For our winery profile this week we are honored to feature the team behind Piedrasassi Wines, an incredible Santa Barbara boutique wine program. With a climate that suits Syrah perfectly, they have endeavored to make a complex, and savory Syrah as the focus of their program. In December we featured their 2016 Piedrasassi Syrah "PS" wine in our “Adventurer’s Wine Box”.
Founded in 2003, the Piedrasassi team was inspired by many different wine regions around the world including Burgundy, Piedmont and Beaujolais. Consisting of four main members Melissa Sorongon, a previous tutor who now runs the boutique, Sashi Moorman, a winemaker who also is a partner at Domaine de la Côte, Peter Pastan, a chef who runs their food program, and Amy Pastan, an independent writer, Piedrasassi has many talented creative experts.
Their Syrah is cultivated in two vineyards in Santa Barbara County, Ballard Canyon and Arroyo Grande. In the vineyard, the team at Piedrasassi picks a bit earlier than their local Santa Barbara County colleagues to keep the alcohol levels in balance with flavor and to preserve the natural acidity of the fruit. Moorman employs some whole-cluster inclusion, indigenous yeast fermentation, and no sulfur added at fermentation, remaining as natural as possible without compromising the integrity and stability of the wine.
“In the vineyards and fields, our family’s winery and bakery, we approach our work with a reverence for place and a responsible hand—We seek to celebrate the pure fruits of our harvest,” says the Piedrasassi Team.
Through their delicate and thoughtful process all the way from harvesting to bottling, Piedrasassi has been able to create a delicious Syrah. Their 2016 Piedrasassi Syrah “PS” exhibits notes of crushed currants, licorice, plum and dried flowers. It can be paired nicely with light meats such as lamb, chicken or duck to allow the delicate flavors to come through.
And although their Syrah is definitely of note, they also create a lovely Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sangioves Dessert Wine. For their Sauvignon Blanc, Moorman uses the delicate technique of extended skin contact in white wines, with the skins present during fermentation, to allow the aromatics of the wine to augment. This white wine fermentation technique, though frequently used in red wines, has been used for years in the Piedmont wine growing region of Italy, however it has recently grown in popularity throughout the rest of the world.
“Through our bread and wine, we endeavor to tell the stories of this unique [Santa Barbara] region and its people,” says the Piedrasassi Team.
And they do so wonderfully, with their own unique and delicate techniques. We will definitely be drinking their Syrahs at our next dinner party and be following their exciting and advanced wine techniques to come!