If you’re not a member of Terra Jane’s Ownroot Collective you are missing out. I have attended 3 (virtual) tasting events so far and I’ve already discovered so many new and delicious wines that were living right under my nose for so long and I had no idea. Ownroot is a wine club that features amazing and talented winemakers and their own, small labels. Most of these producers make wine for a larger brand, and Terra aims to highlight the creator behind the big label by showcasing their personal side projects.
Last Monday I had the privilege of attending the tasting featuring Rebekah Wineburg (yes that’s really her last name) as she guided us through her label Post & Vine. Rebekah is the winemaker for Napa Valley biodynamic and organic estate Quintessa. Quintessa is iconic for their one red wine that is a blend masterpiece of many little lots. They also make an age-worthy Sauvignon Blanc called Illumination that truly embodies its namesake.
A graduate of the UC Davis Viticulture & Enology master’s program, Wineburg follows a minimal intervention method when it comes to Post & Vine. She doesn’t add tannin or filter her red wines. She encourages a native fermentation of her wines and closely monitors temperature and quite literally listens to her fermentations to help them along the process.
Wineburg started Post & Vine in 2012 to further explore her creativity but more importantly bring attention and value to the unique and rich vineyard sites of California. She crafts her wines to express place – from the sandy, deep soils of Contra Costa County where the old-vine Carignane survived prohibition, to the Mendocino Testa Vineyard that was farmed by Italian families for generations. What’s so incredible about the Carignane is that these 100+ year old vines are ownrooted, meaning they are not grafted to a rootstock. This is very uncommon in modern viticulture because of the Phylloxera epidemic of the 1800s. However, Phylloxera cannot move in sandy soils which protects these vines from turmoil. These are the kinds of fascinating characteristics Wineburg aims to capture in the wines she creates. These same vines that survived Prohibition are also immune to the biggest pest threat to grapevine roots in the world and that is truly something to share. The entire point of making wine is to tell a story about the people who grew it and the place where it grew, and Wineburg succeeds in this with every wine she makes.
The group tasted and discussed her 2021 Rosé of Carignane, 2019 Contra Costa Carignane, and the Testa Vineyard 2018 Old Vine Field Blend in that order. For $19 the rosé is a steal. High in acid and flavor and lower in alcohol, you can easily drink this on any spring or summer day with or without food and have absolutely no headache the next day. The wine has a hint of minerality and a touch of grapefruit and watermelon on the palate. There is no residual sugar left in this wine or any heavy sweetness on the palate that can often come with a California rosé.
My favorite was the 2019 Carignane. This wine was also fermented to dryness but had a slight, delicate sweetness on the palate reminiscent of sundried red fruit, such as a date or prune. On the nose, hints of rich plum and dark red fruit and a hint of earthiness. The palate was fruity but held great acidity. For someone looking to venture away from the big Napa style but still wants a rich red wine I highly suggest the Post & Vine Carignane or Field Blend.
Acquire Post & Vine directly through Rebekah’s site, through an Ownroot Collective membership, or at Jeffries General and Backroom Wines in downtown Napa.