Get the Dirt about La Montagne Wines from winemaker Kimberly Smith

4 Mar

montagneKim1. What was your first vintage year? 2010

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 800

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Yes, 12-5 Friday-Sunday. I do private appointment, too

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Went back to school to find out why Good Pinot Noir is so expensive.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? While in school I met a fellow winemaker of Pinot Noir and asked him if he would teach me the hands on part of winemaking. I helped him make his wine for 3.5 years. In 2010 he had extra fruit out of his vineyard. He asked me if I wanted to make my own wine. I did. That vintage won double gold and I was in the WSJ.

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? My focus is on Pinot Noir, Single Vineyard, Single Clone. I work with many other grape varieties as well including Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Tempranillo, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Merlot. My goal is to let the grape stand on its own feet. The marriage of food and wine is important to me.

MontagneVyd7. What vineyards do you source from? I love the terroir in the Sta. Rita Hills. I source from Kessler-Haak, Buona Terra, John Sebastiano, Huber,
Bella Collina and Sierra Madre.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? I make wine for my own palate with a bit to share. I use oak as a layer in my wines. I don’t bottle until the wines finish themselves. Takes me about 2 years to get a new red wine out.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Dirt don’t Lie

10. What’s the story behind your name/label? Lucy LaMontagne is my husband’s grandmother. I found his dad and his family in 1996. Reuniting everyone. Our family name, LaMontagne, meaning “the Mountain,” appropriately describes our quest to produce wines of exceptional quality that represent the vintage and the place in which they were grown.

MontageBottles11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? That there is so many hats you have to wear! Ha! It’s so much more than just creating an amazing wine.

12. What do you love about small-lot winemaking? Anything you DON’T love about it? I love it!!! I will never go big. I like concentrating on small lots.

13. Do you still have a day job? If so, do you mind sharing what it is? I have been a chef and a grower of my own food. I have been quality at home supervisor. I have raised 3 grown boys and have two 7 year old girls still at home. I also own the trash company in Lompoc.

For more information about La Montagne Winery, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

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