Get the Dirt about Carter Paul Wines from winemaker Carter Hallman

29 Mar

carterpaul1. What was your first vintage year? My first vintage year was 2010. (Harvest was on 10/10/10)

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? I average around 50 cases per vintage.

3. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? My first taste of winemaking was in 2006 during my high school years. My stepfather David and stepbrother Jason had a home winemaking operation, in which I was able to participate and help with all aspects of production. This experience sparked my interest in all things wine, and led me to Cal Poly SLO to pursue a degree in Enology. By my second year at Cal Poly, I began my own wine project. With some financial and continued business advice from my Father James, I was able to bring this project to life.

4. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? There isn’t a particular wine or winery that inspired me to become a winemaker. I grew up in an environment that supported creativity and following one’s passions. I have always been fascinated with science and have a strong passion for making art. The deeper I got into winemaking, the more it became very clear that making wine is a delicate balance of both my passions, science and art.

5. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? To date I’ve worked with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. Riesling has become my favorite to work with thus far. Mainly because I love to drink wines that are crisp, acidic, and lively. Producing a wine in this style that one can enjoy on the beach in the warm sun, and/or pair with flavorful meals is very fulfilling for me.

6. What vineyards do you source from? Why? My first Vintages in 2010 & 2012, Syrah and Cabernet, were harvested from 4M Vineyard in San Miguel. My family had been sourcing from this small family vineyard since 2006. In 2013 I harvested Syrah from a cooler climate region of Santa Ynez, mainly because I wanted to produce a more delicate wine lower in alcohol with good acidity.

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? I’m using minimal oak treatment, 2 to 3 year-old neutral french-oak barrels. All the reds are aged for 16 to 24 months. My goal is to have the grapes speak for themselves and not mask their personality with oak.

8. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? I was lucky enough to be born and raised in wine country. The Central Coast wine region is home to me, and it has many different microclimates that can produce diverse wines and styles. Bottling up the taste of a location and being able to drink my hometown is so miraculous!

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9. What’s the story behind your name/label? The name CARTER PAUL originates from my two grandfathers. I was named after, Frank Carter and Paul Unander. Similar to myself, both were artists and loved to build things. More than anything CARTER PAUL is about keeping history alive, honoring where I have come from, and who helped bring me here. Each wine is created with its own unique label that originates from one of my paintings, illustrating part of the wines personality.

10. 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? Ha! So many things, where to begin? There’s really just more love and care per bottle. The purpose of wine is to capture Terroir. Terroir includes not only the physical environment in which vineyards live, but also the culture it thrives in through the guidance of the winemaker. By being a small-scale winery, the wines absorb the daily routine and human moments throughout the winemakers’ year.

11. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? The future for small-lot wine makers is exciting. Like the food and agriculture industry, I believe the wine industry has become aware and appreciative of the hands on approach to making and growing what we consume.

12. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Where to begin? I would love to make a Riesling in Austria, or a Syrah in Rhone, or a rosé in Provence. Chablis or Champagne would be pretty cool too. Maybe South Africa, Patagonia or New Zealand? Who knows, more unwritten adventures down the road.

For more information about Carter Paul Wines, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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