We are so at home in our little winery on the edge of the city. The vineyards are flourishing after the Winter rains. And now the Harvest of 2023 is upon us. I hope that you can visit and see us in action.
We are embarking on an unprecedented, never before seen or imagined, tour of the continental US on November 24, to bring you 2023 Olio Nuovo. We will have the incomparable oil from the olives of the Tenbrink Family Farms, and also oil from a new source: Be Love Farm.
We will bring 750 ml and one gallon bottles, and a single 5 gallon jug, to 14 cities in the US. We will spend an hour or two or stay overnight, depending on the location. Our impetus is to deliver 38 gallons of Be Love oil to Gabriela Macari to sell at her winery on Long Island. Once we decided to do this, it was not possible to resist packing up the truck and making a few more stops en route.
The tour will culminate on December 1 at noon at the Redhook Tavern in Brooklyn, NY.
We will also bring a small amount of Scholium and LA River wine with us.
Click on one of the oils to see the tour dates.
2006 Margit's Master Blend in 15 liter bottle
2006 Margit's A1 in 9 liter bottle
2006 Margit's Master Blend in 9 liter bottle
2016 Pergamos in 2.25 liter bottle
2016 Pergamos in 1.5 liter Magnum
2019 House of Asterion II in 2.25 liter bottle
2019 House of Asterion in 1.5 liter Magnum
2018 The Prince in his Caves in 3 liter bottle
2018 The Prince in his Caves in 2.25 liter bottle
We are so honored and excited to offer TWO oils this year. The first is from the Tenbrinks, with whom we have worked for a decade. Their oil is truly incomparable.
We are working this year for first time with the Be Love Farm, a regenerative and organic polyculture farm in Vacaville, not far from the Tenbrinks. We think that the olives are similar in quality to the Tenbrinks', our expectations could not be higher.
Except for 24 2-packs of 750 ml bottles, the Be Love oils will be available only in one gallon and five gallon containers; either picked up at the winery, or on our National Olio Nuovo Tour.
The Tenbrinks planted olives in the field opposite the winery before they built the winery in 2007. They planted 105 trees, from 12 different cultivars. They had in mind the polyculture of their families in Italy, where the terroir of grape growing always also encouraged the cultivation of olives. I have marveled in the past at the oils of Quintarelli, Cornelissen, Paolo Bea, Occhipinti and Clos Mogador in Priorat. This is the dream of a winemaker in a Mediterranean climate: to be able to offer an oil from an orchard of the same quality as his vineyards that he works with.
Demand for the oils has been so overwhelming that we decided in 2022 to pre-sell a certain portion of the expected oil. The 2022 oil sold out in two days-- in spite of the fact that we had a bumper crop in 2022 and harvested many more olives than we ever had before.
Olives are a strongly cyclical crop: when the trees bear strongly in one year, they relax and recoup the next year, and then vice-versa. In spite of the Winter and Spring rains that have benefited the grape crop all over the state, we anticipate a MUCH smaller olive crop this year-- perhaps less than half of last year. Consequently, we are offering much less oil than last year-- only 25 2-packs and 25 4-packs.
On the other hand, we could not be more excited for the potential for exquisite quality this year: the combination of low yields and a long, slow growing season hold the greatest promise.
It was a truly wonderful and joyous harvest; so many of us working together in a great space on the edge of the city. We harvested delicious fruit in perfect condition from one vineyard after another and made our best wines ever. The one point of sadness and regret: the drought continues to take its terrible toll, and we made only half the wine in 2022 that we did in 2021.
Bottling is now complete! It is so exciting, so rewarding. The wines are beautiful, improbable illuminations of the possibilities of Southern California winemaking.
2022 Los Angeles River Wine Company Galleano Home White
2022 Los Angeles River Wine Company Galleano Home Misturado
We have commissioned a small run of Carrhart hoodies and snapback hats to celebrate our wines and work.
As often as possible, we host you. We pour wines. Rarely ours alone. How can we welcome you without the presence of our friends?
We have accomplished the daring and difficult Futurist aim of forcing bubbles into still wine. Blowout is all about speed, anticipation, audacity: it is a Sparkling Wine bottled and initially released only months after harvest and fermentation. There was no patience in the making-- or consumption-- of Blowout.
And then-- the labels stopped sticking to the bottles. We could not figure out a solution; in the face of so much more to do, we gave up. And let the unlabeled wine age.
Now, in 2021, we have tasted the wine again and it is delicious. I designed new labels, ones that stuck this time. We now release the wine again.
I am so excited about this collaboration: it marks the real flowering of a relationship begun 15 years ago.
Tolenas is a young, small, winery absolutely flourishing in Suisun Valley, under the direction of Lisa Tenbrink-Howard, daughter of Steve and Linda Tenbrink. Lisa learned to make wine working with me and Steve, in their family winery as I made Scholium and he made small amounts of wine from his own fruit.
In the beginning, all of the wines flowed from fruit grown by Steve, some from vineyards I had worked with since 2003. Soon Lisa and her husband Cliff purchased land in Suisun and began growing their own fruit.
Both of these wines hail from their own home ranch, planted to Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The wines were made at Tenbrink under Lisa's direction, using techniques that she had learned from me during the years that I worked with her and her family.
Both wines are serious, deep, dark, and rich. Because of their origin in Suisun, and the farming heritage Lisa inherited from Steve, the wines are reminiscent of the great Babylon wines I made from 2004 to 2017-- and are radically different from the lithe, light, red wines I am making from desert fruit in Los Angeles. It is so wonderful to return to Suisun and resume a collaboration with the Tenbrinks-- now involving a second generation of the the family.
A note on the names: when we tasted the wines in preparation for bottling, they somehow both seemed highly literary to me. They were definitely wines of place, but in naming them, the vineyards were not in the front of my mind. For one of the wines, a mythological creature dominated; for the other, the musical sense of a favorite poem.
These the wines that we made in Napa in 2018 and 2019 while we were consumed with founding the Los Angeles River Wine Company. I did not give the wines the attention that they deserved in 2018 and 2019, and during the pandemic year of 2020, I alternated between forgetting about them and being afraid of them.
I finally tasted the wines in April of 2021 and they are absolutely brilliant, the best two vintages of wine we have ever made. How strange and unexpected.
Please note that there is a 20% discount on all orders of 12 bottles or more-- mix and match or whole cases.
We have just begun bottling Magnums again after a hiatus of several years. We have 25 bottles from the 2021 harvest newly available.