I get a chance to sit down with my friend Erica Stancliff, a local winemaker and consulting. It was a really good interview and I learned a lot about, how wine is gets made and all the things that go into making wine. Thank you all again for listing to my podcast! It really means a lot to me and hope you all are enjoying them.Please follow and share!
This is our first interview featuring the Petaluma Gap region of California so its appropriate that we meet up with the newest winemaker at Pfendler Vineyards, Erica Stancliff. Erica has a strong background in wine and joins a growing number of women winemakers in the industry. Being a winemaker is a journey of the heart, [...]
Erica Stancliff is the winemaker at Pfendler Vineyards We Talk About: -Growing up in Russian River Valley. -Working with Paul Hobbs. -Why she chose school at Fresno for the Enology program. -Her internship at Viña Cobos, working with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. -Returning to Napa to work at Rudd -Her role as President of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance -How she met Kimberly Pfendler and the history of the vineyard -We taste through the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, talking about her philosophy on oak and picking decisions http://pfendlervineyards.com/
This episode features winemaker Erica Stancliff, who has many roles in Sonoma including making wine for Trombetta, her family’s winery, consulting for a handful of client wineries, and advocacy work with the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance. This is a great conversation that ranged from highly technical enology from Erica’s stint working for Enartis Vinquiry to her current winemaking roles hands-on with small wineries. LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Trombetta Family Wines, Sonoma California Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance This podcast is brought you by Black Dog Consulting. Wine has been made since Antiquity; Kings, Queens, and common folk alike have all Revered and Coveted it. Over the centuries, Vintners have carefully documented the eccentricities. This activity persists today. Joining forces with the Cadre of Consultants and Vendor Partners in the Black Dog Consulting Network gives the Vintner unparalleled access to Tribal knowledge, the best Support, and Products on the Market; often at lower cost. This comes with adjacent support from their Cadre of Consultant Agents; mostly at no cost to the end-user. Most of the firms in the US are sole proprietors, whereas Black Dog Consulting operates as a "hive mind." This means if a situation arises where it is beyond the scope of expertise of your local agent, the rest of the cadre will address it and find a solution. They are a team of accomplished agents with a diverse background who are attempting to take a crowdsourced approach to your beverage science solutions. This is a novel approach to wine consulting in the continental United States. You can reach them via email email@example.com @Blackdogconsultingwine @BetweenTwoBudsPodcast @TheDeliberateWinemaker Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org if you learn something from the collection of podcasts at Inside Winemaking, please considering donating to support the show. Paypal links at the bottom of the Inside Winemaking homepage. Every small donation is helpful. Questions? Comments? Let me know what you think: email@example.com if you learn something from the collection of podcasts at Inside Winemaking, please considering donating to support the show. Paypal links at the bottom of the Inside Winemaking homepage. Every small donation is helpful. The Inside Winemaking Podcast on iTunes And Stitcher Radio Too
Erica Stancliff winemaker at Trombetta Family Wines
California Wine Country
Erica Stancliff is back on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Erica Stancliff is the winemaker for Trombetta Family Wines, which she founded with her mother. Dan Berger is also back in the studio, after Coronavirus quarantine. During the time, he opened a lot of bottles from his extensive cellar. About half of them were no good but the other half were good.Erica Stancliff was on California Wine Country twice last year, in February 2019, together with her mother Rickey Trombetta, and again, with Tom Gendall, Assistant Winemaker at Cline Family Cellars, in a July 2019 show about Petaluma Gap wines. Trombetta is her mother’s maiden name. They started the winery in 2010 after Erica graduated from Fresno St. with a degree in enology.Paul HobbsPaul Hobbs was Erica Stancliff's mentor and consulting winemaker for the first few years. After extensive experience internationally and in California for various producers, she took over as winemaker for Trombetta Family Wines in 2014. Paul Hobbs has a great reputation, having worked with David Ramey at Simi Winery and elsewhere. Dan Berger says Paul Hobbs is very respected. He is the guy who lifted the Argentine wine industry up from its bootstraps. Dan says he can do everything, with every varietal. Erica says he was a great person to learn from.Speaking of Argentina, Dan says that Argentina makes very good wines that are produced at a much lower cost than here, so they are very inexpensive to us. Erica remembers that they did not have all the technological advances and other choices available there that we have in California.Top University Wine Programs in the USErica got a degree in Viticulture and Enology from California State University, Fresno aka Fresno State. She chose the school because at the time, it was the only college campus that had a bonded winery. They had over 200 acres of farmland and their classes and exams were all very practical, from vineyard through winery all the way to sales.UC Davis and Fresno St. are the two most famous university wine programs. Others are Purdue, Mississippi St. and Cornell, with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo the newest one coming on. UC Davis is the oldest program, it was founded after the second world war.Petaluma GapThey taste a 2018 Dutton Goldfield Riesling, from the Petaluma Gap. Dan Berger says that the emergence of the Petaluma Gap AVA is a very important development. Petaluma Gap is hot by day with cool evenings, sea breezes and foggy mornings. The AVA is driven by its natural topography, which creates a wind tunnel. Dan Berger says that good acidity will always be a characteristic of Petaluma Gap wines. “This wine wouldn’t grow anywhere else to deliver this character. This character comes from the Gap. This area is going to become world famous,” says Dan Berger.Erica Stancliff says, “As the president of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance, I’m loving every word I’m hearing.”“This is world class stuff. This is not just good or great, this is world class. This is right up there with the very best wine made anywhere.” –Dan Berger on Petaluma Gap winesErica tells that Petaluma Gap sells fruit to winemakers in Napa and Sonoma counties that love using their Pinot and Chardonnay. They have a longer growing season than anywhere else around here. They pick about two weeks later than Russian River. Dave Ramey makes a killer Syrah there too.Dan Berger reminds us about what Jeff Gaffner from Black Kite said recently on this show about his Petaluma Gap Pinot.All the great Pinot Noir specialists use fruit from Petaluma Gap, Erica names Gary Farrell, Kosta Browne, Three Sticks, Black Kite and others.There are also a few great wineries located there, Blue Wing and Keller Estate she mentions.Erica describes the Petaluma Gap area. Some parts are at higher and lower elevation, some a little more in the fog line. They harvest at least two weeks later,
Meet Erica Stancliff the winemaker of Trombetta Family Wines in Sonoma County. She’s a California girl making wine for her family, and consulting for a few other wineries. Discover how the legendary Paul Hobbs influenced her career. Learn how she met her husband on a trip to Las Vegas, and what she likes most about Argentina and horses! All this and more when you take a listen to this show.
