The Wiens Family Cellars Vineyard, located on the property of our main Tasting Room is located in the Buck Mesa area of Temecula Valley sitting at 1,350 feet elevation right off Rancho California Rd in the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country. After searching for a place in Southern California to move the original winery location in Lockeford, CA down to, the family purchased the vineyard in April 2003. It is an ideal location- approximately 30 miles from the ocean with warm days and cool nights that provide a great environment for grape growing. Afternoon and evening ocean breezes flow through the Rainbow Gap causing a large diurnal shift which our grape vines flourish in. We receive an average of 12” of rain a year and the vines are deep irrigated using domestic water. The soil is a sandy loam soil which is great for the vines.
Originally, nine of the ten acres were planted with Chardonnay vines in the mid 1970’s. We decreased the acres planted to 6.3 acres when we built the main tasting room in 2003. In 2010, we doubled the vine density by adding new rows of vines between existing rows. The varieties we grow at the Wiens Family Cellars Vineyard are:
Chardonnay: The original Chardonnay vines planted here in the mid 1970’s are still producing quality grapes today. Our Chardonnay is unique in that we age on oak, while suppressing the secondary (malo-lactic) fermentation. This allows us to accentuate the natural flavors in the wine with oak, rather than the buttery notes present in a “ML” chardonnay. The French oak used lends some creamy vanilla notes, that balance nicely against crisp, green apple notes, making our Chardonnay a little lighter bodied than most California Chardonnays, while retaining good typicity.
Montepulciano: Our 2018 Montepulciano is estate grown. We typically don’t get enough fruit to make a stand-alone Montepulciano, but 2018 was an exception. This is estate grown fruit, and produces a medium bodied red, with floral, and red fruit notes, and nice ageing acidity. The 2018 vintage is scheduled to be released around March of 2021.
Mourvedre: Our Estate Mourvedre is used in many of our blended wine like our Domestique, which is a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend). GSM blends originated in the Côtes du Rhône region of France but are made all around the world today. GSM blends are known for their vivid fruit, strong aromas of ripe fruit, some herbs, and a pepper finish.
Petit Verdot: Our Estate Petite Verdot is blended into our blends like our Crowded. Petite Verdot Is known for high tannins, deep color, and black fruit flavor and aroma.
Syrah: Syrah tends to be a difficult variety, with its proclivity toward producing funky, smoky notes during fermentation and ageing. While this tendency can be a bad thing, we respect this as part of the variety, while simultaneously working to incorporate these aromas and flavors into a more cohesive, balanced wine. We will intentionally add more oxygen during, and after fermentation, keeping the yeast, and lees healthy and happy, and use lighter toast French oak, which tends to impart less of the smoky notes typical in heavier toast American oak. This allows a touch of the smoky, gamey character to interplay with the fruity, herbal notes, giving the finished wine a complex and clean, yet unmistakably “Syrah” profile.
Next time you’re here for a visit take a walk out into the vineyard and see the vines up close in person. You can tell which vines are the oldest Chardonnay vines by their size- their trunks are much larger than the newer vines.