Florez White Rhino Grenache Blanc lush, ripe pleasures of stonefruit and cream
Fairly new to the natural California wine scene, Florèz Wines was started by James Jelks in 2017. James grew up in the Santa Cruz area and was schooled in winemaking at nearby UC Davis. He worked in wineries all over the world for 10 years before returning home to make wine in the Santa Cruz area. He is farming some vineyards himself, always dry-farmed, and is also sourcing some fruit from organic and sustainable vineyards. He always works with native yeasts, does not use additives except for a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling, and does not filter the wines.
James on this wine: “In 2019, the opportunity opened up for us to work with some fruit from Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills. Its alluvial soil permits good drainage essential to quality wines. This is a classic warm California climate and Grenache thrives here. Sergio Villanueva is responsible for farming the vineyard and it is immediately apparent that he does not take shortcuts and is quietly proud of the high bar he holds. As a power combo, Steve Mathiasson, a viticulturalist known for his progressive and organic practices, oversees the cultivation. They utilize some unique canopy work to protect the fruit from overexposure. They keep things diverse with fruit trees, olives, and bees on site.In short, they are growing fruit for quality and expression, in a region that doesn’t have a lot of notoriety. This allows us to make top-notch wines while keeping the prices reasonable.” A true value here!
Grapes: 100% Grenache Blanc
Vineyard: Windmill vineyard, Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County. Pink Gravel Alluvium, CCOF Organic.
Making of: A very long and gentle pressing was applied to the whole cluster fruit and juice was settled. Native fermentation began in stainless to ensure a clean primary before being racked down to neutral oak. Aged 5 months sur lie before being racked for bottling. No filtration, no ameliorations, and no sulfite additions.