Region: California, Mayacams Mountain Ranch, Mendocino
Grape Variety: 100% Counoise
Alcohol Percentage: 13.5%
Viticulture: Natural Wine | Organic Farming
Terroir: Eaglepoint Ranch is located at 1,800 ft elevation on the Mayacamas Mountain Range. Planted in 2007 to roughly 4 acres from clonal material sourced from Tablas Creek. Soils are typically thin mountain soils but rich in iron – rocky with low yields. Farmed with no use of any pesticides or herbicides.
Ageing: Harvested at 22.5 Brix, Counoise is always our last varietal to come into the winery. Displaying medium-sized berries on large clusters, it’s also one of the heaviest. 100% destemmed fruit fermented in 5-ton open-top fermenters and aged for 10 months in neutral French oak barrels.
Color: Ruby red
Nose: Intense aromas of dark, spicy fruit, leather, wild herbs and fennel
Palate: Weighty and expansive on the palate, with ripe blackberries and rustic tannins
About the Winery:
After growing up in Nebraska and working in Seattle, Chris Brockway arrived in California to study winemaking. Following a textbook education at UC Davis and Fresno State, Chris’s experience of drinking and enjoying more low-intervention wines persuaded him to take a somewhat different path to most of his classmates. In 2002, he began working at an urban winery in Oakland, before leaving in 2006 to set up his own label from a small industrial unit in Berkeley. Today he runs his operation from a bigger premise around the corner, but the focus remains producing wines from organic or biodynamic fruit in a decidedly hands-off fashion – natural ferments and no additions.
Chris is an open-minded and innovative winemaker and his winery reflects this, packed from floor to ceiling with the innumerable projects that he has on the go at any one time. Terracotta fermentation vessels (based loosely on amphorae) full of Nero d’Avola vie for space with sealed tanks of Carignan going through carbonic maceration and a lineup of majestic open-top wood fermenters.
At Broc Cellars, all of their wines are made using spontaneous fermentation, a process that means they only use native yeasts and bacteria that exist on the grapes in order to make wine. They don’t add anything – this includes nutrients, yeast, bacteria, enzymes, tannins or other popular fermentation agents. Sulphur is a naturally occurring element in all wine, the amount found can vary. They add little to no S02, depending on the wine and style. The grapes that they work with are grown without using synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers.
“Our goal in making wine is to bring out the natural expression of the grape. We decide on a wine by wine basis how we want to do that. We have more freedom now to make the choice not to add Sulphur. There is a bigger market for us to go in the direction we want to go. To counter that we are doing more to ensure our vineyards are using the farming practices we support. We’re also committed to detailing exactly what decisions we make during the course of our winemaking process.” – Chris Brockway