May Focus - Syrah
Winery of the Week - Qupe
Syrah is a beautiful, lanky grape cluster with darkly-hued berries, used for both single-varietal red wines and blends. It is an easy-going grape, with its thick skins resistant to climatic conditions (heat, cold, moisture), but needs to be carefully farmed to produce the most intense grapes.
In addition to single varietal and blended wines, Syrah is often also used to make crisp and refreshing Rosés and richly decadent dessert wines. In its native France, Syrah is the basis for the great wines of the Northern Rhone (Hermitage, Cornas, Cote Rotie) and a key ingredient in the blends of the Southern Rhone (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone).
Here in Santa Barbara County, it grows extremely well in many of our different micro-climates. There are just over 1,300 acres of Syrah planted here. Cold climate Syrah from our more coastal regions tends to have white-pepper spicy characteristics, while vineyards in the warmer eastern areas produce wines with a fruit jam profile, and those in the mid-regions enjoy a bit of both!
Winery of the Week - Qupe
A modern Stone Age Winery!
Qupé Wine Cellars is located on the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, California. Qupé shares a production facility with Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat, and together they have a production and sales support staff. Jim Adelman is the General Manager and also shares winemaking duties. Once a year, during harvest, visiting winemakers and wine professionals with various backgrounds (many from different states and countries) in the wine business come to work with Bob Lindquist, founder of Qupé and Jim at the winery to share techniques and ideas.
Focusing on fruit grown in the Central Coast Appellation of California, Qupé produces Rhône varietals and Chardonnay. A majority of Qupé’s wines (about 50%) are made from grapes grown on the Bien Nacido Vineyard, where the Syrah and Chardonnay are planted and grown to Bob’s specifications. In addition to Bien Nacido, Qupé also farms (using organic practices) a 14 acre vineyard in Los Olivos named “Ibarra-Young Vineyard.” The balance of the Qupé wines are made from grapes grown at various vineyards in the Central Coast appellation of California. In 2005, Bob and his wife Louisa purchased an 80 acre vineyard site in the Edna Valley where they planted 40 acres of Rhone & Spanish varietals. This vineyard is being farmed using rigorous biodynamic methods and was Demeter Certified Biodynamic in 2009.
Principal varietals: Syrah
Winemaker: Bob Linquist
2963 Grand Avenue Suite B, Los Olivos
daily 11am - 5pm
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