Get the Dirt about Ann Albert Wines

22 May

AnnAlbert21. What was your first vintage year? 2015

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 150

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No. But appointments can be made via email:

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? I started working in tasting rooms and then caught the winemaking bug. I’ve been working at Talley Vineyards for the past 11 years, and am currently the Winemaker at Talley Vineyards in addition to Ann Albert.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Raveneau Les Clos Grand Cru Chablis.

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Currently we are only working with chardonnay. In my mind, chardonnay is the greatest expression of wine. It has the ability to be made in so many different styles and within each style there is greatness. The levels of complexities and depth that great chardonnay displays is love at first sight.

AnnAlbert-17. What vineyards do you source from? Why? We source from two vineyards: Bien Nacido in Santa Maria Valley and Zotovich in Sta. Rita Hills. We chose Bien Nacido because of the historic nature of the vineyard, and our long standing love for Bien Nacido. Being able to work with vines that were planted in 1971 is insanely cool. The flavors that come from the old vines are very unique to that site and we feel honored to work with it. We chose Zotovich because of the style of chardonnays that have come from that vineyard in the past. To me, Zotovich can make chardonnay in that Chablis style that we are going for. The sandy soils add great freshness and textured minerality that we just don’t see in other vineyards.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? All of our chardonnays are produced in 100% neutral oak barrels. We are aiming to make wine in a more Chablis style and throwing oak at it would muddle the vineyards’ pure expression.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Hands down the cool ocean influence.

10. What’s the story behind your name/label? Ann Albert is a combination of our middle names: Cait Ann Chapman and Eric Albert Johnson.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? It’s even more expensive than I thought.

12. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries?Honestly, I think it gives us more freedom to do what we truly want to do. Sometimes when you’re making larger volumes of wine you can’t go too far out of box because you have to sell all of the wine. If you only make a small amount, it lessens the pressure to stay in the box.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? Small-lot winemakers will continue to become more and more popular. It’s expensive to have a vineyard and a lot of wineries are being bought up. This provides the perfect environment for small-lot winemakers to thrive.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Santa Cruz mountains.

To learn more about Ann Albert Wines, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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