Ian Brand makes these wines from vineyards in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara Counties. All four of these counties benefit from the regular influx of sea air off the 11,000ft deep Monterey Marine Canyon. Dramatic microclimates result from the onshore breezes and fog as they interplay with the coastal mountain ranges and valleys and the California sunshine. Combined with the varied soils (predominantly granite based and marine sediments) west of the San Andreas Fault, these microclimates create a bevy of interesting places for a winemaker to play with. Ian has moved beyond the traditionally esteemed sites to focus on matches of site and variety that, for whatever reason, have yet to have their moment. His wines emphasize site selection, attentiveness in the vineyard and winemaking with a delicate, practiced hand, and they have garnered attention for their nervy, mineral driven whites and savoury, complex reds. Le P’tit Paysan is Rhône-themed, its name a slightly ironic self-reference to Salinas’s status as a nowhere place by comparison with perhaps grander grape-growing locations in California. La Marea is Spanish-inspired, a nod to the region’s colonial heritage and an opportunity to play around with off-piste varieties and styles.
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