Wowie, what an offer we have lined up for our MyWineDeal.com customers this week. These wines are the ones you dream about, and i’d snatch them up fast because this awesome deal certainly won’t last long.
Below hear what Bill Canihan from Canihan Family Cellars has to say about these two award-winning wines.
Where are you located, do you have a tasting room?
We are located near downtown Sonoma. Our vineyard is located on the border of three appellations: Sonoma Coast, Los Carneros, and Sonoma Valley. This cool climate results in elegant wines, particularly Pinot Noir and Syrah.
Our winery facility is located on Eighth Street East, just two miles from the vineyard.
While we do not have a tasting room, we invite guests to visit the vineyard or winery on Saturdays, by appointment only. Visitors enjoy our vineyard walks where I can explain our extreme vineyard management, and organic & biodynamic practices while tasting our Pinot Noir & Syrah where they are grown.
What drew you to winemaking?
I was drawn to wine making both from my Swiss grandfather, August Siegrist and from my college roommate, Jack Galante.
As a child, to help his family, my grandfather worked on a hillside Pinot Noir vineyard in St. Gallen (near Zurich). He came to New York, then San Francisco as a teenager with a dream to start his own winery, but Prohibition dashed his plans.
August’s son-in-law (my father, Bill) purchased 20 acres in Sonoma in 1973, just as the Winery Rush began. The property had been sustainably farmed for a century by a Basque family who obtained title for the property via a Spanish Land Grant.
Wine was always served with dinner, although back then the quality of the wine served with dinner was not close to today’s quality, and before I turned 18, my glass was half water & half wine.
In college, my fraternity brother and roommate, Jack Galante had an amazing collection of wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Northern California. We tasted many bottles from his collection, and we attended wine auctions at Butterfield & Butterfield to build our cellars. When we graduated, Jack immediately planted Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon on his parent’s Carmel Valley ranch. I thought that my family should do the same with our Sonoma ranch. Our neighbors had planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, so 15 years later, in 1998 we decided to plant Pinot Noir, Syrah and a small block of Cabernet Franc.
How long have you been making wine?
I made a small amount of wine in my garage for a few years prior to our first commercial vintage of 2004. The 2004 vintage consisted of only 100 cases of Pinot Noir and 225 cases of Syrah. I decided to enter these two wines in the largest wine competition in the country, the San Francisco International Wine Competition. With 47 judges blind tasting 4,300 wines, I was thrilled to learn that our Pinot Noir won a Silver Medal and that our Syrah won the Sweepstakes Award: Best in Show Red Wine.
We sold-out immediately, and I changed our Syrah label to “Exuberance”.
Where do you source your grapes?
All of our grapes are from our own vineyards, which are dry-farmed, certified organic, and hand-tended to yield the highest possible quality. We’ve never sold nor purchased any grapes. It takes exceptional fruit to make exceptional wines. I don’t know of any other grower that farms as meticulously and hand-sorts every grape cluster twice prior to crush.
How would you describe your winemaking style?
While we focus on growing and harvesting the best grapes possible, we want the weather and character of each vintage to be reflected in our wines. Each vintage is unique, and you can taste the uniqueness in each vintage of our delicious, compelling wines. Rather than age our wines for less than a year in oak barrels, we age our wines for almost two years in 100% French oak barrels. We feel that this extra year of barrel ageing enhances the wines, and because a young wine will transition through several phases, we allow the wines to age an additional year in bottle prior to release.
What varietals are you currently growing and making?
Pinot Noir comprises approximately half of our production, with cool-climate Syrah, and a tiny amount of Viognier comprising the balance. The Viognier consists of an acre and a half that was formerly our Cabernet Franc vineyard and was budded-over in 2007.
Hopefully, we will produce our first Viognier this fall.
Has your wine won any awards?
We enter our wines in the two largest wine competitions (San Francisco International & San Francisco Chronicle) and we’re proud that every wine we’re ever produced has won a medal in both of these competitions. Our Pinot Noirs have won Gold medals in three out of the last four years, and our Syrah typically wins Gold or Double Gold. Our 2005 Exuberance Syrah won Double Gold in the SF Chronicle Competition, while our 2005 Exuberance Pinot Noir won Gold in both competitions.
What has inspired you most?
The praise and accolades that our wines consistently receive.
Winning “Best in Show Red Wine” in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition has inspired me to follow my philosophy of meticulous wine growing.
How did you arrive at the name “Exuberance” for your Syrah label?
Exuberance describes our emotions upon learning that our inaugural vintage, the 2004 Syrah was judged by 47 sophisticated judges to be the best red wine from more than 4,300 wines at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Additionally, a decade ago, Alan Greenspan often used the term “irrational exuberance” to describe consumer behavior, increased credit card spending, rising stocks and real estate prices. Our farming techniques are financially irrational, as we dry-farm which results in yields of 1-2 tons per acre as compared with 3-5 tons per acre for irrigated vineyards, and our organic & biodynamic practices result in farming costs twice that of conventionally farmed vineyards. Our wines are both elegant and exuberant, so I decided to label our Syrah, along with our occasional vintage of reserve Pinot Noir as “Exuberance”.
What is the one thing about this wine that you want to share with MWD customers?
As a wine consumer, long before we planted our vineyard, I felt that cool-climate Syrah was under-appreciated and my personal favorite of all varietals. Therefore, we decided to commit almost half of our vineyard to producing cool-climate Syrah.
We’re proud of the exceptional results, including a Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition for this 2005 vintage.
MyWineDeal convinced me to let them purchase a few cases remaining in my library, which I intended to keep for myself.
If you could describe your wine in one word, what would it be?