Trombetta Family Wines handcrafts beautifully balanced small lot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from vineyards that exemplify the area in which they are planted. Erica Stancliff, daughter and winemaker, takes great pride in producing wines with purity of flavor and balance. Rickey Trombetta, mother and owner, works closely with Erica and our growers to identify only the best fruit for our wines.Trombetta Family Wines story began around the family table with food harvested from our garden paired with wines we loved. Our journey into winemaking began in the mid 80’s as home winemakers. Our passion for great food and wine led us down this lifelong journey.Rickey and Roger learned to make wine from Carmine Indindoli, a wine grape grower, co-worker and neighbor. A passion was ignited and they pursued winemaking courses at Santa Rosa Junior College and UC Davis.An opportunity to work side by side with Paul Hobbs in 1998 changed our hobby into a passionate pursuit of winemaking. One night at dinner, Paul discovered Erica’s palate at age 10. Encouraging Erica’s talent, Paul walked vineyards around Napa and Sonoma counties with her. In 2010 Erica graduated from California State University Fresno with her degree in enology. She flew to Mendoza, Argentina to intern at Viña Cobos. Upon her return, she worked the 2011 California harvest at Rudd Estate in Napa with winemaker Patrick Sullivan. Enartis Vinquiry hired her as enologist to work with winemakers solving problems and teaching how to prevent problems from occurring. After two and a half years there she moved to CrossBarn where she picked up the reins of the Trombetta project. Erica has been the Trombetta Family winemaker since 2014.
Petaluma Gap wines with Erica Stancliff and Tom Gendall
California Wine Country
The Petaluma Gap is the subject of today’s California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. Our guests are Erica Stancliff from Trombetta Family Wines and Tom Gendall, Assistant Winemaker at Cline Family Cellars.In 1989 Erica Stancliff’s parents were home winemakers. In 2010 she and her mother started Trombetta Family Wines. Paul Hobbs was their consulting winemaker until 2014 when Erica stepped in.Cline was started in 1982 with some old vineyards in Contra Costa County. They had Zinfandel, Mourvedre and others there. In 1989 he moved to a vineyard in Sonoma County. Today they make a lot of wines including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and several other varietals from the Petaluma Gap.They have 650 acres in Petaluma Gap with Chardonnay, Viogner, Pinot Noir, Pinor Gris, and others. The Petaluma Gap is the newest AVA, getting its designation just two years ago.Dan Berger says that Petaluma Gap is a well-defined appellation, designed specifically to define the cooler regions. It is different than Sonoma Coast. It has a series of winds that come from morning to evening, with different temperatures. These form different acid levels for the wines grown there. It’s defined by weather, rather than soil, being traced by the path of the wind. Erica describes the wind readings they took throughout the region The data they had on the consistent 11 miles-an-hour wind had a lot to do with the AVA approval.They are predominately known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, which are what the Gap is known for. Tom Gendall describes the other varieties they grow there.Dan says that Cardonnay grows well in colder climates where the sugars don’t get too high. This appellation is yet to be discovered by many people. Erica describes several vineyards that are well known as sources for several major winemakers. The are is getting more and more recognition.The more you leave the fruit on the vines, the better the quality of the fruit will be. They taste a Gap’s Crown Chardonnay, on the southwest facing slope of Sonoma Mountain. She describes the acidity, minerality and concentration. Dan says you don’t get this flavor profile in a warmer climate.The aroma has a Burgundian cast to it, says Dan, with a faint tropical note burried under some squash-like characteristics. Dan “Lay It Down” Berger says this needs about two more years. The acidity it there to protect it in the cellar.The Petaluma Gap AVA is large geographically but there are not a lot of acres planted. There are 6 tasting rooms and more being built. There are 202,000 acres in the area and only 4,000 acres are planted.Tom and Erica describe a wine cruise on the Danube River that they are organizing for next year.