Get the Dirt about Copia Vineyards from owner Anita Kothari

28 Jan

CopiaPeople1. What was your first vintage year? 2016

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 450

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? If Yes/Hours? Yes, we taste out of Paso Underground (1140 Pine Street) in downtown Paso Robles. We take appointments every day and have walk-in hours from 1-7 on Fridays and Saturdays.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? Varinder Sahi is our winemaker.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? For both Varinder and I the journey to becoming winery owners has been a gradual one filled with many wine memories. The beauty of tasting from different regions and learning along the way is that, as a whole, all of the experiences have had a hand in allowing us to forge our own path. Some standouts for us have been the first taste we had of a Chave Hermitage, 2008 SQN B-20, Gatenbein Pinot Noir, Chateau Musar, Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, 1986 Berthet-Bondet Chateau-Chalon, Sandhi Wines (only recently experienced) and Booker Fracture (any vintage we can get our hands on). The list continues to grow and always will!

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why?
We work with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. We have plans to also work with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay and perhaps Pinot Noir in the future. Our winemaker is especially passionate about Syrah for its dark fruit flavor, peppery finish and gorgeous full body.

Copia27. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Right now we are in the midst of prepping 20 acres of our land for planting this Spring. Until these vines mature and provide us fruit, we will continue to source from premium vineyards in Paso Robles and Edna Valley. For the 2019 harvest, we also plan on sourcing from Santa Barbara. Together, these AVAs provide us with the best combination of fruit to make the wines we love to drink! The vineyards we source from are meticulously and responsibly farmed. That is the sort of tradition of care and passion that we hope to continue on our own Estate Vineyard.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? We use a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels and puncheons. They are from a variety of cooperages and are also at various toast levels. Our percentage, depending on the varietal and eventual blend consideration, typically ranges from 30-50%. Nothing can take the place of premium, concentrated fruit and diligent winemaking, but oak provides us a very powerful tool to create balance in all of our wines.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? This question is one we get asked a lot and we will never get tired of saying, “The fruit and the people.” What makes Paso good: We love this place for its ability to grow the varietals that we love – namely Syrah. The combination of calcareous soils, steep slopes and day-to-night temperature swings make it the ideal place to source and grow grapes to make premium, concentrated, fruit-forward wine. What makes Paso special: The winemaking community in Paso has embraced us with open arms. We are drawn to this region because of the support and communication of our fellow community members. They have been open, honest and so incredibly helpful. We couldn’t ask for a better place to call home.

CopiaBottle10. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? Copia signifies “abundance” and “plentifulness.” It is the root of many words that you may be familiar with, such as “Cornucopia” and “Copious.” The word speaks to us because where we are in life and what we get to do in owning and operating a winery feels fulfilling – like our cup is perpetually full.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Again, the beauty of the people of Paso is that they told us anything and everything we needed to hear. Many screamed “Don’t do it!” Well, here we are …

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? As a small winemaker, you can personally touch each and every lot of grapes and control each and every bin and barrel. From our hands to your hands. It’s how we prefer to operate.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? There is always room and a market for small-lot winemakers. We tend to believe that educated consumers will always appreciate a handcrafted product that is a personal expression.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Santa Barbara County!

To get more information about Copia Vineyards, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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