“The Obstinacy of Civilization:” Wine from Los Senderos

Yes, it took "the obstinacy of civilization," and the Los Senderos oenologist, to ensure that these very grapes produced our first vintage.

Pierre Veilletet—author of Le Vin Leçon de Choses (The Wine Lesson)writes “There are no great vineyards produced by predestination, by divine providence.  There is only the obstinacy of civilization.”  The Benedictine monks of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or would likely argue that point, but we at Los Senderos agree.

If you know your décavaillonnage from your doux, you’ll agree.  A wine worth its (weight in) salt thrives best in hostile conditions any sane farmer would bypass: the rockier the soil, the better.  Only careful human nurturing—often several hundred years of it—creates a sturdy vine boasting the most succulent, say, pinot noir.  The risks, meantime, are considerable.

Our ampelographer understands this risk all too well, especially in a climate like San Miguel’s that offers single-day 40-degree temperature differentials.  That’s why, at the Los Senderos winery, you’ll find us growing both Cabernet Sauvignon—temperamentally sensitive to unpredictable climates—as well as Cabernet Franc, the original Bordeaux varietal.

We grow a little Merlot, too.  Why?  The rounder flavors of Merlot heighten Cab’s lack of a sense of fruit, just like the Cab Franc adds additional aromas—black currant and pencil box—the Cab Sauvignon often lacks.  And also because we’re just a little obstinate!

Come visit our winery—you’ll see why the obstinacy of Los Senderos produced 400 bottles of our own label this year!

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