Tierra Extraña Cabernet Franc 2021[Sam Elliot's Voice:] "The perfect 'Summer Red Wine' is a mysterious and elusive creature. I love to start a night off with a lighter bodied / "chillable" red, but despite their maximum drinkability, I don't really consider them the perfect Summer Red Wine. The thing is, when it's Summer here in the mountains you want a red wine that you can drink with something hearty from the grill and into the night around the fire as things cool down fast. For me the perfect Summer red, from riverside to camp fire is whole cluster Cab Franc. When you're dipping into your third night cap, and looking for your jacket on a high mountain Summer's night, you'll want 'Tierra Extraña' Cab Franc in your glass. Whole Cluster fermentation and extended maceration bring a bounty of pepper and perfume, uninhibited by stewy extraction, but rather infused with juicy coastal blackberry, head shop aromatics and underpinned with a deep ethereal earthiness. Enjoy by: drinking out of an enamel camping mug and stargazing by the fire." (source: Iruai)
The Producer: Iruai
Iruai Winery (“ear-oo-eye" … the artist formerly known as Methode Sauvage) was started in 2013 by Chad and Michelle Westbrook Hinds in Berkeley, CA as a gypsy natural wine project, before laying down roots in the mythical Shasta-Cascade mountains of Siskiyou County.
Trading in the urban winery hustle for the vigneron life, we are exploring avant garde vineyard planting and rehabilitation techniques using the permaculture methods laid out by Masanobu Fukuoka, while formulating our own “chaos organics” method of re-enchanting the land. Truly unlike anywhere else in California, Western Siskiyou County feels like a cross between Switzerland and Montana, cut with a rain shadow from Mount Shasta that divides it starkly between high mountain prairie and dense alpine forests.
Finding ourselves in largely untested grape growing territory, with high elevations and a continental climate, we have turned Iruai into exploration and celebration of esoteric varieties that flourish in the Alps of Europe. While we work to grow our Western Siskiyou County estate projects, we purchase fruit and lease vineyards throughout the Shasta-Cascade, from the Trinity Alps of California to the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon.
We seek to make wine with a sense of place by employing no additives, and removing no character. Our goal in the vineyard is to let the vines thrive like they would in the wild, and in the cellar, to shepherd each ferment through its own natural development and evolution.
The Region: Siskiyou County, California