Paysan L'Apiculteur Cedar Lane Vineyard Viognier 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Le P’tit Paysan label is ‘Village’ wines reimagined for California. They take vineyards and lots that, for whatever reason, aren’t ready to stand on their own and we compose them into terroir specific, eminently drinkable wines that belong on your table. These wines are made with the same attention to detail that graces our single vineyard offerings, specific site selection, open top fermentation (reds) or whole cluster pressing (whites), a focus on endemic fermentations, no enzymes, no fining, gentle filtration only as needed. Easy to drink but subtly serious, easy to pair but lovely on their own, demurring complexity, bright acidity, clean and fresh as the ocean air that blows in daily off the Monterey Bay.
Ian and Heather Brand began their family winery with pennies and a dream in 2007 while working in the cellars, vineyards and management of other wineries. In 2008, they moved to Salinas in Monterey County so Ian could focus on the winery while consulting, hustling and doing whatever work came his way. In 2010 they leased out half of an existing winery. In 2013 they built out their own production space in the industrial district of Salinas. They’ve expanded the space twice since then. Along the way, they’ve uncovered potential in regions and vineyards largely forgotten by the greater wine industry, grown fruitful relationships with local growers (while working tirelessly to promote low input and organic viticulture), and developed a winemaking style suited to the rocky, windswept Monterey Coast. In 2018, Ian was named the San Francisco Chronicle Winemaker of the Year.
Named after the dramatic, seasonal river of rain and snowmelt that cuts through the upper elevations of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the Arroyo Seco AVA extends east from the resultant mountain gorge, and into the rural and warm Salinas Valley. During the growing season, cool and damp Pacific Ocean air penetrates the gorge and flows into the valley, creating a cool evening respite for vineyards after a hot summer day. This natural water-release has also created a subterranean aquifer, which helps set the foundation of the AVA's boundaries and supplies the vineyards with water.
Arroyo Seco was actually home to the first commercial vineyard in California, called Mission Ranch, which was owned and propogated by the Mirassou family in the 1960s.
Chardonnay is most widely grown here. But as one of Monterey’s warmer regions, Arroyo Seco enjoys the highest praise for its reds, namely Bordeaux blends.
Arroyo Seco is one of the oldest AVAs in California, its status granted in the early 1980s, and also remains one of its smallest.
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia. Somm Secret—Viognier plays a surprisingly important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.