Get the Dirt about Halcyon Wines from Kim Elwell

20 Jun

HalcyonPeople1. What was your first vintage year? 2014

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 500

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room. We can arrange tastings by appointment, located in Napa CA.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? My husband, Tyler Elwell.

5. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Tyler grew up in Santa Barbara and started helping out his good friend, Drake Whitcraft for extra money in high school.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? “There was no single wine. It’s an accumulation of wines and experiences that led us to this place.” — Tyler

HalcyonGrapes7. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? Cabernet Franc, obviously! “Because I love drinking it. Domestic AVA’s are still being discovered… It’s an underdog.” — Tyler

8. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Velo Vineyard (Templeton Gap, Paso Robles), Hannah Nicole (Contra Costa County) — our goal is to showcase unique vineyard specific sites throughout California

9. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? For the reds, all neutral oak. For the rose: stainless steel.

10. What do you love about your winemaking region? We’re working with unique vineyard sites throughout California — showcasing the vineyard’s expression through the bottle.

11. What’s the story behind your name/label? The myth of Halcyon and the “Halcyon Days” is a tender story of love and commitment that takes place along the coast of ancient Greece.

HalcyonBottleHalcyon is a name for a bird in this Greek legend generally associated with the kingfisher. There was an ancient belief that the bird nested on the sea, which it calmed in order to lay its eggs on a floating nest. Two weeks of calm weather were therefore expected around the winter solstice. Thus, the phrase ‘Halcyon Days’ signifies prosperity, joy, liberation and tranquility. The Kingfisher in Oakland, California was where Tyler and Kim first met. Both of their birthdays occur during the winter solstice – which is also referenced in the myth.

Halcyon is also a small township located just south of Arroyo Grande on the 101. Founded in 1898 as a Theosophical intentional community, Halcyon is the home and headquarters of The Temple of the People.

Halcyon Wines is inspired by a love for California, the Loire Valley and a constant pursuit of wisdom, balance and love.

12. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? We love working in the wine biz — we wouldn’t change a thing!

13. 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 have the ability to be creative with the wines we make and enjoy not making a large quantity of those wines. A large percentage of people we sell wines to, we actually meet in person.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Saumur-Champigny. We’d love to obtain knowledge from the generations of vignerons who grow and produce the world’s best Cab Franc.

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


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