2021 Verdelho

2022 Verdelho

Wine Notes


Placer County, Sierra Foothills

Verdelho hails from the islands of Madeira, due west of Morocco, and was widely cultivated as early as the 1600’s. Its exact origin remains a mystery; it may have originated on Madeira itself. By 1872 Verdelho constituted two-thirds of the island’s vineyards. Originally, it was used to make Madeira’s famous sweet dessert wines along with the Bual, Malvasia, and Sercial varieties. In time, Verdelho became the most widely planted white variety within the DOC region. It was taken to the Azores, Australia, and Portugal and has been re-born in California as a zesty, layered and dry table wine.

Verdelho is one of a handful of white wine varieties that do well in warm macroclimates and can develop multilayered fruit profiles while retaining acidity. Verdelho has small, open clusters with petite, oval-shaped berries that yield good concentration. We have discovered such terroir in the Sierra foothills: Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard, near the small town of Loomis. The Sierra Nevada’s reminded the owners of the Montserrat Peaks just northwest of Barcelona. The red granite soils produce flavorful and complex wines. The block is less than 1 acre and is meticulously farmed by Raul Arechiga and managed by the affable Alice Jack. The trellis is a VSP which allows dappled sunlight to the fruit in conjunction with judicious leaf-pulling.

The weather in 2021 was semi-back to “normal” with 14” of rain in the Loomis area, normal being about 21”. Spring weather was good and berry set gave a “normal” crop. Summer weather was essentially warm with a few heat spikes. There was no rain at harvest, thus the season ended on a positive note.

Fermentation & Aging:
The grapes were harvested on August 6, 2021. The Brix was 28.5° with pH of 3.9 and total acid of 5.0g/L. The juice was fermented in stainless steel until about 1° Brix then transferred to neutral French oak barrels to finish fermentation and to receive sur lie contact for 4 months. The wine was bottled on Feb. 10, 2022.