Get the Dirt about Workman Ayer from winemaker Michel Ayer

7 Jul

Our story began years ago with the joining of two great families. The Workman family has a long and broad history in the northern California wine business. The Ayer family has deep roots in agriculture in Iowa and California. These two families have come together to produce the 2010 Workman/Ayer “de facto” red wine.

1. What was your first vintage year?  2010

2. How many cases do you make per vintage?  Approximately 200.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room or tastings available at this time.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker? Consulting winemaker is Walt Averill.

5. How did you get your start in the winemaking business?  Originally got my start straight out of college working for a large Napa winery.  Bounced around the wine and dot-com worlds before going to law school.  Wine never got out of my blood and while in law school wrote a business plan to start a small wine brand.  After several years of legal practice, launched workman/ayer with the 2010 vintage.

6. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery?  Initially, I just wanted to be a grower, but the cost of vineyard was to great, so I started as a small negotiant and now work from grape to bottle.

7. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make?  We have a Viognier and a Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre blend.  I love blending the red blend.

8. What vineyards do you source from? Can’t disclose particular vineyards, but the Viognier comes entirely from Ballard Canyon and the Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre come from Ballard Canyon, Santa Ynez Valley, York Mountain and Los Alamos Valley.

9. What type of oak treatment do you use? The Viognier sees no oak: 100% stainless steel.  The red blend sees approximately 1/3 new French oak.

10. What’s the story behind your name/label?  My wife’s maiden name (Workman) and my last name (Ayer).

11. Do you still have a day job?  Yes, I am an attorney for a non-profit in Phoenix, AZ.

For more information about Workman Ayer, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

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