After more than thirty-three years of growing grapes and making wine, I have taken on a new venture. In August of 2002 Lori Stone and I were married and later that year we started construction on Stephen's Cellar. On May 3, 2003 we celebrated the birth of our son Max Richard Goldman. Lori resigned from her seven-year position as Grower Programs Manager with the Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association to be a full time mom to Max as well as an integral part of all wine and vineyard operations at Stephen's Cellar. A new vineyard was planted spring 2002, devoted entirely to Pinot Noir. It is situated on a northerly slope 1,500 above the Pacific in the York Mountain Viticultural Area. My father Max and I created the American Viticultural Area in 1983 to signify the uniqueness of this beautiful place. With its cool maritime (7 miles from the ocean) influence and sandstone soil, the vineyard is in an ideal location. Vineyard cultural practices are based on organic and biodynamic principles.
Until the new vines are producing, wines will be made, as previously from neighboring vineyards that have proven to be exceptional. They include the 20-year-old Carver, 18-year-old William Cain, 20+-year-old Laughney, 20+-year-old MacBride, and new vineyards grown by Stromsoe's, Anderson's, Encell's and Moore's. Though Pinot Noir is the focus, a Bordeaux variety blend, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Grigio and Dry Sherry will be made in limited amounts. Altogether, about 1,500 cases will be produced annually. The new cellar was 90% complete for the 2004 harvest. As of January 2005, we are close to completion. The cellar work is minimal as far as wine and grape movement goes. Gravity and inert gas racking with little or no fining and filtering is the course of action. The philosophy is every action the grapes or wine is subjected to diminishes the integrity. So, let it be.
I introduced the Stephen's label with the 1994 vintage and have retained a small library inventory of '95, '96, '97, '99, '00 Pinot Noirs for sale. For current releases, please refer to “current releases” at stephenscellar.com. The Pinot Noirs were all York Mountain AVA blends that have garnered several awards, with many gold medals, at major national and international competitions. Stephen's Wine Club has been formed for those who like to dabble in such things, and visits to the new cellar are welcome by appointment.
Check back soon for more information.
May you live and drink well.