Region: California, Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara County
Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol Percentage: 12%
Viticulture: Natural Wine | Organic Farming
Terroir: Despite the warm days at the Santa Ynez vineyard, there is a large diurnal shift at night to help keep the natural acidity and freshness of the grapes. Planted mostly on serpentine soils that are composed of loam/clay loam with varying amounts of chert. The vineyard farms consciously and in line with Broc Cellar’s natural winemaking philosophy – farming the vines organically
Ageing: The grapes were brought in and placed whole cluster for 14 days in concrete tank to ferment. Foot stomped in the morning and pumped over in the evening. Thw juice is gently pressed back into concrete and aged for 10 months
Color: Light red
Nose: Bright, fresh, red berry fruits, with hints of blackcurrant pastille and lavender
Palate: Fresh and juicy in the mouth, with zippy acidity making for a wonderfully refreshing wine
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