later, Brian and Tim, (who have since bought the company), planted a small vineyard next to their vineyard equipment shop. The Shop, as it had long been called, is a hub of activity for both the managers and the field workers; you will often see dusty pickups come and go, tractors lined up in neat rows awaiting the next harvest, various devices that till the soil, mow down cover crops, and so forth, plus a vegetable garden where the field workers raise peppers, tomatoes, corn and sometimes even chickens, pigs and goats. Kind of a microcosm of good old honest work, or so it seemed to me. The vineyard comprises only about 3.5 acres, 3 of which are Pinot Noir. The other half acre is Gamay, grafted in the Spring of 2014 and just starting to produce. More about that elsewhere. The Shop lies on a gentle southwest facing slope just north of the Carneros Highway.

Since I had spent most of my career making Carneros Pinot Noir, once I set out on my own in 2001 I was eager to test the waters outside of the appellation. Since then, my work has taken me all over California and even down to Chile. But I couldn’t resist the down to earth charms of “The Shop” and the fact that my highly skilled but not glamorous friends were growing these grapes. So I struck a deal to buy the grapes, named the wine “The Shop” in honor of the place, and dedicated it to all that the shop embodies—the real work of growing winegrapes.

“The Shop” Carneros Pinot Noir



 

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