13 Sauvignon Blanc | = | Equality
13 Sauvignon Blanc | = | Equality
El Camino Real Vineyard
Santa Ynez Valley
2017 | Picked by Family
2018 | Put to Bottle
2018 - 2039 | Enjoy
Equality For All
THE VOICE OF 13 AND EQUALITY =
Hello my name is Brielle Saarloos.
This wine represents a bond between my father and I. Each year we work on this wine together, from vineyard to bottle. We have committed to making this wine together for 12 years. This year I have turned 13. My Dad usually writes a note to me on the bottle giving me his advice and commemorating the year. This year I have chosen to use our efforts as a platform. I wanted to raise awareness and the message of EQUALITY FOR ALL. My Dad couldn't be more proud of my choice.
Ever since I was 5 years old I have been making decisions in our wine and our harvest. As a little kid I would love going to the vineyard with my Dad and running through the rows and rows of vines. I would watch my grandpa in his tractor meticulously mowing the grass, so people would know that the Saarloos’ weren’t screwing around. The vineyard was my favorite place to be and I was so jealous that my family would get to be there all day. Every fall, I would go with my mom to visit my dad and family in the vineyard. I would remember my dad waking up at dawn then come home talking about all the grapes they had picked that day. I would listen in amazement at all the parts that were involved to make wine. I always loved spending time with my family and thought it was so neat that I was able to do this. When I was 6 years old my dad sat me down and asked me when should pick the grapes. He took me to the vineyard, I ate a grape and spat the seeds out. They were mostly brown with a little green and I told him that in two weeks they should be ready. So in two weeks he picked the grapes and continued to ask me that question every single year.
Every year after that I have woken up at 5 am and went to the vineyard with my entire family and picked the Sauvignon Blanc. I say the blessing and kick off the harvest season. When I was 13 I decided that I wanted to do more. I was now a “teenager” and wanted more responsibility. My dad was over the moon that I wanted a bigger role in our family business. I was now in charge of everything from pressing the grapes to label design. I was there every step of the way.
The label this year is a little different than what we have done in the past. Usually my dad writes me a letter on how much I have grown this past year and all the things that I should look out for in the future. This year though, I wanted to make a statement with my label so I put an equal sign on the front. I wanted to express that now I was taking a step forward. My dad handed me the batton and I was taking my first steps with a bang. Now I could use my voice for something I really wanted to say. So that is what I did.
Our Sauvignon Blanc had become something special for my daughter and I. When she was 4 years old she came with me to help harvest our first harvest of the grape on our El Camino Real Vineyard. She rode around with her grandpa on the tractor and helped clean leaves from the picking bins. It was a magical moment, all three generations working side by side harvesting our crop to be made into our wine. We named that wine Brielle after the little blond girl that helped pick it. The year after, we spent even more time together in the vineyard together, and she asked more questions, and before we knew it, we had a little expert on our hands. She made the picking call that next year at age 6. The most important decision in the life of a bottle of wine. She would pop the grape in her mouth, chew it a bit, spit the seeds into her hand to examine them for maturity and then tell me if she thought the balance between the acids and sugars were to her liking. AT AGE 6. --
From that moment on, I knew the Sauvignon Blanc would always be hers. She has been at every harvest, has hit the button on every press load, is there for bottling, and many other trips to the vineyard and winery sitting shotgun next to her Dad talking about life as we know it. We named our Sauvignon Blanc each year for and after her - There has been: Brielle, Hunter, Iron Lady, Daddy's Girl...
When she was 10 I asked her what we should name it this year?
She said very matter of factly, how about 10 I was 10 when we picked it, I like 10.
A tradition was born.
I told her that I would write a note on it from me to her, and I committed to the next 12 vintages being named in her honor. Every year a new record, every year her age.
I thought how the time between her being 10 and 21 would be the most transformative in her life. How these would be the years of US. The years I got to be a part of her life on a daily basis before she grew up and made a life for herself.
12 bottles in a Case, 12 Vintages between 10 and 21.
It has become how I teach her, every year we give her more to do with the Sauvignon Blanc. By the time she is 16 It will be hers. Every decision, every piece of work, all of it, her responsibility.
I will sit in the stands and cheer.