Sonoma, California, USA
Adam and Andrew Mariani have farming in their blood. For three generations their family has farmed walnuts and almonds in California. Growing up an hour from Sonoma in Winters, CA, they were surrounded by agriculture and fell in love with grape farming early on in life. In their early 20s both Andrew & Adam left the country to dive deeper into the world of winemaking. Andrew worked at a small farm and winery in Greece, and Adam worked with the E.Guigal family in Cote Rotie and then over to South Africa for a few vintages.
With these experiences, they moved back to California and found a derelict turkey ranch in the foothills of Arrowhead Mountain, an old volcano at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range. The land had taken a couple different forms after prohibition, but was a turkey ranch from the 1960s up until the time they purchased it in 2007. Through researching the property and area, they discovered that the first vintage at the estate was actually in 1858, and was run by the Dresel brothers, German immigrants who helped bring the first Riesling and Sylvaner vines to California.
Andrew and Adam planted vines on the estate in 2007, but didn’t produce estate wine until the 2011 vintage. They leased two vineyards in Carneros from their uncle and still farm and produce wine from those vineyards today. The first few years at the Scribe estate were spent rehabilitating the ecosystem and the natural environment. They had to coax everything around them back to life - not only the soils but the indigenous insects, birds and microbiology of the area. In order to produce balanced, vibrant wines the whole environment has to be healthy. For Andrew and Adam, harmony in the natural environment is key to harmony in the cellar.
Their dedication to their vineyards translates to their cellar as well. White wines are gently pressed and typically fermented entirely with native yeasts. Ferments are done at low temperatures to maintain aromatics and freshness and generally take 3-4 weeks to complete. After fermentation, most whites will stay on heavy lees until bottling. The only handling of the wines is gentle racking to avoid reduction. White wines are kept at low temperatures (50°F) to block malolactic fermentation with texture, power and richness coming entirely from healthy fruit rather than new barrels (no new oak is used). Their whites are often raised in concrete, which is porous like oak but provides more consistent temperature control. For red wines, ferments are also very cold (near 70°F) and take 3-4 weeks on native yeast. Reds are nearly always bottled unfiltered and unfined, and their Pinot Noirs are often aged half in concrete and half in neutral French barrels. At bottling, their wines always come in at below 15ppm free sulphur.
They are constantly experimenting and learning. Every year they run more then 40 different ferments using many different vessels. These are wines from the new California. Balance and freshness with lower alcohol, and bright acidity.
The estate borders Carneros to the South, but technically Scribe is located within the Sonoma Coast AVA. Scribe also borders Napa County, however Arrowhead Mountain is listed on their labels as it is a geographical slope where the Estate is located.
D&CO AKA Dresel and Company: This is an homage to the German brothers that farmed on the property from 1858-1918 (70 vintages!). They worked with some of the same varietals Scribe grows now. Each wine receives its own vintage title and is individually numbered.
That’s how they mark their experiments. They are now on their fifth vintage of experiments.
2013 Carneros Chardonnay
From organic vineyards in Carneros on Black Wright Loam and California clay.
2013 Estate Chardonnay
From their organically farmed estate vineyard at Arrowhead slope, Sonoma planted on Huichica Loam and Volcanic Tuff.
2014 Skin Fermented Chardonnay
A delicate and finessed orange wine from their organically farmed vineyards on the slop of the southwest facing hillside of Arrowhead Mountain. Soils are Huichica Loam and Volcanic Ash. The wine saw a long, cool ferment on skins in stainless steel, cement egg and open top t-bins and extended skin contact for 3 months post fermentation. The wine was then gently pressed off its skins and aged in neutral oak, stainless steel and cement egg for 4 months.
2014 Carneros Pinot Noir
From organic vineyards in Carneros on Huichica Loam.
2014 Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon
From organic vineyards along the eastern slope of Atlas Peak in Napa on an isolated vineyard composed of gravelly, volcanic soil and surrounded by lush California wilderness. Positioned above the fog line at an elevation of 1600 ft., the east and southeast-facing site sees cool morning sun followed by shade from the bright afternoon heat provided by the ridgeline. Vinified in steel and aged in oak barrels.
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