Saturday, November 8, 2008
VINO LAS VEGAS takes a walk in the Clos Pepe Vineyard with winemaker Wes Hagen
VINO LAS VEGAS has visited Clos Pepe
Estate on several occasions. When we notified Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe we were going to be in town he invited us to stop by for a walk in the vineyard and would tell us about the 2008 Harvest , that was an offer we could not turn down
Clos Pepe Estate uses 100% of their grapes in all of their wines. In other words they do not use fruit from other vineyards however, many vineyards seek out the Clos Pepe grapes for use in
their own wines.
We have spoken to winemaker / vineyard manger Wes Hagen on many occasions and he takes a hands off approach to making Clos Pepe wines. Most high quality winemakers believe wine making occurs in the vineyard. It is true art form to pick the grapes at just the right time and correct sugar levels to make a great wine. That is a true art form and Wes Hagen does it well.
As we walked in the vineyard early one morning he explained that the yields were significantly down for the 2008 harvest due to frost damage. However, the quality of the grapes that were picked were very good. We heard talk throughout the appellation that the 2008 vintage could be one of the best ever, but as we all know, only time will tell for sure.
Wes gave us geology lesson as we continued our walk and explained how the east/west orientation of the Sta Rita Hills along with the maritime influence are a significant reason for the "special" aspects in the wines produced in the area.
As are walk came to an end we stopped at the winery for some barrel tasting of some upcoming vintages and to sample current releases. True to form Clos Pepe wines were great in the barrel and even better in the bottle and will continue to age well like a fine wine from a vineyard with their standards.
Join VINO LAS VEGAS and Wes Hagen on our walk through the Clos Pepe Vineyard and learn about the geography and wine making of the area from Wes.