Chris Brockway is the owner and winemaker at Broc Cellars. His ultimate goal is to work with organically or biodynamically farmed fruit from vineyards in unexplored or forgotten Californian appellations. He isn’t shy about using heritage or unorthodox grapes. His winemaking practices are minimal, often avoiding sulphur right until bottling and letting everything ferment via natural yeasts.
2018 LOVE WHITE
About: Steve and Diane Love started Love Ranch back in 1994 (it’s now owned by Oscar Ramos). Their sustainably farmed Rhone grape varieties in the Madera Foothills form the perfect base for the Love White. This year they’ve added Grenache Blanc to the mix, which adds freshness and delicacy. The vineyard is at 1350 feet above sea-level on granitic schist. The grapes are harvested at the end of August to maintain acidity. All four grape varieties are co-fermented in a combination of twenty-five hectoliter Hungarian oak, barriques, puncheons, and German halbstück. After eight months, the wine is bottled with minimal Sulphur. This vintage is 43% Marsanne, 28% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, and 12% Picpoul. 12% ABV
About: Eagle point Ranch planted four acres of Counoise in 2007 using clonal material from Tablas Creek (Which used clonal material from Beaucastel in the Rhone). This organically farmed vineyard rests high (1800 feet) in the Mayacamas in Mendocino. The soils are thin and iron rich. The grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in five-ton, open top troniques. The wine then ages in 600-1200L German oak barrels for ten months before bottling. 13.5% ABV
2017 WIRTH ZINFANDEL
About: Planted in 1948, Wirth vineyard is farmed without any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, nor fertilizers. The steel site is located in the Green Valley where the soils are primarily iron rich and volcanic. The dry farmed vines yield a little over one ton per acre. The grapes are destemmed into open-top stainless-steel vats. After fermentation the wine is pressed off into neutral oak for élevage. 13% ABV
2017 LOVE RED
The grapes for this cuvée come from 50-70-year-old, head trained, dry farmed vines in Green Valley. A small amount of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon were also sourced for neighboring Wirth Ranch. Carignan (50%) and Syrah (8%) we only partially destemmed before fermentation in stainless steel and concrete. The Valdiguié (36%) was fermented carbonically, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was all destemmed. The wine is aged in neutral barrel for eight months. As with all their wines, a small amount of Sulphur was added four weeks before bottling. 12.5% ABV
2017 OLD VINE CARIGNAN
About: Oat Valley Vineyard is located in the Alexander Valley. The 130+ year old vines are own-rooted as the soils here are too sandy for phyloxera to take hold. This field blend consists of Carignan (85%), Alicante (10%), Zinfandel (4%), and Palomino (1%). The whole clusters undergo partial carbonic maceration. The pressed wine undergoes a six-month élevage in concrete before being bottled. 12.5% ABV
2018 AMORE ROSSO
About: This wine is made from Sangiovese grown on the steep iron rich soils of Lone Oak Vineyard in Mendocino. The vines are now twenty years old and yielding really high-quality fruit. The grapes were destemmed and fermented on skins in ¾ ton bins for two weeks before being pressed off into neutral French oak. This is their third vintage working with Sangiovese. 12.5% ABV
2018 AMORE BIANCo
About: This is Chris’s second vintage working with Tocai Friulano, a grape hailing from Northern Italy. Lowell Stone planted this variety at Fox Hill Vineyard in Mendocino twenty years ago on sandy loam soils. The grapes were whole cluster pressed into flex tank where spontaneous fermentation took place. After a short élevage the wine is bottled.
2018 CHENIN BLANC PET-NAT
About: Shell Creek Vineyard is planted in eastern Paso Robles. It has been farmed by the Sinton Family since the 1800s. The 45 year old vines are farmed organically on sandy soils with a calcareous bedrock. The grapes are pressed whole cluster into stainless steel where it ferments until there is 15 g/l of residual sugar. It is then chilled and put into bottle to continue fermenting. It spends four months on lees and is then disgorged; sans dosage. 11.5% ABV
2018 LOVE ROSÉ
About: The grapes for this cuvée come from three different vineyards. Solano Vineyard organically farms Valdiguié vines on sandy loam. This comprises 80% of the blend. Arrowhead Mountain Vineyard provides organic Zinfandel from 20-year-old vines planted on volcanic rock in Sonoma. This makes up 14% of the blend. The final component comes from Wirth Vineyard in Suisun. Here, Trousseau vines are planted on sandy loam. After destemming and delicate pressing, all three grapes ferment together in stainless steel at cool temperatures for a month. It is bottled shortly after new-years.