Combe Vin Gris

Esoteric and downright mashable, Combe stems from their vision of what unique varietals and special plant material might produce in arid Ballard Canyon Limestone and the immaculate farming of La Cuadrilla.

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Pete Stolpman’s esoteric project is labeled “Combe” referring to the French word for a small sheltered valley within a vineyard. Sometime around 2010, Pete became convinced of the great potential for the pale red Trousseau grape on the Limestone soils of Stolpman Vineyards.  They decided to make a light red Trousseau and a Trousseau Pet’Nat.  The first vintage for the Trousseau wines was 2014, and they now have 3.5 acres planted to the varietal.  The 1.5 acres of Chenin began producing in 2016.  They blended the tiny first crop from our .5 acres of Mondeuse into the Vin Gris.  In 2020 Mondeuse added color and acidity to both the Combe Pet’Nat and Vin Gris. In 2020, Jessica Stolpman made just a few cases of a Savagnin-Chardonnay co-fermentation from the very first grapes of Savagnin produced from Stolpman.  The 2 acre block of Savagnin will perhaps produce enough wine to sell in 2021, maybe 2022 at the latest.

The 2020 vintage started with much needed late rain in March and April.  The cold moisture pushed back bud break and set up an anticipated late harvest.  Ripening then accelerated after late season heat waves.  They harvested the bulk of Trousseau and all of the Mondeuse the night of September 4th, prior to the intense Labor Day heatwave.  They then harvested a bit more Trousseau for Vin Gris on September 8th, once the heat subsided.

65% Trousseau & 35% Mondeuse

At The Winery
Trousseau never completely finishes verasion.  Clusters contain some pink fruit and errant green grapes. The Vin Gris program started in 2017 when the winery crew isolated the pinker clusters into a bin, crushed it by foot trodding, and let it soak a few days for a rose color.  Now that the Mondeuse vines are producing dark, high-acid grapes, Vin Gris has become a more significant wine within the Combe quiver.  They press the dark Mondeuse immediately while the main portion of Trousseau soaked on the crushed skins for a day.  The riper pick of Trousseau soaked on the skins for 5 days for color, depth, and texture.  For the first time, half of the wine aged in tank to maintain freshness and the other half developed a softer texture in used oak.

210 case production in 2020.

Sour cherry, rose water, crisp, lively and bright.  By far the freshest, zestiest Vin Gris to date.  Watermelon Agua Fresca without the sugar. Super bright acidity. Light and refreshing.


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