Get the Dirt about El Lugar Wines from winemaker Coby Parker-Garcia

20 Jan

ellugarpeople1. What was your first vintage year? 2013 was our first vintage for EL LUGAR

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 250-350 cases

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room, but people can call for a private tasting.

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? I’ve been making wines on the Central Coast since 2000 after graduating from Cal Poly SLO.

5. What varietals do you work with? EL LUGAR only makes Pinot Noir wines. This is a varietal that is both challenging and rewarding.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Pinot Noir, of course.

7. What vineyards do you source from? We work with the following select vineyards: from the Russian River, Hawks Roost Ranch; from the Arroyo Grande Valley, Rincon Vineyard; from the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard. We also make a Pinot Noir Blanc from the Edna Valley, Greengate Ranch & Vineyard. We chose these vineyards because of the amazing wines being produced from these areas.

ellugarvyd28. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? For all our Pinot Noir’s we use 30% new French Oak. We use the same cooper to keep the oak profile the same throughout all our different vineyard designate wines. Our Pinot Noir Blanc is 100% stainless.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? I feel like we get to pick the best areas (AVA’s) to source fruit from. From those areas we only make small lot wines, typically 4-7 barrel blends. Our wines showcase specific sections of the vineyard and/or specific clones of the vineyard.

10. What’s the story behind your name/label? Small lot, vineyard designate Pinot Noir, defined by their place of origin. EL LUGAR means the place in Spanish. For us the place is the vineyard where the magic happens.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? I started my label 13 years after getting into the wine industry. So I felt well informed about most things. One thing about starting a business that surprised me was the amount of paperwork on the back end.

ellugarlabels12. 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? We make wines that we enjoy drinking. Being a small brand you can produce wines how you want to make them. For us we don’t have a marketing/sales team influencing the style of the wines we produce.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? I think the future is strong for small-lot producers. Consumers are looking for the next great wine/producer. Consumers also want to support the small artisan wineries who make amazing small quantities of wine that are not mass-produced, instead hand crafted. The challenge is getting our wines out in distribution. As a small producer you are up against large corporate wines/wineries with lots of money dedicated to sales/marketing. The 3 tier system is not set up for smaller producers to succeed.

14. Have you noticed any changes in the market for small-production wineries? I see more wine shops and restaurants wanting to put small production wines on the list. Especially local places.

15. Any other thoughts on the wine business in general? I see the Central Coast wine region only getting better and more recognized. Over the next years the price for quality wines will increase due to grapes and overall production costs.

For more information about El Lugar, please visit their website and follow them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

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