Get the Dirt from Patrick Lynch of Lynch Wines

12 Sep

patricklynch1. What was your first vintage year? Lynch Wines first commercial vintage was 2012, We made 94 cases of our 2012 Strummer Syrah

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? We have tried to increase case production by 50% each year, we hope to have 125 cases of 2013 Strummer Syrah (depending how the final blend turns out) with 2 additional wines for 2013. Still a secret!!

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? Since we are literal Garagistes, we are not allowed to have a tasting room or tastings at our home, however we often sip wine while our friends come to visit.  We participate in a few tasting events each year and our wine is available online and at a few select restaurants.

4. How did you get your start in the winemaking business? My father was a big influence on my love of wine and developing my palate. He introduced to me to great wines from some amazing vintages.  When I moved to the Sacramento region from Orange County in 2000, I began helping out at a local winery and making wine at home.  As a wine lover and now in wine country I had the perfect opportunity to learn.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? With anything in my life, I have to know the why, not just the how. Why does this wine taste this way this year? Why this way that year? So I began taking a few classes at UC Davis, helping at a local winery and doing home wine making (experiments). My early vintages were not very good. I called my first attempt the 1st pancake. (First pancake of the batch never turns out very good. Too thin, too much oil, burner too hot.) I also realized how blending is such an important part of the final wine. When you’re making 1 barrel each year, not much blending goes on.  So I made more wine so I could blend, my winemaking improved with practice, to the point that I could no longer make anymore wine as a home winemaker legally.  So I went legit/commercial so I could make more and better blends. (More is better, right?) I also learned you get access to WAY better grapes and vineyards and influence on how your grapes are managed in the vineyard if you’re not the “pain in the ass home winemaker.”

lynchbarrels6. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make? Why?  I started with Syrah, but I have fallen in love with all Rhone varietals.  I still love making Syrah, because it can be all over the board on styles. Cold vs. Warm climates, delicate violets vs. bigger spicy examples.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  Consumers often don’t know what they’re going to get from an untested syrah purchase.

7. What vineyards do you source from? Why? I’m always searching for the best fruit I can find.  I have a few secret little spots that are relatively unknown. I want to branch out to some cooler regions and make some vineyard specific wines over the next few years.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? I use mostly 2-3 year, and neutral FO with very, very little new. Oak influence in wines should be a dash of seasoning (pinch of salt). I want the grape from that vine to be whoever it is going to be that year without too much fussing about with it in the winery. I’m just there to care for and lead it on its journey.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? I love that the Sierra Foothills are still somewhat of a hidden gem (especially Auburn CA, where most of my fruit comes from) but have some of the oldest vines anywhere in California.  The people are so down to earth and laid back. Not many tasting fees up here.  There’s a rebellious spirit about the foothills. Much like me. Casting aside stereotypes and doing what we want. You have to visit to really understand.

lynchbottle210. What’s the story behind your name/label? Lynch Wines was a natural choice. I’m very proud of my name, my family and where we came from and where the Lynch’s are going into the future. Had to represent! I have a profound love of music and tattoos, especially rockabilly and early punk rock.  The logo and design is based on traditional tattoo art. (Sailor Jerry-style for those unfamiliar). I’m sure my tattoo artist would prefer his name there. (Matt Wheeler-style J – shameless plug). Old School tattoo wings with a subtle tattoo style “L” all in what looks kinda like a challis or wine glass…maybe??…. Strummer is the name of my big brother’s fist born son who passed away soon after birth. He was named after the late great front man of the 80’s punk/ska band The Clash, Joe Strummer. The cherry blossoms are a metaphor for his life. Extreme beauty, quick death.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? How hard it is to sell wine.  I thought if I just made an awesome wine, it would sell itself! Not at first! Also how crazy wine reporting is!

12. We’re curious…do you even get tired of drinking your own wine? I drink my own wine ALLLLL the time and never get sick of it.  I’m lucky to taste it over and over and study its development as it ages. Tastiest experiment yet!

13. Do you still have a day job?  Absolutely!!  I can’t feed the family on negative income (not going to be rich making wine…truly has to be a passion). I’ve been a Firefighter/Paramedic in Elk Grove, CA for 13 years.  My other passion!

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

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