Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
In one’s life, you cross paths with many wonderful people. Almost fifty years ago, my path crossed with Royce Lewellen. First came friendship and then an appreciation for wine which led to the partnership of Lucas & Lewellen which brought together the vineyards, the winery, and the people involved. Throughout this 24 year ride, Royce and I really loved what we were doing. The world of wine gave us an opportunity to contribute to the community and enjoy people. What is wine? Wine is friendship, celebration, all these good things that bring people together. It’s a place where we fit. The spirit of Royce will always be part of us. It was an honor to be associated with His Honor.
2018 Ramato: A blush wine made from Pinot Grigio grapes. A reddish grape that is used to produce white wine, we give it a small amount of skin contact and the outcome is Ramato, similar to a rosé but with a tint of orange. Very few California winemakers make it. This wine can be served, well chilled, as a cocktail wine with light foods.
2017 Pinot Nero: 100% Goodchild Vineyard Pinot Noir from our coolest growing region in the Santa Maria valley. This wine was made primarily from Clone 667 which produces some of California’s most outstanding Pinots. A little more intense than is the typical California style, it was made more in the style the Italians refer to as “Pinot Nero”.
2015 Nebbiolo: Most of California has given up on this variety because they have grown it in all the wrong places. Nebbiolo is still the most difficult grape that we grow. It loves fog and a long growing season and any Nebbiolo exposed to the direct sun is soon gone. The current 2020 vintage was almost consumed entirely by the heat wave. It is the most impressive variety and makes the highest priced wines in Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco from Piemonte. It is light in color, a shade of salmon red. Nebbiolo has a lot of tannin and they can take as long as seven years to soften. When making it, you have to be very careful to not over extract. It shows flavors of dry herbs and spices - hold it in your mouth for a while to really savor the taste. It is made to dine with. Few people experience the world of Nebbiolo.
I walk around saying “What more can happen in 2020?” but this is a time to reflect on all of the good things in the past and the good things waiting in the future. We seem to have made it through the growing season despite the continuous challenges. The loss of Royce makes us realize how precious life is. Thoughts of him are thoughts of honor, grace, and happiness.