I’ve worked with Lennox Vineyards on a couple of occasions in the past, but I thought it might be worth it to have another look for a few reasons.
To start, this is what happens if you were to make, say a couple of million dollars and decide that you wanted to live the wine country lifestyle, just outside of Sebastopol in Sonoma. Say you end up with a 13 acre parcel close to town and another couple of acres right behind the house.
So, you’re farming all those acres and let’s be honest if you’re going 100% organic, there’s not a million things to do. After all, unlike the big boys, you won’t be paying people to only pass through the vineyard a handful of times(6 passes, or checks of the vines is pretty much the gold standard) because you’re walking through it constantly. I mean, the kids walk through the vineyard to get to school, this is Sonoma after all.
If you’re wondering if farming vines is more complicated than say your apple tree or strawberry patch in the backyard, of course it is. You have to train vines to get your desired result after all.
So how does that happen? Well, you have a few choices, three actually. First, you’ve read all the books. Secondly, you have some relationships through the purchase of the vineyard and the fine folks at the viticulture department of UC Davis are quite helpful. Lastly and best of all, your bigger vineyard backs up to one owned by one of the highest end Pinot Noir producers in America. So you can copy them, if they train the vines on Tuesday morning. So do it Tuesday afternoon. Is it perfect? No. But, it is a start right?
So, the grapes come in. What happens next? Well, anyone living in Sonoma has a few fermentation bins laying about. So throw the grapes in, stomp on them and then cross your fingers?
So yes, this Chardonnay is what happens when you own an awesome vineyard location, but really don’t know where to go from there.
If you’re wondering how I originally came across Lennox Vineyards, they sell some Pinot grapes (well pretty much the entirety of the 13 acres next to town) to Envolve Winery. Envolve came into a bit of positive PR, if you remember when the Bachelor reality tv show had a winemaker as part of the cast, he owned part of Envolve and made the wine.
The results at Envolve were critically acclaimed and while I don’t pretend to know every vineyard location in and around Sonoma, finding one just outside of Sabastapol that I had never heard of was a surprise. That’s partially because this is a highly thought of section of the Russian River Valley, but also because when you’re in western Sonoma County, there aren’t a ton of relatively quick, non fast food options for lunch that aren’t in Sabastapol. I know my friends and family pictures me eating expensive lunch overlooking the vineyard most of the time, but in reality, I’m eating cheap Mexican food in the back of a grocery store more often than not.
In any case, this is what Chardonnay tastes like. Not an overly oak driven fruit bomb that made the grape popular and likewise, not an overly acidic version that has forgotten that the fact that Chardonnay makes a full body wine in the first place, is why people liked it. Enjoy!