Sonoma Valley Syrah 2018
Ryan had been wanting to work with Syrah long enough that when this organic vineyard in Sonoma Valley fell into his lap he didn’t miss a beat. Clay soils, young vines, old school farming. Ryan’s style nods to the Northern Rhône with racy fruit, firm acidity and floral aromas.
Based in a barebones warehouse in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ryan is one of a handful of young producers contributing to the region’s rebirth as a vibrant natural wine destination. And thanks to his work with Wirz Vineyard, Ryan has also become one of California wine’s leading eco-pioneers, specializing in soulful expressions of Riesling and Zinfandel. With its assortment of ancient, head-trained vines perched in the foothills of the Gabilan Mountains, Wirz Vineyard is a living piece of California history. But from an environmental standpoint, Wirz has been a symbol of sustainable farming for over 50 years, dry-farmed (sans irrigation) since the 1960s. In a state that’s battled drought and water shortages for decades, this approach is an example of radical conservation, showing that thoughtful stewardship of heritage vineyards will have a vital role to play in ensuring a greener wine future.