Human. Nature. Hope Well.
Hope Well wine is the alchemy between the natural world, my deep love for this ground and the unsung heroes whose strong hands, hearts and minds have helped me make it.
The landscape knows everything I want to learn in this life. Wine, for me, offers a different dimension of communication with my teacher and mentor, this place. The wordless communication of so many days and lessons culminates at harvest, and you are allowed communion and conversation.
This Spring, as we all shelter in place anxiously waiting out the global pandemic, seeking distractions, I am thrilled to release five new wines to line the walls of the bunker: 2018 Pinot noir, 2018 Chardonnay, and 2018 twain (a once-in-a-lifetime joining of a pair of polar opposites), and two children of 2019, Monday’s Child and Tuesday’s Child.
All are available for purchase in our shop.
Releasing my wines from the 2018 vintage, I can’t help remembering how the tiresome words of drought, fire, and heat dominated the talk of the growing season. The only balm to the abrading effects inherent in the acceleration of climate change is redoubling the effort to build the alternative way forward. Every year that passes we see more resilience in the land. While the drought persisted in 2018, the ongoing improvements in soil water retention due to years of increasing diversity and feeding soil were appreciated by all the life at Hope Well.
As warm as 2018 began, we were granted reprieve by reliably cool nights. Tasting grapes as September grew old it was clear that the message of the vintage was a powerful one. Managing to make it through another drought year with the power to cross the finish line with nuance and finesse in the wines felt very gratifying.
2019 began more benignly than 2018, but unprecedented humidity through July and August ramped up disease pressure and kept everyone on their toes until September, when rains paused the harvest trajectory. We waited. This is our kind of year, when the pressure is high and everything is on the line. These are the years that define our intent.
We were rewarded for gutting out the rains by a dry and cool spell that brought a beautiful array of flavor and aroma that peak in ‘cool’ harvests, when we easily pass 110 days after flowering and still have green leaves and time to spare. One beautifully dry day we snuck out and picked several rows of perfectly ripe Pinot noir from all corners of the vineyard. Every berry, plump and eager, promising to reward your patience and faith in them. The flavors were symphonic; aromas so subtle, my mind was reeling with ideas of how to capture the dimensionality of what we had in that fruit.
Love at first sight. Is it real? Anyone with children knows that love erupts violently in your heart the second you meet your baby, biological, adopted, of the fuzzy variety. It is the birth of a universe, a big bang of infinite space to fill with love and admiration.
Monday’s Child and Tuesday’s Child are the first of a set of three wines made in 2019 as an exercise in prismatic infusion. Pinot noirs, picked at the same time, with different skin macerations, each in three vessels, striking different notes in harmony. We will share the third child when she wakes from her nap.
~ Mimi Casteel
All current wines are available for purchase here.
Information about previous vintages of Hope Well wines is available here.
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