Vinca Minor, Moonland
Apples, Pears & Grapes 2021
In the fall of 2021, Jason co-fermented organic apples and pears sourced from Filigreen Farm in Mendocino, CA. The resulting cider spent the winter and spring aging in neutral French oak barrels. In June of 2022, he blended in organic Picpoul Blanc (about 10% of the final blend) from Windmill Vineyards in the Dunnigan Hills AVA. The high-acid Picpoul Blanc, which translates to “lip stinger,” is found throughout Southern France and Catalonia. It’s one of six white grapes used to produce Châteauneuf du Pape and is responsible for the brightly metallic Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc-Roussillon). For a bit of carbonation, Jason added a small amount of freshly pressed apple juice at bottling. Unfined, unfiltered, no SO2 added. 147 cases produced. 9% alcohol.
When Jason established Vinca Minor in 2013 he made the prescient decision to build his brand around old-vine Mendocino Carignan, a grape few knew of — and even fewer raved about. Since then, his bold, minimalist handling of the grape has earned him much acclaim and placed him at the forefront of California’s natural wine movement. He's also helped make Carignan an emerging star. Now he’s part of California’s experimental vanguard, pushing the boundaries of fermentation and site expression. With his new beyond-wine project, Moonland, Jason is showing that apples and pears may have an exciting role to play in the future of an industry combatting wildfires, drought and other realities of climate change.