About this WINE
Birichino, pronounced biri-kino, is a very interesting project. Founded in Santa Cruz in 2008, and drawing on a combined 35 years making and selling wine in California, France, and Italy, owners and winemakers Alex Krause and John Locke are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness with a particular fondness for varieties that provide enormous pleasure and re-ëstablish a direct connection to the sensual world (at least, that’s what they say).
John worked from 1990 to 2007 with the legendary Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard, with (the equally legendary) André Ostertag of Domaine Ostertag in Alsace in 1993, and with a host of small producers across Italy and south-western France. Alex started in 1992 with Randall, worked with John in the cellar, and then escaped to the sales side in the later 90's to eventually serve today as Director of Export Sales for Bonny Doon Vineyard.
Their Grenache is from a vineyard planted in 1910, with vines on their own roots. Made with natural yeast fermentation, a bit of whole cluster, and no fining or filtration, from 100 year old vines.
Chenin Blanc is an important white grape variety planted in the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine regions of the Loire Valley and the most widely planted varietal grape in South Africa.
In the Loire it produces high quality dry wines in Savenniéres, and luscious sweet, dessert wines in Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume. In Vouvray and Montlouis it can be dry, medium dry, or sweet, and still or sparkling. Whether dry or sweet, the best Loire Chenin Blancs possess marvellously concentrated rich, honeyed fruit together with refreshingly vibrant acidity. It is Chenin Blanc's high acidity that enable the wines to age so well.
In South Africa Chenin Blanc is easier to grow and is prized for its versatility. It is used as a cheap blending option with Chardonnay, Colombard, and Muscat but also bottled unblended. The best producers keep their yields low and produce impressive mouthfilling wines.