Get the Dirt about T. Berkley Wines from winemaker Taylor Bodstun

2 Apr

TBerkley1. What was your first vintage year? 2016

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? Around 400

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Not at the moment, but working on it.

4. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Cabernet Franc was the first wine that really reached out to me. And hence, is the wine I am centering my brand around.

5. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make?  I make Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Franc is by far my favorite to work with, although I am developing quite the affinity for Chenin production!

TBerkleyGrapes6. What vineyards do you source from? Why?  I am sourcing Chenin Blanc from old vines off of Sterling Vineyard in Mendocino County and my 2016 Cabernet Franc from Leaning Oak Vineyard in Los Carneros. Both vineyards were chosen for their combinations of vine age (25-40 years), climactic nuance, and varietal selection.

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? I use very minimal new French oak and primarily once used and neutral barrels. I prefer the softening qualities of oak barrels to their flavor impact and strive to let the wine and vineyard location speak for themselves.

8. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? The diversity available in Sonoma County and its surrounding regions make it an incredibly unique place to make wine. Vineyards only short distances apart can have such complete difference in quality and character that it is possible to find vineyards and resulting wines for every palate and in every style.

TberkleyLabel9. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? I was named in honor of my maternal Grandfather, Jack Berkley, and have chosen to name my business after my family history. Berkley (with that spelling) comes from the family name Berkov, which was Anglicized at Ellis Island upon immigration from Serbia around the turn of the 20th century.

10. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? That making the wine is the easy part. Marketing and selling it, that is where the real challenge lies.

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? Small winemaking allows me the time and ability to hand craft each one of my lots. I am able to shepherd them gently into the direction I want and each final product has my unique stamp upon it.

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? Through the necessary rose-tinted glasses of a small business owner. The consolidation of the distribution market has made wine sales increasingly cutthroat and competitive, hindering the smaller producers, while at the same time the market demand for artisanal products has risen dramatically, giving the local winemaker spotlight and attention. As long as consumers continue to demand wines with soul and stories, there will always be a place for the independent small-lot winemaker.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? I have a deep affinity for the wines of the Loire Valley and if national boundaries and language abilities were no option, would definitely opt for a small chateau and a few hectares in Saumur-Champigny.

For more information about T. Berkley Wines, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

Comments are closed.