Riesling was once one of the most popular and familiar white wines cultivated and sold within the United States. It has now been out of fashion for decades and is often received with derision by the public at large. Just like the term Fraulein, once a ubiquitous honorific, it is now taboo in all but the oldest circles.
The Story: Xavier Arnaudin is a name you will know, and I have to thank Andrew Jones from Field Recordings for introducing me. I told Andrew I wanted to find someone special in California. Someone who was making amazing wines that no one knew about and that I would love, and also a person that would be great to work with. He knew exactly the person I was looking for. As a young man Xavier trained to be a boxer in France and then began to train to work the vineyards and harvest in 1997 with Alain Voge. During this time, he also worked as a sommelier and earned his WSET Diploma. Once he had several harvests and his diploma under his belt, he completed his enology studies and moved to the US. Xavier brings an old- world approach to his vineyard management, cellar, and winemaking. He also brings a willingness to be different and the confidence to let his fruit and his wines speak for themselves. He is making very small amounts of very striking wines. Xavier was making wines, mostly, from Rhone/Burgundy grapes, both here and in France. Tiny Production!!
Vineyard: Kick On Ranch Vineyard located northwest of Santa Rita Hills.
Vinification: Macerated on the skins for 20 hours then pressed for 8 hours followed by fermentation in stainless steel tank at 55℉ on the fine lees.
Ageing: Roughly 5 months in 130 gal neutral oak.
Everything else you want to know about this wine: Kick On Ranch Vineyard is a small vineyard in Santa Barbara County and is one of the coolest and windiest sites in the county. With breezes from the Pacific Ocean, it allows for a long hang time with minimal development of noble rot.