Happy Canyon...from Vine to Bottle
Have you ever wondered what happens once our Sauvignon blanc grapes are picked in the Vineyard and
delivered to our Cellar? Here's your chance to get a "behind the scenes" look at what goes into making a bottle
of our "Happy Canyon" Sauvignon blanc. Click the image for an expanded view and printable pdf.
FiddleFlash: Wine & Spirits Review
This just in!! Wine & Spirits awards Fiddlehead '728' and 'Oldsville Reserve' 93 points each!!
Click on the image to read all about it!
Bottle It Up!
Of course it will need time to rest in our temperature-controlled warehouse to ensure that, when it is released in 2013, it will have our signature elegance that we promise to deliver to your glass.
We believe bottling is a most critical step in the transfer of the fruits of our harvest labor and the barrel aging process to the wine in your glass.
Follow our process and check out our videos of the bottling in action…
1. Throughout the wine's maturation in barrel, we devote time for extensive blind tasting of each barrel to
determine our barrel blends - that is, the best fit barrels for "728", "Lollapalooza" and "Doyle".
2. During its aging process in our French oak barrels, the wine has naturally clarified and the natural
grape solids have fallen to the bottom of the barrel.
3. The crystal-clear wine is racked (or decanted) off the sediment (natural grape and yeast solids) to our
stainless steel tanks to marry together the nuances of each barrel into one master blend. This ensures
every bottle is exactly the same.
4. Now that the wine is prepared with the utmost care to not introduce excess oxygen, the bottling
6. The wine is transferred to the filler bowl, and the bottles are then fed into the filler wheel where spouts enter
each bottle and deliver 750 ml of wine (plus a few extra drips!)
7. The filled bottles are fed into a vacuum that removes any volume over 750 ml plus the oxygen in the
headspace, just before a cork is mechanically squeezed and plunged into the neck of the bottle, leaving
the top of the cork exactly level with the top of the bottle.
9. The corked and capsuled bottles then pass an electric eye that triggers the release of the back and the front
labels (which are vacuum held onto a belt until the bottle passes by), at which time the adhesive on the labels
grabs the bottles in a very specific, electronically set placement.
12. With our equipment we can bottle about 2,000 cases per day of one wine and one bottle size.
Changing the bottle size requires changing all of the feed wheels on the bottling line and definitely
slows down the process.
13. 3-Liter and 5-Liter bottles are filled, corked and labeled by hand….and so are some of our magnums!
It is a lot of hard work to get it right, but our wine is ALWAYS taken care of and our meticulous and energetic crew ALWAYS gets a great lunch! Team work is the name of our game!
Get it while we've got it! Click HERE to read all about it & buy.
The Story Of Fiddlestix
__How could I not have fun when it came time to name my Vineyard?! After all, there are all those “stix” in the ground and there is that natural connection to all my other “fiddle” names … fiddlehead, fiddlechix, fiddlefriend, frequent fiddle club…..!
I created Fiddlehead (the Winery) to focus on Pinot Noir and the place it is grown is essential to the personality of the brand. Fiddlehead is all about sense of place.
In the early years, 1989-1993, I was lucky to be allocated a perfect little block at Sierra Madre Vineyard in Santa Maria…I was even luckier to have my wine selected for the White House Cellar (and yes, they even paid for it!). After Sierra Madre sold, there was little Pinot Noir to be had from Santa Barbara County, and even less that was the top quality that I demanded for Fiddlehead. I knew the only way I could progress my commitment to Pinot Noir was to invest in the development of bare ground.
I tasted my way through a myriad of Pinot Noir districts and was impressed by just how delicious some of those old Sanford and Benedict wines tasted and was challenged to invest in a little known, cool-climate district. Many more years into my palate development, I learned that it was the clay soils that I found to be most interesting in their imparting a sprier, broader, more layered component to these finicky, delicate, enticing wines. Hence, my search for land turned to what was then known as “the western, cool climate district of the Santa Ynez Valley”, and more specifically the Santa Rosa Road corridor, where clay soils make their home.
After what seemed like an eternal search, I spotted a flower farm, not on the market, directly across the street from the historic Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. In 1996, I wrapped up “secret” negotiations to purchase the old Bodger property and found myself with 96 potential, glorious acres just waiting for Pinot Noir!
I took almost 2 years to explore clones and rootstocks, the soils and the water, row direction and trellis system options and farming choices. I selected 6 clones (Pommard 4 and 5, Dijon 113, 115, 667, 777), 3 rootstocks (mostly 101-14 and 3309 and a little 110R) and designed a plat of 35 unique blocks.
The first blocks were planted in 1998 with dormant grafted vines and the first tiny crop of Lollapalooza was produced in 2000! In 2001, a group of us local winemakers successfully earned the Sta. Rita Hills AVA designation. Now world renowned and recognized for its ideal, cool climate for Pinot Noir, this uniquely east-west oriented valley was perfect for Pinot Noir.
96 acres is clearly more than my petite brand wanted to produce, but Fiddlestix provides exactly the quality that Fiddlehead needs and wants. So it was very easy to spread the love to other small, hands-on producers that take it upon themselves to sing the praises of the place. Now there are 14 winemakers that I sell grapes to who share the love of the fruit and join together every harvest to pick the new crop.
Fast forward to today - Fiddlestix Vineyard has grown up and supports incredible Pinot Noir vines that produce wines with charming character year after year. At Fiddlehead, what started out as a tiny crop of Lollapalooza has now evolved into three spectacular Fiddlestix offerings – Seven Twenty Eight, Lollapalooza, and Doyle. From my Vineyard to your glass…Cheers!
Pinkie & Paella
Top 10 Reasons You Don't Want to Miss Pinkie & Paella
_10. Theres no better way to start out a great Vintners Festival weekend (than with a trip to the Lompoc Wine Ghetto!).
9. When else do you get to see men strutting their stylish pink shoes?
8. You are sure to be wowed by Wine Club member and Winery friend Theresa Andersons cupcake creations (which in our book are award winning). At least 4 different flavors to please your palatesubmit your flavor request, today!
7. Fun PRIZES for the best costumes!
6. There are many bad rosés out there. But we are always getting feedback that ours delivers more (probably because the entire grape is devoted to this wine). Many tasters are surprised they like it!
5. We serve a lot more than just pink wine you never know what Kathy is going to pull out of her cellar!
4. Steve's paella. Enough said.
3. Discounts on Fiddlehead wines this night for attendees only.
2. Its an excuse to get out of that stuffy shirt and dress up in costume! We all need a good laugh and you are guaranteed to leave with new friends.And the number one reason....
1. Its a rare opportunity to dine with the winemaker (and wait till you see her costume!).
And she is tons of fun to boot!
Join us on April 15th, 2011.
The party starts at 7pm.
Space is limited to only 50 guests - Get your tickets today!
Soup du Jour
FIDDLEHEAD CELLARS, 1597 E. CHESTNUT AVENUE LOMPOC, CA 93436
Call or email to request private tasting appointments and to coordinate wine pick-ups.
Tasting Room Hours: Fri 2-7, Sat/Sun 12-4, Mon-Thurs By appointment