A Big Move
Back in January of 2012 we acquired the Garzini Ranch in the Ukiah valley, planted with old vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. This historic piece of property fit in nicely with our grape needs and provided an ideal location to build a Ukiah based winery.
Our first harvest from the Garzini vineyard was in 2012. Prior to September’s harvest we spent countless hours nurturing the vines, installing drip irrigation, revitalizing the pond, and modernizing the well. The grapes quickly responded to the attention and produced an incredible vintage.
The first Husch vintage from the ranch was a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. We fondly named this special wine “Old Vines Heritage.” On its release it was awarded a double gold medal at the San Francisco Wine Competition. It has continued to wow the critics, and we think it is pretty tasty as well.
With the vineyard now healthy and flourishing it was time to tackle the next big project: the on-site winery. Our goal was to be up and running by harvest 2013. As most construction projects go, we were met with unexpected delays. Harvest 2013 came and went, and very little winery work had been completed. Our next goal: to have the project completed in time to bottle our 2013 Chardonnay at the new winery—this meant a May 2014 completion date. Hurray, we did it!
Our new winery on the Garzini Ranch serves as the production facility for our fruit grown in the Ukiah valley. It is home to our Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Heritage.
The barn-style building is a workhouse for winemaking exclusively. There is not a tasting room and it is not open to the public. Husch’s overall case production remains the same and there is no plan to expand. However having a modern facility helps throughout the winemaking process and ultimately increases the quality of our wines.
Our Philo winery is at capacity with Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay. With little room to move, it is always a juggle to access the wine barrels for topping and racking. We joke that our cellar crew serve as “monkeys” with their innate ability to climb from barrel to barrel.
The tasting room in Philo has been equally busy with spring and summer projects. A new shake roof was installed in March. During the roof construction, tasters were treated to wine tasting inside the winery’s chilly tank room. The new roof looks great and we hope it lasts another 40 years. Grape harvest is just around the corner with an anticipated pick date before September 1st.
A Much Deserved Promotion
Jeff Jindra has been promoted to work alongside longtime Husch winemaker Brad Holstine. Jeff’s new winemaker role will allow both production facilities to have hands-on, talented leadership. A graduate from the Sonoma State University Wine Business program, Jeff has worked in the wine industry for 10 years in Sonoma, New Zealand, and Mendocino. Jeff has been with Husch since 2012 and clearly has the skills and attributes that are necessary for his success at the new position. This means Husch has two winemakers, as a result the future wines will be twice as good. Right guys?
Remarkable New Release Wine
2012 Old Vines HERITAGE
Husch’s Old Vines Heritage gets back to the roots of California wine. Sourced from the gnarly head pruned vines at our historic Garzini Ranch, the first grapes were planted in 1921. Our inaugural vintage, the 2012 Old Vines Heritage is a blend of 48% Petite Sirah (for tannin, color and structure), 38% Zinfandel (giving spice and complexity) and 14% Carignane (adding bright jammy fruit). The resulting wine blends historic vines with modern day winemaking. Aromas of blackberry, violets and candied licorice waft out of the glass while the palate is big and bright with flavors of dark fruits and exotic spice. Already a tasting room favorite, consider pairing with stuffed mushrooms, braised short ribs, or lamb meatballs.
HARVEST DATES: OCTOBER 1 - 19, 2012
SUGAR AT HARVEST: 23°-27.9° BRIX
TOTAL ACID: 0.60 GRAMS/100ML
CASES PRODUCED: 510
PRICE $28 BOTTLE
2010 GRAND OZ
A longtime farmer (and our grandfather) HA Oswald, Jr. grew some of Mendocino’s best grapes at the family vineyard and produced some of the region’s finest wines. While every bottle of Husch carries his name we thought it fitting that this exclusive wine be named in his honor. The 2010 is a 4 barrel blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (3 barrels), and Syrah (1 barrel) creating an extraordinary wine limited to 93 cases. Alluring aromas of red currant, cassis, blackberry, and vanilla with a sophisticated palate make it a true indulgence. The finish lingers with lively dark fruits and the essence of chocolate. This vintage is delicious now, yet the acid/tannin structure is balanced and will allow for long-term aging. 2 bottle limit.
HARVEST DATE: OCTOBER 22, 2010
SUGAR AT HARVEST: 23.8-24° BRIX
TOTAL ACID: 0.61 GRAMS/100ML
CASES PRODUCED 94
PRICE $62 BOTTLE
An eye for detail. Winemaker Brad reviews the Chardonnay bottles as they come off the bottling line. He is looking for low fill bottles, askew labels and anything else “less than perfect.”
Husch Employee Highlight:Which wine are you?
Who: Krista Robinson
Position: Sales, Family Owner
Employment at Husch:10+ years
2013 Dry Gewurztraminer. A bit of spice with lovely floral aromas and such a versatile wine. It’s a multi-tasker, good with my favorite Asian dishes or a holiday turkey.
Who: Vicky Giusti
Position: Compliance Coordinator
Employment at Husch: 6 years
2012 Old Vines Heritage. Deep rooted in my Italian values/ways, I too am all about my "heritage". Bold, intense, complex yet approachable and bursting with excitement.
Who: Brad Holstine
Position: Winemaker, Family Owner
Employment at Husch: 10+ years
I’m always on the move...I’d say the 2011 Knoll Pinot Noir. It’s grounded in heart (oldest PN vines planted in the Anderson Valley) but develops and changes in the glass.
Summer Jobs for the 4th Generation
Summer Jobs for the 4th Generation
Luke Robinson, now 16 years old (and driving) programmed and fabricated the outside air system controllers for the new winery. These differential temperature sensors allow us to optimize our night air cooling. His sister Amelia, worked many weekends on the construction site finding nails and removing building debris.
Pictured to the left Morgan Joseph "Mojo" helped out on the bottling line. Running boxes he said was easy, but placing the capsules on each bottle as they came whizzing by took a little more skill. The youngest family member Beatrix helped break down boxes, pick up litter and prep the floors at the new winery.
Winery & Tasting Room: 4400 Highway 128, Philo, CA 95466 1-800-55-HUSCH (1-800-554-8724)Hours: We are open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pmMailing Address: PO Box 189, Talmage, CA 95481