Broc Cellars - Petillant Chenin Blanc 2017
100% Chenin Blanc Pet Nat
SIP Certified Sustainable
Paso Robles, California, USA
Distributed by Selection Massale
From the producer-
We used the Petillant Natural method for making our sparkling Chenin Blanc. We pressed whole clusters into stainless steel and fermented the wine until it reached 15 grams of sugar. Then we chilled the wine down to stop fermentation and bottled the juice. As it warmed up, fermentation began again in bottle. Wine spent 4 months in bottle, and was disgorged by hand with no dosage. Shell Creek Vineyard has sandy top soil and calcareous fossilized sea shells underneath. It was planted in 1972, and owned by the same family (Sinton Family), since the late 1800’s. The vineyard is SIP certified – it is sustainably farmed with no spraying of round-up.
Broc Cellars was nothing more than an idea not that long ago, about making wines that were “site specific”. Where the wines true character came from using only sustainably, organically, or biodynamically grown grapes from areas that most would consider marginal climates. Believing that vineyards develop ‘true’ character and complexity when they have to struggle to survive.This can come from many different aspects: poor nutrient and water holding capacity, steep slopes, cool temperatures, or from old vines that are dry farmed. In the cellar we try to continue this practice using minimal intervention, in an effort to let the grapes speak for themselves.
We are a ‘low wattage’ winery in the sense that we have very little modern equipment. Grapes are pitchforked whole-cluster into the fermenters, fermentation is allowed to happen spontaneously, all wines are basket pressed, with little/no sulphur used in our wines until bottling. True asphalt winemaking, in an urban winery.
From the importer-
Pétillant naturel Chenin from the Shell Creek Vineyard. Sandy topsoil and fossilized seashells underneath. Four months on the lees before disgorgement by hand, zero dosage.
Chris Brockway came to call Berkeley home (for his cellar anyways) by way of Omaha, Nebraska, where he was born and raised, Seattle, and finally Los Angeles, with a couple short stops in between. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he began working in restaurants around the city before decamping to the Pacific Northwest, where he ultimately became interested in wine. After a friend joked that he should learn how to actually make it, he packed his things and enrolled in winemaking courses at UC Davis. Before finishing, he made the move to Cal State Fresno, which has its own functioning winery, and this is where he became an expert, as he says, in everything he does not use.
He finished his studies and quickly landed a job at JC Cellars, by all means a conventional winery. At the same time he began to frequent Terroir, San Francisco’s first natural wine bar, and began to think a lot about experimenting with the wines he liked to drink. And so, with a few small experiments, Broc Cellars was born.
His facility comprises two warehouses, one with multiple stainless steel, concrete, and wooden tanks, the other a dedicated barrel and concrete egg room. All fermentations are done with native yeasts, and for the most part he forgoes the use of sulfur. If needed, he will add a few milligrams about four weeks before bottling so that it fully integrates into the wine.