IOWA | Syrah 2016 | The Life Of: Gilbert Saarloos

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IOWA | Syrah 2016 | The Life Of: Gilbert Saarloos


Limited Production.

Estate Grown
Little Boy Terrace / Windmill Ranch
Ballard Canyon AVA
2016 | Picked by Family
2018 | Put to Bottle
2019 - 2041 | Enjoy


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My grandfather was born in a small town in Iowa. He grew up on a farm and lost his father when he was 12 years old. He lost his father, and his older brother took over the farming responsibilities of the Farm. My Grandfather was then was shipped off to a family down the street to help that family work on their property and to relieve the stress on his own family that comprised three brothers and a sister.

He had to grow up fast. He had to become independent quickly. He had to put away childish things before he should have ever been asked.

The photo on this bottle was taken in 1928 before any of this happened. It was taken before this tragedy in our family.

It was taken when he was just a boy.

Before life took over.

When I showed my father this photo,

He Said “I have never seen that photo”

And then I saw my father cry.

He saw his father in a way that maybe he never had.

As a boy.

As a boy with a father.

Unincumbered by life.

As he should be.

This wine is taken from our “Little Boy Terrace” our southernmost terrace.

The hardest vines on our property to farm.

The most expressive of our vineyard.

The purest form of our vineyard, blocked by the fat man terrace and the High Hill.

Youth in a bottle.

It made my father cry.

This could be my favorite bottle we have ever made.

Life Vs Lives

In 2016 We harvested our Syrah from the three hills on our Ballard Canyon Vineyard.

Each of the hillsides are planted with our Syrah Clone.

Genetically each of the vines on these hillsides are identical.

Each vine is a clone of itself grown on the same property by our family in just the same way.

Conventional thought would tell you that each of these wines would taste the same.

That these grapes that have been treated the same from the identical genetic vines would be identical.

That made these wines are a commodity product and that the outcome would be identical.

Now, think about a people.

Three children raised in the same home, with the identical DNA, treated precisely the same…

Wouldn't each of these children come out the same way?

Wouldn't they like the same things, act the same way, be the same person?

Of course the answer is No.

The environment that they grow up in plays an unbelievable and vital role into who you and they would become.

Each of our hillsides has a unique environment that is bestowed upon the vines and the fruit giving them individual characteristics that after we harvest our grapes and give our farming immortality that is our wines are expressed completely.

Being a Parent and being a Farmer have overlapped in my life to become one.

I see my Family in our farming - I see our Farming in our Family.

Each has taught me lessons about the other that I would have missed without being both.

We have released each of our Syrah’s individually.

Because, they are in fact, individuals.

The same person if you will, at different phases of life, in different locations

The Life of: Gilbert Saarloos