The acme of my work at Whiterock
came in 2005, the year in which I had my first
intern and helper, Sarah Adkins. We made a lot
of wine together—much more than I had ever
made before—and began an ambitious program
of learning and experimentation. It was the
first year for a skin-fermented white from Farina
and for its opposite—a nice, clean, un-oxidized
stainless white from Lost Slough (Naucratis).
The inspiration for Cena were the skin-contact whites of Colio in Friuli that I had learned about at Luna, especially from Kelly Wheat. The Naucratis was a student and a drinker's response at once: I realized that most of the wine that I drank was crisp and clean and fresh-- not oxidized, as were most of the whites that I was making. So I determined to learn how to make the wines that I drank. I found the grapes through vineyard that I contracted for Luna in 2003, and asked my friend Jeff Virnig from Sinskey to teach me how to make a cleand and fresh wine like their wonderful Pinot Blanc. I really thought that there had to be a secret method…
And here is the next step.