Maidenstoen Wine Corp was founded in 2013 to focus on high quality Riesling being grown from unique and extreme sites in California. Mike Callahan, the winemaker, started working with the Zabala Vineyard back in 2008.  The Zabala Vineyard is located in the south end of Monterey County planted in dried up river bed soils with stone outcroppings throughout. Mike typically picks this vineyard at 20.0-21.0 Brix, resulting in final alcohols around 12%. This wine starts with heaps of fresh citrus and floral aromatics and shows complex minerality on the pallet. The Zabala Vineyard Riesling has good natural acidity and shows great purity and expression from this phenomenal site.  Lafond is very unique from Mike’s two other bottlings.  The Lafond vineyard is undoubtedly the coolest site that Maidenstoen works with. Located in the Sta Rita Hills AVA off of Santa Rosa Road, Lafond produces arguably the most approachable wine in the portfolio. Vinified at very low temperatures, controlled with “cutting edge refrigeration”, this is a very slow fermentation.  Mike has no real “archetype” for the Riesling produced and there is no model for what he’s focused on achieving. Although drawing inspiration from Riesling from the old world, Mike focuses on clean expressions of his sites and a continuing to understand better the terroir from these great vineyards.

WINES

Lafond Vineyard Riesling

When Richard Sanford was planting own rooted  Chardonnay vines just down the road, Pierre Lafond was planting his 65 acre vineyard in what is now the heart of the Santa Rita Hills. Miraculously, the 1972
Riesling block still resides—windblown and elderly, a complete eyesore to all the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay the appellation is now famous for. But, if you understand something that today is a bit unlikely and improbable you can see why this Riesling is so compelling and rare.Night Hand-harvested: August 29-30th 3.5hr press cycle, 24hr settle and racked to neutral french barrels, low pitch inoculation and 30+ days fermentation at 12-15C.Elevage: Neutral french oak barrels, kept on lees for 6 months. No fining. Sterile filtered and bottled on April 15, 2016.

Tondre Vineyard Riesling

Planted next door to Gary’s Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Tondre Grapefield is actually producing some of the best wines from the appellation. The Salinas winds tear through the vineyard southward and the cool nights preserve this sites fresh acidity. Planted nine years ago and composed of clones more recently arrived from Germany, Tondre’s Riesling shows tight clusters and small berries that amplify concentration in the wine.Morning hand-harvested September 3rd. Pressed on 3.5hr cycle (no SO2), Settled 24hrs. Racked to Fermenters. Inoculated (no nutrients added). Fermented 12-15C. Topped up. SO2 added.Elevage: Neutral french oak barrels, kept on lees for 6 months. No fining. Sterile filtered. Bottled April 15th.

Zabala Vineyard Riesling 

In a dried up riverbed at the south end of Monterey County lies the Zabala Vineyard; a small parcel within almost a thousand acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The relentless Salinas Valley winds and morning fog are essential elements to this vineyard’s character. Organically farmed since 2012, Zabala’s moderate late season heat and aggressive leaf-pulling in the vineyard provide for exciting and distinct wines.Hand harvested early morning, August 21st. 3.5hr press cycle, 24hr settle and racked to fermentors, low pitched inoculation and 3 week slow fermentation at 12-15C. Topped and SO2’d. No secondary MLF. Elevage: 50% Neutral french oak barrels & 50% SS Drums. Kept on lees for 6 months. No fining. Sterile filtered and bottled on April 15, 2016.