En­field Wine Co

Decanter - - CALIFORNIA -

Bearded John Lock­wood, who looks like a moun­tain man mi­nus the hik­ing staff, ini­tially made his name in white wine, specif­i­cally Chardon­nay from a se­cluded vine­yard in the lit­tle-known, un­her­alded Napa ap­pel­la­tion of Wild Horse Val­ley named Heron Lake. It sits at 427m el­e­va­tion and its cli­mate echoes the Sonoma Coast more than Napa.

His la­bel, which uses his mid­dle name, be­gan as a tiny side project, but his dis­tinc­tive, rea­son­ably priced whites, and then a Syrah from Coomb­sville, quickly drew at­ten­tion for their fresh, min­eral char­ac­ter, pu­rity and mod­er­ate al­co­hol. In 2013, En­field Wine Co turned into a full-time oc­cu­pa­tion and since then, the wines have re­ally hit their stride. A sci­ence nerd in col­lege, he ended up in San Fran­cisco build­ing gui­tars, but fell hard for the vine­yard scene af­ter meet­ing the owner of Heron Lake Vine­yard, where he worked for 18 months part-time. Famed vint­ner Ted Lemon of Sonoma’s Lit­torai be­came a men­tor dur­ing an in­tern­ship there, and for five years Lock­wood farmed vine­yards for Ehren Jor­dan of Failla Wines. He’s now branched out to other vine­yards and taken on new grapes – Pinot Noir, Mer­lot, Cabernet, even Tem­pranillo. But it’s his Chardon­nay, Syrah and a brand-new Pinot Noir from Heron Lake Vine­yard that have most im­pressed me.

Above: John Lock­wood

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