Get the Dirt about Ferguson Family Wines from owner Mark Ferguson

2 Jan

FergusonPeople1. What was your first vintage year? 2016

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

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Not yet but hopefully someday very soon

4. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? A few years back we fell in love with the super extracted, full throttle, over the top approach that some of the winemakers in Paso Robles and Santa Barbara were delivering. Not one wine in particular, but more of a stylistic approach in general.

5. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? Clarksburg Petite Sirah and Paso Robles Zinfandel. I love both of these wines because they have such unique personalities. The Petite Sirah is unapologetically bold and in your face with fruit and oak and pizazz. The Zinfandel is grown on a mountain top on the extreme west side of Paso Robles and is not a typical Paso Zin. It is restrained and demure but still flush with fruit and framed in oak. There is also this interesting earthy complexity to it that I have never experienced in a Zinfandel before.

FergusonGrapes6. What vineyards do you source from? La Vista Vineyards grows the Zinfandel on the western side of the Adelaida district in Paso Robles, CA. Bogle Vineyards grows the Petite Sirah right next to the Sacramento River in Clarksburg, CA.

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? Primarily American barrels. I’m a sucker for vanilla and there is no better way to influence the wine in that direction. I also like French barrels to add spicy complexity but that is a minor piece of the puzzle.

8. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? We live in Visalia, CA which is in the heart of the Central Valley. What we love about this region most is the people. There are so many good people with big, beautiful, generous hearts that make us love our community. However, it is not so great for growing premium wine grapes. Table grapes? All day long. So, with that in mind, our goal is to go to each of the premium wine grape growing regions and select the varietal that best typifies that area and then bring them back home to Visalia. That way, someday, we can offer our customers a representative taste from all of the very best wine regions that California has to offer.

Fergusonbottles9. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? The name says it all. We are all about family and this passion project is my attempt to integrate my wife and children into my daily life and, hopefully, create some sort of a legacy that they will want to be a part of as they get older. I want the smells of harvest to be one of the smells that they remember vividly from their childhood. The labels are just fun little works of art. Some people think I’m crazy for having such a weird and wild label like Boomshakalaka but I am far more focused on the wine inside of the bottle and letting it speak for itself.

10. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? That if you are going to harvest mountain grown fruit then you should go ahead and splurge on the 4×4 package for the winery truck. 2-wheel drive is not going to cut it.

11. 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? Being small means being in control and making precisely the type of wine that I want to drink.

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? I think the future is bright. As consumers become more and more comfortable with “direct sales” through the internet the small, rare, exquisite wines will have a home in this industry. There is a certain amount of love and passion that gets poured into wines like these that is impossible to replicate in supermarket wines.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? I’ve always dreamed of making Port wine in one of the quintas along the Douro River in Portugal or Tempranillo in the Priorat region of Spain.

For more information about Ferguson Family Wines, please visit their website or follow the on FACEBOOK.

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