Estate Winery: The Artist's View of Winemaking
makes a wine special? Undoubtedly, it starts in the vineyard;
but how can a winemaker capture that vineyard in the bottle?
Bridlewood Estate Winery, winemaker David
Hopkins crafts artisan wines that tell the story of
California's Central Coast. "There's a sense of excitement
in the winemaking community here, a spirit of discovery,"
says David. "The Central Coast is unparalleled in its array
of soils, microclimates and varietals. It's a winemaker's dream
to be in on the ground floor, uncovering these incredible vineyards."
wines speak to the kaleidoscope of flavors that unfold along
the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. With
more than 20 vintages behind him, David knows exactly how to
find the best grapes in the hidden corners of the Central Coast.
He visits the vineyards, gets to know the winegrowers and makes
it his business to understand the region's burgeoning sub-appellations.
David isn't walking among the vines, he's pouring his passion
into crafting artisan wines for Bridlewood. He brings an Old
World sensibility to a decidedly New World region, using traditional
methods to showcase the terroir of the Central Coast.
me, winemaking is less about the latest technology and more
about taking your time," says David. "It's about guiding
the wine, and letting it carve out its own path to express the
terroir of the region."
David, guiding the wine means treating it gingerly, with an
artist's hand. Some of his days start in the cellar at 6:00
AM, when he joins a group of winemakers and enologists to taste
through each vineyard lot.
experiment with different barrel samples, blending them together
to see how the flavors might develop. It is here in the barrel
room at dawn that they get a glimpse of the wine to come. They
don't assemble the final blend until right before bottling,
giving each vineyard lot enough time to develop its own unique
contributions to the blend.
have to be patient," David explains. "We have the
luxury of taking our time, experimenting with different flavors
until we get the blend just right. For me, that's the real art
the links to read reviews of David's Pinot
By Jason Barlow