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|Appellation/Sub-Region||San Benito County|
|Grapes||Cabernet Pfeffer, Zinfandel, Negrette|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Vegan|
Ryan Stirm’s personal history with California winemaking is as firmly rooted as the ancient vineyards he works with. Focusing early on viticulture, soil science, and sustainable agriculture, he obtained his degree from Cal Poly-San Luis Obisbo. Having worked with iconic wineries around the state as well as abroad, he founded Sirm Wine Company in Santa Cruz County to focus on grape varieties and wine styles that best fit his corner of the world. Perhaps surprisingly, he has become known as a proponent of riesling: not a grape currently associated much with California but, as Ryan points out, one that does have an extensive history in the state. For this wine, Ryan has blended three red varieties that have also grown in a certain part of California for a long time. The cabernet pfeffer for this blend, for example, comes from the 120-year-old vines of the Gimelli Vineyard. All three varietals are important to the viticulture of San Benito; that is why Ryan has named this wine after Benitoite, California’s state gem (found only in only one mine, in San Benito County). Each variety here fermented separately and aged in barrels on the fine lees. Deliciously red fruited, with a decided streak of pepper. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.