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Alma Fria

#Harvest2015 With #Sonoma Coast #Winery: Alma Fria

#Harvest2015 With #Sonoma Coast #Winery: Alma Fria

Harvest 2015 is underway!  To fully appreciate the art of winemaking, VAULT29 is taking you behind the scenes during the busiest - and most exciting - time of year in wine country. This week, Sonoma Coast knock out, Alma Fria, gives us an insider's look at the 2015 Doña Margarita Pinot Noir. 

#winewithsoul

First Pinot off the vines this seaaon. 4 am "pisca" at Doña Margarita Vineyard, Freestone CA.

First Pinot off the vines this seaaon. 4 am "pisca" at Doña Margarita Vineyard, Freestone CA.

#terroirexpression

Sign of the season: tiny clusters, many smaller than this. 4 am "pisca" at Doña Margarita Vineyard.

Sign of the season: tiny clusters, many smaller than this. 4 am "pisca" at Doña Margarita Vineyard.

#coolclimatepinot

Up close and personal with pinot noir from   Doña Margarita Vineyard, Sonoma Coast  

Up close and personal with pinot noir from Doña Margarita Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 

#westsonomacoast

Farming isn't the only risk, hauling the fruit downhill was quite the challenge.

Farming isn't the only risk, hauling the fruit downhill was quite the challenge.

#handcrafted

Fiist punchdown of 2015! 

Fiist punchdown of 2015! 

If you haven't already, get acquainted with Alma Fria: A family owned/operated boutique winery crafting beautiful wines from the remote ridgetops of Annapolis (Sonoma Coast AVA).

Wine Mic Monday: Sonoma Winery Techniques

Wine Mic Monday: Sonoma Winery Techniques

"Wine Mic Monday" is a VAULT29 series based on an "open mic concept" where wineries take over our blog...because every glass and bottle of wine has a story. Last week, we recapped Napa Valley wineries in Season 1, part 1: Napa Valley. In Season 1, part 2, we look back at our stories from Sonoma County. There are many different viticulture practices, such as "Dry Farming" practiced by Emeritus, and "Biodyncamic Farming" or the hollistic approach, as practiced by Teac Mor. Take a look at Alma Fria's "Viticulture on the Fringe" and get deeper insights into their farming and winemaking techniques. Find out why Spell believes soil quality is the single most important factor in defining the distinctive character of a wine in "The Importance of Soil Types." 

Dry Farming 

You know when you get a summer tomato from the farmers market, you’ve been eating tomatoes from the grocery store all winter and spring and when you take a bite you instantly remember what a tomato really tastes like? That moment connects one with the farmer, the land and the food. Someone planted the tomato, tended to it and picked it. It grew in a field, in soil not in a greenhouse, not hydroponically. 

One should get that same feeling when tasting a wine made from non-irrigated grapes, or dry-farmed. Dry farming is not widely practiced in California due to a lack of rainfall during the summer growing season. In almost all other grape growing regions of the world there is summer rainfall. Read more about Emeritus' farming practices and get to know their exceptional wines!

 

Viticultire on the Fringe

Alma Fría \al-mah free-ah\: the soul of a family; the cold of a geography. The Hatterman family migrated to Northern California and planted new roots in the remote ridgetops of Annapolis on the West Sonoma Coast.  From this beautiful and remote place, they are committed to handcrafting Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of elegance, finesse and complexity. Reflecting on their wine journey, they constantly remind themselves just how fortunate they are to work with terroirs of such potential and beauty and to do it with the help of talented and great people with whom they beat down together the remote paths and the gravel roads that make up this special region.  In Carroll Kemp, winemaker, and Greg Adams, viticulturist, they have found true journey companions. Read more, you don't want to miss getting to know the Alma Fria family and their gorgeous wines!

 

The Importance of Soil Types

One trait commonly touted by many wineries throughout the world is the soil quality their grape vines are rooted.   At Spell, they believe that it may be the single most important factor in defining the distinctive character of each wine. The soil taxonomy of each vineyard is as varied as the geographical diversity.  Soils rang from gravelly loam with moderate permeability and low water holding capacity to expanding clays with slow permeability and high water holding capacity.  The vines rooted in these varied soils take up varying levels of macronutrients and micronutrients which form the foundation of vine development. Read more on the impact soil, water, and the sun have in the composition of each grape and ultimately wine.  Familiarize yourself with the beautifully crafted pinot noir & chardonnay of Spell Estate!

