LA CLARINE FARM is an estate vineyard and winery in the Sierra Foothills AVA, California.

OWNERS Hank Beckmeyer and Caroline Hoel.

VINEYARDS 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of land of which 1.62 hectares (4 acres) are estate vines: Tempranillo, Syrah, Tannat, Grenache Noir, Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon. Thin, coarse, sandy loam soil. Elevation of around 780 metres (2,600 feet).

GRAPE PURCHASES Yes, from 4 growers he told me at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017.

CERTIFICATION La Clarine Farm was certified Biodynamic by Demeter for a while but found it too ‘bureaucratic’ (at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017). Hank says he also found the Biodynamic concept of seeing the farm as a self-sustaining living organism “appealing”, but decided that while the Biodynamic Preparations are “powerful tools, medicines if you will, for bringing a balance onto the farm, like all medicines there comes a time to stop the treatment. Continued treatment only takes you away from the desired goal–a living, independent farm entity. I began asking, am I creating a junkie-vineyard?”. Hank embraced Masanobu Fukuoka‘s idea that, in Hank’s words allowed the farmer to to play more “the role of the caretaker than active participant…don’t do anything unnecessary farming.”

WINEMAKING Low intervention. All reds are whole cluster fermented and foot trodden Hank told me at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017.

WHITE WINES

JAMBALAIA WHITE

ALBARINO 2015 Nice fruit, light and fresh at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017.

RED WINES

JAMBALAIA RED 2015 Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, Syrah. 100% tank fermented. Bit of Brett at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017.

JOSEPHINE & MARIPOSA RED

SYRAH, SUMU KAW 2014 From purchased grapes. Wild fruit, appley and bretty at the Real Wine Fair, Tobacco Dock London 7-8th May 2017.

TEMPRANILLO 2015 Bought in fruit and, rarely for this part of California, grown on limestone.

CONTACT La Clarine Farm, PO Box 245, Somerset, CA 95684, USA / Tel+001 530 306 3608 / www.laclarinefarm.com