Winemaker Update

Preserving the Legacy of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard| August 2018

In previous newsletters, I’ve explained why the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is a special place. It is recognized as a grand cru vineyard in California and has a long and storied history of producing fine wines for many vintners. Still, the best is yet come!

I am a proud Monterey County native and have been witness to the evolution of Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and the incredible wines it has produced. I have been aware of the wines grown here since the 1986 vintage, perhaps even before that, and tasted almost every single one. The utter consistency of the wines coupled with their complexity sparked my interest early on in my career. And yet, I always wondered, where does it go from here?

Each new vintage gives our winemaking team the opportunity to create wines that continue the legacy of Talbott and Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, and I feel truly honored to be called upon to help usher in this new era. The original Wente Chardonnay and Martini Pinot Noir clone plantings are at the end of their lives as vines, having provided excellent vintages. Perhaps the greatest contribution they have given to the future of Talbott, and to winemaking in particular, is clues to the future.

Winemakers like myself try to learn from the past as we make the best wines we can in the present and for the future, so as we replant Sleepy Hollow, we reap the knowledge the first generation of vines has given us. This allows us to make the next generation stronger, more capable of translating our sense of place, or terroir, and craft wines that showcase the elegance of this historic vineyard.

If we think about the vine as a lens, it can give us a look into the vineyard’s past and help us determine how to harness the immense power and energy of the vineyard into every grape and every wine. I am getting a glimpse into the future of what this vineyard has in store as new plantings are now producing grapes. My initial thoughts are... whoa, hold on folks!

I’m a fairly picky winemaker and hold myself as well as my winemaking crew to a very high standard. I can’t stress enough how the entire team has stepped up to meet the challenge and how excited we are to see the future unfolding. We realize how we not only honor the legacy of Sleepy Hollow’s past, but recognize that we are part of creating a future that is expanding on its greatness.

We all believe that the best way to honor the past is to create a greater future. You all will be enjoying our hard work very, very soon.

David Coventry, Winemaker