2015 Holdredge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir American Dreamer
In May 2005, I wrote about the best day of my life in a winery - if you've been with us that long, you may remember. It was the first day my son Will worked a full day with me in the winery racking barrels. He'd had lots of small jobs starting at age 4; but this was the first full day he ever worked. He was so small, he could hardly turn a barrel to clean it! But he struggled through and we worked, and talked, and it was just the best day ever.
Well, maybe until now. If you've been with us awhile, you know we got our first Pinot grapes from SaraLee's Vineyard (we still do, and this year plan to bottle a Saralee's Vineyard Pinot!). She passed from cancer in 2014, and it was a great loss for our community. She impacted our lives in a huge way, but she was also a big part of Will's life too; he learned to fish in her ponds when he was three, and we fished together in those ponds many times. He knew her workers, went to events at her home, and just loved that place.
In 2015, Will and I were talking as we racked for bottling, and he mentioned he'd done all the parts of winemaking, but never a whole wine from start to finish. He had a senior project the following year, so he decided he would make a wine in 2015, and donate proceeds to the Saralee Kunde Agriculture Barn at our local fairgrounds (for ag education for kids).
So, we pulled some strings, got some fruit from "Catie's Corner" a vineyard Saralee used to own, and Will made his wine. He did all the winemaking (he missed 2 punch-downs for tests in school and I made him punch-down everything in the winery as payback!) There were a couple decisions we talked through, but in the end he had to decide what he wanted to do.
Before bottling, I had some winemaking friends taste through all our wines. I'm biased, so I'll leave my view out and tell you the consensus: First, it is absolutely distinctive from all the wines I made- partly due to place, and partly due to his approach. Second, he achieved an amazing amount of tannic structure (oh, to be young and strong again!), and the wine will want some time. And last, he achieved excellent core fruit, but there is still deftness to it. I, of course, think it amazingly delicious, and incredibly special.
We have very little of this wine- Will only bottled 30 cases, and some has already been sold for the cause. So, we will sell it on a first come, first served basis. And the name? Saralee was a dreamer who believed in America and believed in helping kids chase their dreams.
2015 Holdredge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir "American Dreamer"
Only 30 cases produced.
$42 (wine club price: $35.70)