Get the Dirt about Tao Vineyards

15 Jun

TAOPeeps 1. What was your first vintage year? 2012

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

3. If not you, who is your winemaker? B.Allen Geddes

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? We moved into a new home in Agoura Hills with both a front and a back hillside and a vineyard seemed like the perfect option. We knew that we have a very unique terrior, that had great soil, excellent drainage, as well as early morning and late afternoon breezes/fog from Malibu. After 4 years we decided to harvest and produce our first vintage to get a “benchmark” which turned into a 95- point Double Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. That is when we realized we have something very special on our property.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? None in particular, but rather wine in general because of the uniqueness of each varietal and the uniqueness of each season.

TAOVineyard6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Roussanne. We just produced our first vintage of Roussanne and are loving it as we were not sure if we could pull off a white varietal given how warm the weather is. However, we have this little micro-climate on our property which proved to be just perfect for our Roussanne.

7. What vineyards do you source from? If estate, why did you choose the spot you’re in? None – we grow all of our fruit on our property. We have perfect soil, slope and weather.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? New French Oak with medium toast for the majority of our wines, however we have also used Hungarian Oak for our Syrah as we feel that it pulls out more of the essence of a classic Cote-Rotie style.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? The fact that it is in our yard!

TAOLabel10. What’s the story behind your name/label? TAO means “the path” or “the way”. For us, life is about living and being in the present moment and following our own path.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? That it is very difficult to make money given the small amount of production.

12. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? Having 100% control of all aspects of the growing and winemaking process. What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries? Being smaller allows more freedom in the winemaking process and allows for “experimentation” and creativity as well as increased quality.

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? I am optimistic as I think more and more people are seeking out smaller labels for their uniqueness, quality and story.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Montepulciano, Italy. We had the pleasure of staying in a villa in this region for a week and fell in the love with the beauty of the area, the people, the food and of course the wine!

To get more information about Tao Vineyards, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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