Mindful Wine Journal: Producer Spotlight
Two Shepherds Winery | Sonoma County, CA
Two Shepherds is a small family-owned and operated winery located in Sonoma County, California. It was founded by William Allen in 2010, a Rhone-obsessed blogger turned garagiste winemaker who quickly earned the reputation as a master of small lots. He was joined by the brilliant Karen Daenen in 2015, and since that time the farm has grown to include dogs, cats, mini donkey, goats, and chickens along with the planting of their regenerative estate vineyard. Two Shepherds produces an array of small lot wines, all of which are organic and/or sustainably sourced from some of California's most special heritage vineyards, like the Bechtold Vineyard of century-plus year old Cinsault. They also work with some of California's most unique and rare grape varieties, such as Trousseau Gris, the only known planting in the state, Pinot Meunier, Picpoul and others. Their style rejects pretentiousness in favor of universal connection and easy-drinking pleasure. From canned wines to sparkling reds, skin-contact and beyond, everything at Two Shepherds is a true labor of love, and you can taste the joy in each sip.
What we love...
TROUSSEAU GRIS, FANUCCHI VINEYARD - SKIN-FERMENTED
Originally from the Jura region of Eastern France,Trousseau Gris is a very rare variant of Trousseau Noir. From the sustainably farmed Fanucchi Vineyard in Russian River Valley, the only Trousseau Gris vineyard in California, this is even rarer still. It is a terrific example of "orange" wine—white wine made like red wine, with fermentation on the skins. The process results in a beautiful coppery orange color and wonderful complexity of aroma and flavor. A recent tasting of the 2020 vintage revealed citrus and stone fruit notes alongside strawberry and spice, making this both exotic and refreshing with many pairing possibilities!
PINOT MEUNIER, HOPKINS VINEYARD
Pinot Meunier is traditionally used in Champagne production but is not commonly found outside of the Champagne region of France. It is similar to Pinot Noir, with a slightly wilder character. There are only a handful of Pinot Meunier vineyards in California; Two Shepherds discovered the Hopkins Vineyard by chance when buying their goats! Aged in neutral barrel, this will vary with vintage character but typically will show wild raspberry, blackberry and rose petal notes that mingle with savory herbs.