Get the Dirt from Erin Bush of Erin E. Wines

25 Sep

erinelabel1. What was your first vintage year? 2013

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 125

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room at this time, look for Erin E Wines at select, local events!

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? Spent a long time on the hospitality side and learning from my winemaker friend Carolyn Craig.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? I love people. I love wine. Perfect combination! I wanted to have the ability to create wines and share them with people.

6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why? Currently I produce Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. My 2015 harvest will bring a Syrah into my line up which I hope to make a rose with! My favorite varietal is Cabernet Franc, I love to make it because of the rich heritage of the particular vineyard I source from. Every time I bring those grapes to the bottle is another time I get to share the vineyard.

erinecabfranc7. What vineyards do you source from? Why? I currently source from Sonoma Stage (Pinot Noir), Sangiacomo Roberts Road (Pinot Noir) Lindsay’s Vineyard (Pinot Noir) Morgan Lee (Sauv Blanc) Round Barn (Syrah) and Stage Coach (Cab Franc). These are world class vineyards to work with in terms of soil conditions, farming practices and vineyard name recognition (which I think is important). These are vineyards that I grew up around and are a fond Sonoma County memory with the exception of Lindsay’s Vineyard which is in Santa Rita Hills. The Syrah is from a dear friend of mine who happens to grow it and let me pick it!

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? My wines are typically aged in French Oak, 30% new. I appreciate the creamy, yet complex flavors imparted to the wines by French Oak. My Sauv Blanc is 50% French Oak and 50% stainless. It is a combination of crisp, grassy, peach on the nose meets creamy and smooth finish.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? What I love most are the people! I am so honored to be surrounded by so many talented winemakers and growers that are also very helpful and share knowledge to help me succeed. From a winemaking perspective, I love the foggy mornings, followed by warm afternoons and breezy evenings. Optimal conditions for Pinot Noir. I am within 20 miles either direction of completely different appellations, how amazing!

10. What’s the story behind your name/label? My name is Erin Eileen, hence Erin E. I am Irish and the Irish Claddagh is very symbolic to me. The Irish Claddagh is a heart with hands holding it and a crown on top. It translates into: Friendship, Love and Loyalty. That speaks volumes to me and for me it translates to: value friendships, always love and stay loyal to your beliefs. My cousin, Hailey Jensen, sketched the beautiful Claddagh on my label free hand. That adds a very special element to my label.

erinegrapes11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? I wish I had been told that A) it does NOT happen overnight! It is a constant work in progress and determination. You simply cannot compare yourself and your sales to what the other guys are doing. And B) How daunting the trademark process is! I had a list of 20 names before I settled on using my own. Go figure!

12. What do you love about small-lot winemaking? Anything you DON’T love about it? I LOVE being able to get my feet wet with small lots and not going for a swim in one tank of Chardonnay. Small lot winemaking is like a blank canvas every time. One thing I don’t love is that once the small lot is gone, it’s gone! You have to be cognizant of this to your customers! They have to be informed so the expectation is set. There are some wines I wish I could have made more of.

13. Do you still have a day job? If so, do you mind sharing what it is? By day I am the Hospitality and Trade Administrator for Benziger Family Winery.

To get more information about Erin E. Wines, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

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