Get the Dirt about Loubud Wines from Winemaker Laura Roach

20 Jun

LoubudLaura1. What was your first vintage year? 2008 working as a harvest laboratory intern at Schramsberg Vineyard in Calistoga. My first harvest for Loubud Wines was 2015.

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? I made ~50cases in 2015 and ~115 in 2016.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No, I’m still too small ☺ We are Wine Club only for the sparklings and sell direct to our mailing list for the Rosé of Pinot noir.

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? I studied Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis after taking the recommendation of my grandmother, who thought my interests aligned with those in the industry. While my father encouraged me to pursue medicine, I realized quickly in school that my science mind and passion for the French culture would be rewarded 100% by following a career in winemaking. During my studies at Davis I worked a harvest at Schramsberg, traveled with my class to France and that cemented my decision. I gained a scholarship to work abroad in Burgundy, France upon graduating and continued working harvests for 2 years (in South Africa twice and Napa in between). In 2012 I started at Sanford Winery as the Enologist and moved into the Assistant Winemaker role in 2016. In 2014, a good friend of mine, Sandy Newman of Cebada Vineyards offered me the opportunity to start my own wine label, by working with her beautiful fruit and delving in on my own rosé and sparkling project at her facility.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? The people. I love this industry. I have never met more fun-loving, creative, down to earth, and passionate people than winemakers (and those that enjoy our company!)

Loubudsparkling6. What varietals do you work with? Pinot noir. My favorite wine to make is Méthode Champenoise (Traditional Champagne Method) sparkling wine. It’s a challenge and will continue to be so for the rest of my life. It takes a lot of extra thought and careful consideration each year at picking and processing, but also later in the second fermentation in bottle, and yet again at the final corking stage. There are so many ways to craft an elegant, unique sparkling, and it will be a delicious but rewarding challenge every year! The most rewarding part will be sharing this journey with others.

7. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Cebada Vineyards – I am a huge fan of this cool climate, coastal vineyard on the western edge of Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara County). The north-west facing vines and sandy loam soils develop Pinot Noir fruit that is delicately fruity and mineral driven with bright, focused acidity. The perfect fruit for rosé and sparkling wines.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? I use neutral 225L French oak barrels for fermenting and aging my wines, with a small amount of stainless steel on the rosé (1/3).

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Santa Barbara County – the diversity in grape varieties that can be grown here and the resultant potential for excellent wines!

LoubudBottle10. What’s the story behind your name/label? Loubud is the shortened version of my nickname, Loubudilla, given to me by my father when I was born. The simple artwork surrounding my brand name on the label is a design created by Billy Hanke Jr. It represents my belief that everything is connected and is symbolic of how my journey begins and hopefully continues to grow.

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? You can make the wines you like to drink!!

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? Growing, as it’s easier (and more cost effective) to enter the wine industry with a brand sourcing fruit, than it is to develop a vineyard and build a winery from the outset.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Willamette Valley, Oregon or Sonoma Coast, CA.

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

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