Stirm Riesling, Wirz Vineyard

stirm wirz


stirm wirzSTIRM riesling, wirz vineyard – ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC AND NATURAL

Ryan Stirm is a true Riesling fanatic. His arguments for why Riesling works so well in California are hard to refute after tasting his wines. He started his winemaking career in the US, teaming up with the now legendary Justin Willett from Tyler and Lieu Dit. After four years, he ended up working in Austria’s Wachau, where he fell further in love with Riesling as well as Grüner Veltliner.

His winemaking philosophy is quite simple: whole cluster press everything, allow for short periods of skin contact, avoid SO2 until fermentation has completed, let indigenous yeast do their jobs, and fine/filter as minimally as possible. The ultimate goal is to let the vineyards shine through. 

This Riesling, planted in the Wirz vineyard in Cienega Valley in 1964, sits on limestone soils over two tectonic plates on the San Andreas fault. Unfined, unfiltered old vine Riesling. Stone fruit and citrus aromas, honey, and white flower. The palate shows minerality with great complexity and density. Stone and orchard fruits, white flowers, and honey.

For this bottling, the grapes were picked by hand. At the winery, the grapes were given 24 hours of whole cluster maceration to extract tannins, aroma, and flavor compounds in the skins, followed by pressing the grapes.  No sulfur was added to allow the juice to oxidize.  After a 36-hour cold settlling in tank, the clean juice was racked off the solids to another tank for spontaneous fermentation. The wine was sulfured post-completion of secondary fermentation with elevage in tank on fine lees for 22 months. Racked off fine lees a month prior to bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. 

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