Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baiocchi Winemaker Abandoned the Safety Net and Seeks Tone and Balance in his El Dorado County Wines

Greg Baiocchi’s first passion in life was music.  As musicians do, he opened himself up to many styles and rhythms as he matured.  His second passion is wine.  Wine also has an appeal to his creative side, since making good wines involves both complexity and experimentation.  Fortunately his wife Sharon shares his passions.  “We abandoned our security blanket to follow our dreams.  We have ended up working harder every day than we ever did, but we have no regrets as we both feel that this is truly what we were meant to do. We created a brand and also a lifestyle that is founded in the earth and is real, kinesthetic and sustainable,” Greg wrote in his blog.

That’s the origin story of Baiocchi Wines, which has planted 12 acres of the 40 they own in the Fair Play AVA of El Dorado County,  Sierra Foothills region.  From their first vintage in 2009 until today, it’s been a path of taking risk, correcting the course, and forging ahead.  The result is elegant wines in the Southern Rhone tradition.

A few years ago Greg named some wines after his favorite classical pieces.  In talking about his limited-release “gminor” blend of Grenache-Syrah-Tempranillo, Greg waxes rhapsodic.  “Grenache is a pretty part of the blend… it consumes the senses and it is what captures you when first meeting the wine,” he says.  “The Syrah provides weight and curves and seduction.  It holds you on the mid palate long enough to allow some acidity to catch up with the fruit – and then, here comes the Tempranillo kick.  Tempranillo brings structure, complexity and length to the finish.  These blends are like great symphonies!”

Greg and Sharon enjoy Baiocchi Grenache
during an al fresco lunch at the vineyard

At Baiocchi Wines, Greg can be a risk-taker with his blends.  He likes to experiment, and he blends with the goal in mind of delivering purity and freshness of fruit, imparting a sense of place, and ultimately creates an experience that emanates from the vineyard and finds its way to the glass.

Baiocchi Wines Tasting Room                                              
82 Main Street                                                          
Sutter Creek, CA                                                        
209- 267-5523
Tasting Room open Thursday - Sunday from 11:00am – 5:00pm
Complimentary Tastings

Baiocchi Family Vineyard
2145 Hidden Ranch Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
This is a working farm and, as such, there are no public visiting hours.

The winery makes a total of 200 cases annually and releases 7-10 wines yearly.  Ten Library wines are also offered. Wines use Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Viognier varieties.

(You can read more about this winery and meet the family at a special meal that photographer Johan Martin photographed for my forthcoming book...sign up to get updates/alert on publication date ...

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