Biodynamic Farming

Steve Moore cares for Teac Mor's vineyard, and he’s passionate about what he does. He farms biodynamically, and feels deeply connected both to the land and to the vines. “I consider the vines my children and I want them to thrive long after I’m gone,” he said. Doing so requires Steve take a holistic approach to farming. An olive orchard and large vegetable garden on the vineyard promote a healthy ecosystem by attracting beneficial insects. “I believe the vines are not only alive, but aware of their environment. I think that a healthy vineyard will result in better wine.” Read more about Steve's daily vine inspection to his harvest techniques and on to the release of Teac Mor's small production wines! 



Alma Fria

Alma Fria

"Wine Mic Monday" is a VAULT29 series based on an "open mic concept" where wineries take over our blog to write about aspects unique to them and their wines. This week, we are proud to feature Alma Fria, a boutique winery crafting beautiful wines from the remote ridgetops of Annapolis (Sonoma Coast AVA). 

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"Meet Alma Fria" by Jan Holtermann

The Name:  Alma Fría \al-mah free-ah\: the soul of a family; the cold of a geography.

The Journey:  For three generations and up until 2010, the Holtermann family had the privilege of importing and representing many notable and leading wineries from all over the world.  In working alongside each of the different wineries, we were intimately exposed to the work culture, the philosophy, the winemaking style and the vision each had of their place in the global wine map.   Our import selections spanned from very rare finds to million case wines.  The personal relationships developed with the entrepreneurs, the enologists, the marketers and the viticulturists leading these organizations provided a unique perspective through which we were able to gain deep insights into the allure, challenges and intricacies of winegrowing. In this craft, success can be defined in many ways but, almost inevitably, behind the most inspirational winery cultures, there was a mix of humility, long-term commitment, hard work, understanding of terroir and attention to detail that made them unique. 

Since 2011, my wife and I along with our two daughters migrated to Northern California and planted new roots in the remote ridgetops of Annapolis on the West Sonoma Coast.  From this beautiful and remote place, we are committed to handcrafting Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of elegance, finesse and complexity.   We believe our wines should reflect their place of origin, and be an expression of our family vineyard and other carefully selected cool coastal sites.  Through our wines, we strive to express the intersection of place and family – the beautiful cold Pacific climate so perfect for Burgundian varietals, and the soul of a family long-dedicated to the love of wine.

Reflecting on our wine journey, we constantly remind ourselves just how fortunate we are to work with terroirs of such potential and beauty and to do it with the help of talented and great people with whom we beat down together the remote paths and the gravel roads that make up this special region.

Holtermann Vineyard

This is remote farming at its best, viticulture on the fringe.  The property is located just north of the town of Annapolis, CA (population 200) and 5 miles inland from the captivating Sea Ranch coastal community.  The proximity to the ocean provides moderate temperature fluctuations that lead to balanced fruit development.  The soil is composed of a thin layer of sandy loam (Josephine series) of volcanic origin, marine sediment from ancient sea beds and rocky formations. 

Doña Margarita Vineyard

The gravelly, uphill drive to the vineyard, the density of the wild forest of redwoods and pines just behind, the proximity to Freestone and Occidental, small towns with such great character, and the overall condition of the vineyard, all represent in more ways than one the combination of beauty and ideal growing conditions of this region.  This vineyard is 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, it is a very cool microclimate where the coastal fog provides very cool nights but sits just below the vineyard during the days allowing for ideal sun exposure.  The soil is composed of a thin layer of sandy loam (Goldridge series) of volcanic origin and marine sediment over fractured Sandstone subsoil. We are very grateful to Marimar Torres for trusting us with her fruit for one of our two single vineyard designated wines.

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The People:  In Carroll Kemp, winemaker, and Greg Adams, viticulturist, we have found true journey companions.  Their talent and profound familiarity with the nuances and complexities of winegrowing within the West Sonoma Coast, their entrepreneurial advice, an attention to detail and most importantly, a shared philosophy of a “vineyard first” approach to winegrowing, have created a “working chemistry,” a blend if you will, that has been instrumental in realizing our vision.

 

The Wines:  2012 is our first vintage in bottle and the range is made up of two single vineyard Pinot Noirs that represent the north and south extremes of the West Sonoma Coast:  Holtermann Vineyard and Doña Margarita Vineyard, complemented by two appellation wines, a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay.  For the 2014 vintage, we will add a single vineyard Chardonnay from Campbell Ranch in Annapolis.

To learn more about our wines and read some of the early buzz written about them since their recent release, please visit http://almafria.com/.


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