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Le P’tit Paysan is a small producer focused on showcasing the quality and diversity of the wines that Monterey and the nearby AVAs can create. Ian Brand is the owner and winemaker. Brand was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” in 2013, who said about him, “After moving from Utah to California to pursue surfing, Brand found his real calling at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz, where he was assistant winemaker from 2004– 2007. He has also been winemaker for Nicholson and Pierce Vine- yards and consults for various clients in the region. Innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in the Salinas Valley and beyond, Brand is known for his progressive approaches to plantings, commitment to organic farming and tireless promotion of Monterey as the next region to watch in California.” Brand says on the impetus for the Le P’tit Paysan wines, “We did not set out to make these wines. We discovered great vineyards at the edge of sensible farming and decided to bring them to light. The farther we looked, the more we found – remote, challenging vineyards, with hard depleted soils, and intense sunlight tempered only by the coastal breeze. Vineyards capable of producing only the most idiosyncratic wines. Our goal as winemakers is to lightly polish the roughest edges and leave the idiosyncrasy intact. It is here in the back country, filled with individual character, where Le P’tit Paysan comes to life.” In their growing sites Brand looks for shallow, rocky soils, good site selection and proper varietal match with the soil and climate. The often overlooked greater Monterey Bay Area has a plethora of underappreciated, rocky vineyards, many of which contain a high proportion of limestone.
Sustainable. Predominantly from a few vineyards at the base of Jack’s Hill, planted on the distinct iron oxide granite that dominates the east side of the Salinas Valley, directly east of Sleepy Hollow North. Clone 4 and 76 on 101-14 and 3309 rootstock, 35-year-old Wente clone on unknown rootstock (nobody remembers what it is). Also blended with small lots of Chardonnay clone 17 (Robert Young) from the northern Santa Lucia Highlands. All cool to cold climate. Picked at low brix and high acid. Pressed to tank, cold settled 24 hours, racked to neutral oak barrels and puncheons, one new puncheon and two lightly used puncheons (approx. 4% new French) and stainless tanks. Barrel (65%), concrete (30%) and tank (5%) aged 5 months. Partial malolactic fermentation.
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