I paid a visit to Fallbrook Winery in Fallbrook. This charming winery is located about twenty minutes south of the Temecula Wine Country. Upon my arrival I was introduced to owner Ira Gourvitz, who moved to Fallbrook from Sonoma in the â€˜90s. Ira took his wine-making skills with him and began producing his first Fallbrook Wines in 1998.
He hired winemaker Duncan Williams as head winemaker in 2001 and added winemaker Vern Kindred about a year and a half ago. Together they are making some amazing wine.
Ira is a gracious host. We strolled through the vineyards, and you can see how the Sangiovese grapes thrive in this micro-climate. The winery and vineyards are eleven miles east of the coast, and you can feel the ocean breezes.
We visited the barrel rooms and Ira’s pride in the equipment he uses, the fruit he grows and the wine he produces shines though. He took me to his tasting room to show me the end result of his efforts. We started with his â€˜08 Monterey Sauvignon Blanc, crisp and dry with a beautiful nose. It was a Gold Medal and Sweepstakes winner at this year’s Monterey International Wine Competition and at the Grand Harvest Awards. He opened their â€˜08 Rosato Sangiovese Rosée. This is an extremely dry wine with wild strawberries on the nose. I could spend all day smelling it. It was a pleasure to the palate as well.
Next up was the â€˜07 Monterey County Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay, aged in French oak for a year. It’s smooth as silk with a buttery finish. We moved on the the â€˜07 Sangiovese. The vines are less than five years old and the wine tastes young, but the nose is tremendous and I think it will turn into a delightful wine.
Fallbrook Winery’s Bordeaux wines are outstanding. The â€˜06 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is 83% Cab with a 17% blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. 33Ëš North is a Bordeaux blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc, 100% estate grown and aged 21 months in French and American oak. Last up was the â€˜06 Central Coast Syrah with 89.5% Syrah grapes from the Paso Robles area and 10.5% Merlot from the Los Olivos area. These wines have won multiple medals and are excellent.
It was a beautiful warm afternoon and we grabbed a couple of bottles of wine and headed for the deck, overlooking avocado trees and vineyards with a spectacular panoramic view. Vern Kindred sat down and visited with us. He told me he had been making wine in Idaho, and how the conditions in Fallbrook are ideal for winemaking. Neighbor and fellow winemaker Bob Howard of Broquer Vineyards dropped by. Life is good in Fallbrook.
Tasting is by appointment only. Give them a call at (760) 728-0156. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more idyllic setting.