“In 1989, I made my first Sangiacomo Merlot at Ravenswood. I learned of this vineyard from Dave Ramey, who had encouraged the Sangiacomo family to plant it for his use at Matanzas Creek. I continued to make Merlot from Sangiacomo Vineyard until the early 2000s. Ultimately, Constellation decided that Ravenswood’s focus should be on Zinfandel, not Merlot. At about the same time, Matanzas Creek discontinued its purchase of the Sangiacomo Merlot fruit.
I had assumed that the Sangiacomos had pulled all these grapes out and replaced them with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, so I was happily surprised when my son, Morgan, told me he had been talking to Mike and Steve Sangiacomo, and they mentioned a section of Merlot still remained on the Kiser Ranch. I was very fond of the Merlots that Sangiacomo was making. Fortunately, the Sangiacomo family was gracious enough to sell me some of the Merlot block’s remaining fruit for Once & Future.
This block, formerly 13-year-old Riesling vines, was budded to Merlot in 1987 and interplanted to reduce spacing in 1991. The soil is shallow gravel clay-loam, which is ideal for Merlot. The combination of soil, trellising, crop, and canopy management, along with the cool Carneros climate, produces some of the most delicious Merlot in California.” - Joel Peterson
429 cases produced.
Joel Peterson is a Zinfandel Legend. His career has pushed the limits of the American wine industry, he's been a steadfast champion of Zinfandel and Sonoma County, he created one of the most successful California brands ever, and his original punchdown tool hangs in the Smithsonian Museum- a testament to his place in American wine history.
Once and Future could be dubbed Joel Peterson's "new" venture, but it would be much more accurate to describe it as a return to his roots. When Joel started Ravenswood in 1976, he planned to make single vineyard wines in a style similar to those made in Europe but with a Californian twist; small open topped redwood fermenters (pictured above), hand punch downs, extended macerations, native yeast, gentle transfer, minimal processing and small French oak aging.
Though his intention was a 6,000 - 7,000 case winery that remained committed to these philosophies, the runaway success of Ravenswood 'Vintner's Blend' inevitably drove the project to a much larger scale.
This new venture is a return to the original vision Joel had for Ravenswood, it's what he once dreamed of and what he's chosen for the future. Touting decades of close relationships with the best old-vine, dry-farmed vineyards in California, Once and Future benefits in all the best ways from Joel's illustrious career. In this new chapter, Joel will make all the wine himself, in small quantities, according to his original vision.
No reviews found...