Get the Dirt about Trojak-Knier Winery from Eric Trojak

1 Oct

trojakdudesThe winery was started as a home wine making project by Jim Knier and me in Jim’s garage in 1993. We made one 30 gallon barrel of Zinfandel and one 30 gallon barrel of Cab. After several years of increasing production we realized that we were making too much wine for the space and moved to our current location in 2003. After earning many medals in Home Winemaking competitions and getting rave reviews from the people who tried our wines, we decided to get licensed and bonded in 2009.

1. What was your first vintage year? Our first commercial vintage was 2009.

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? We make 400 – 450 cases per year.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? We run a tasting table at the entrance of the winery every weekend from noon to 5PM. We will do tastings by appointment during the week for group of four or more.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? I am the winemaker but the duties are somewhat shared with my business partner.

5. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? We started as a home winemaking venture in 1993 located in my partners garage.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? All of the overpriced average quality wines on the market made me want to make my own wine

trojakvyd7. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? We are currently producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. My favorite wine to make is Sangiovese. It has the most interesting flavor profile and goes so well with just about any food.

8. What vineyards do you source from? We source grapes from two vineyards. The Chardommay, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Atlas Peak appellation in Napa and the Zinfandel comes from Dry Creek in Sonoma county.

9. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? We use only Hungarian oak for the Chardonnay and a combination of Hungarian, French and American oak for the reds. We like the Hungarian on the Chardonnay because of the sweet tannins and the softness it imparts. We like the combination of oak for the reds because of the complexity, firmer tannins and especially the vanilla notes from the American oak.

10. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? We like the fact that due to the cool, moist ocean air we don’t need any cooling or humidity control in the winery. Also that there are only four wineries in Half Moon Bay and we are the only one that makes wine on site. The others either buy bulk wine or use a custom crush facility. It distinguishes us from the rest.

trojaklabel11. What’s the story behind your name/label? The label is my last name and my partner’s last name. As home wine makers we use TK as out name but when we did a search of winery names when we got bonded it turned out that there were already two wineries using that name.

12. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? I wish someone had told me how much fun it would be. I would have done it sooner.

13. We’re curious…do you even get tired of drinking your own wine? Is it considered bad form to dip into your inventory? I rarely get tired of my own wine. I dip into my inventory all the time. It is one of the advantages of owning a winery.

14. Do you still have a day job? I was a real estate broker when we started the winery but I retired at the beginning of this year.

For more information about Trojak-Knier Winery, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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