Birichino is a relatively recent success story. Alex Krause and John Locke founded the winery in Santa Cruz in 2008. Drawing on a combined four decades of making wine in California, France, Italy, and beyond, they are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness.
Grapes are sourced from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th-century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates. Birichino's preoccupation is to safeguard the quality and vibrance of their raw materials. Their preference is for minimal intervention, most often favouring native fermentations, employing stainless or neutral barrels, minimal racking and fining, and avoiding filtration altogether when possible. But most critically, their aim is to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive.
Lodi's Bechthold vineyard is a head-pruned, non-irrigated, organically farmed cinsault vineyard planted in 1886, as Gustav Eiffel was still putting together his controversial tower in Paris! In other words, this is the oldest Cinsault vineyard in the world. Farmed lovingly by Kevin Phillips, this 128-year-old cinsault is mostly made into a Vin Gris (pale Rose), but since 2012, Birichino has also begun making a small quantity of red Cinsault from this venerable vineyard.
'This is of pale ruby red colour with oily tears. Even though this comes from a hot wine growing area, the nose reveals delicate perfectly ripe, red strawberry, crunchy cranberry, raspberry, subtle hints of smoke along with an almost salty minerality and hints of funky spice; medium-bodied on the palate this is super pure and elegant with wild cherries, hints of leather and green tobacco leaf. The refreshing, salty minerality lifts the palate, as do the fine-grained silky tannins. Aged for 10 months in a mix of old puncheons and neutral French barrels this is perhaps my favourite of all these delicious Birichino wines'Anja Breit, Philglas & Swiggot