Dear Friends and Fellow Wine Lovers,
The 2022 vintage will be Doug Nalle’s 50th harvest! And the estate old vines turn 95. Big milestones here at Nalle. It kinda seems like we should rent a bouncy house or head off into the Caribbean somewhere to celebrate, eh?
But in true Nalle fashion, Doug was the first to show up for the first load of grapes before sunrise. And while it feels somewhat like business as usual around here (knock on wood) the “just showing up part” seems to be where the magic happens, and may just hold the meaning of life (or is that after, when the wine is served?). So we asked Doug if he had any insights after 50 years and this is what he had to say:
“I’ve noticed a few things over 50 vintages: 12.8% to 15.5% alcohol Cabernet; 13.2% to 16.5% Zinfandel; “white” Zinfandel, sweet Chardonnay; cold fermentation, thermo-vinification, with stems, carbonic, pumped-over, punched-down, submerged, extended skin contact; from several commercial yeasts to hundreds to “natural”; bad brett, good brett, residual sugar; aging in…redwood, oak, stainless, concrete, plastic; natural cork, synthetic, twist top, glass; sustainable, organic, biodynamic, regenerative; dry farmed vineyards, irrigation with overhead or drip; cover crop, dust mulching, mechanical harvesters, tensiometers, drones. I say, ignore the wine critics and drink what you like. But above all, it is imperative that we be good stewards of our environment. All else is secondary.”
The last sentence really resonates with Andrew and me as we take over the day-to-day operation of the winery. We find ourselves asking how can we bring meaning to the next 50 years here. What are we striving for? It all seems to boil down to good health, good wine, and sharing in the beauty of this place (whether by bottle or in person). And that means protecting it. We are committed to replenishing this little plot of land here in Dry Creek Valley with even deeper roots of regeneration.
In 2023 we plan to bottle with reused/refillable glass. That means less carbon emissions to make and recycle glass, and less landfill waste while still keeping the culture and ritual of premium glass-bottled wine alive. Solar is going up this week and owl boxes for natural pest control and biodiversity went up last week. Plus lots more ideas, dreams, and plans to follow. Feel free to jump in with any ideas and thoughts, or to join us at one of our monthly climate action meetings—we’d love to have you! No certificates or pieces of paper required, only action. Thank you most of all for being supporters. We’re happy you are here with us.
For now, join us in drinking these beautifully balanced wines that show true Dry Creek Valley aromas and flavors that meld seamlessly from front to back.
Doug, Lee, Andrew, and April Nalle