The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 128 of 132

Old-Vine TERROIRS The color of ancient-vine Cinsault. Renaissance T LODI'S HISTORIC CINSAULT IS TREASURED BY ARTISAN WINEMAKERS by Deborah Parker Wong o call Kevin Phillips's approach to managing the 126-year-old Cinsault planted to the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi "farming" seems like an under- statement. Even "caretaking" falls short of the mark. Since coming under his supervision in 2008, Phillips, who is Vice President of Operations for Michael- David Winery, has nurtured the historic site, owned by Wanda and Al Bechthold of Jessie's Grove Winery, with meticulous attention. His efforts have resulted in a thriving vineyard and a client list of artisanal winemakers who produce a stunning collection of Southern Rhône–style blends and mono-varietal wines. The fate of old-vine sites is always tenuous at best. Once their yields fall below the cost of farming or picking, they're at risk for being grubbed up. The Bechthold vineyard escaped that fate in 2003 when Wanda Woock Bechthold, 82, brought the site to the attention of Kay Bogart at U.C. Davis, where it was identified as Cinsault. Soon afterwards, the vineyard became the basis of winemaker Randall Grahm's Rhône-inspired Vin Gris de Cigare. According to Phillips "Cinsault is common enough in Southern France but it doesn't exist as old vines outside of South Africa and Lodi." Old-vine Cinsault in the Bechthold Vineyards. 128 / the tasting panel / september 2012 PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - September 2012