Rod Byers: Checking in on Nevada City Winery

Hal Hanifl took in excess of winemaking responsibilities for Nevada Town Vineyard in 2021. A person calendar year afterwards how was that component of factors going, I questioned?
Submitted by Rod Byers

Nevada Metropolis Vineyard has been on a transitional route more than the past many several years. They have had an possession change. They have experienced a lot of managerial changes. They have experienced a winemaker transform. That’s a lot of transform. So how improved is it?

Susie Bavo took command of the business a handful of several years ago and that portion of points has been pretty stable. Kim Crevoiserat took in excess of managerial handle shortly soon after that and that served to stabilize what may well have been explained as a wobbly path.

On top rated of that long-time winemaker Mark Foster retired just after the 2021 crush. Hal Hanifl took about winemaking obligations. 1 12 months afterwards how was that section of matters heading, I questioned?



Hal Hanifl arrives from a vocation of doing the job for big wineries.
Submitted by Rod Byers

I satisfied up with Hal on the deck overlooking the crush pad. “The most effective issue? That is easy,” he answered. “It’s meeting our consumers, especially Wine Club users, discovering what they like and remaining capable to communicate wine with them.”

Hanifl will come from a vocation of performing for major wineries. As a winemaker he was buried deep in the cellar. “A cog in 1 of quite a few wheels,” is how he explained it. “Now I’m the leading and the bottom of the section. If it is heading to get accomplished, it will be me performing it.”



What he desired was not just to be in the cellar but also to be capable to meet prospects and converse wine in the tasting home. Hal thinks of himself as a instructor as a lot as he considers himself a winemaker. It’s all about conversation is what he would say.

That is what the Nevada Town Vineyard wished as nicely. Previous yr, they done a fairly extensive lookup looking for their upcoming winemaker. They desired another person who would be palms-on, and not worried to get involved regardless of whether it was doing work in the cellar or functioning in the Tasting Area.

That is a outrageous detail about winemaking. It can simply be a couple of many years, or lengthier, before releasing a red wine.
Submitted by Rod Byers

Evidently the number a person career is in the cellar. That by itself is an appealing component. When you get more than an current procedure normally you also consider around the stock. It has value. You can not just toss it away. But wine is not like textbooks, or clothes, or furniture. Wine is not inert. It is not performed till it is in the bottle and even then it continues to evolve.

So what to do with a cellar comprehensive of wine in barrels? That problem was even more difficult when they made a decision to get rid of their off-internet site circumstance storage setting up and go all the things to the Winery. Right away the out there winemaking house shrunk by 50 percent. A ton of barrels with no place to place them.

The bright spot there is that Hal sees blending as a principal part of a winemaker’s work and relishes the prospect to place wines jointly in just the ideal combinations. “More voices make a more intricate choir,” he explained. “But at the same time a very small addition, as minimal as three p.c, can also make a massive variation. It’s about acquiring equilibrium.”

Be cautious what you would like for for the reason that a single of his very first responsibilities was consolidating wine from individuals barrels into more substantial tanks to free of charge up place for circumstance storage. I’m will be interested to see the final results of that. They have some tips of what they are going to do but I promised not to say something.

That’s a mad matter about winemaking. It can simply be a couple of a long time, or for a longer time, ahead of releasing a red wine. Hal was not there for last year’s crush but had command of the wines write-up-fermentation. He experienced a finishing hand in the 2021 Sangiovese Rosé and 2021 Barbera both of those of which are in the tasting area now. Continue to we could not see his 1st crushed reds for a even though.

Here’s something else I will be viewing for. Hal will explain to you his most loved wines are aromatic and fruity whites, generally from neat-local climate areas. Not particularly in the Sierra Foothill’s wheelhouse the place reds and dry whites dominate. I will be curious how he integrates all that.

1 factor that continues to be unchanged is Nevada City Winery’s tasting home. It stays the greatest put to fulfill a person for a glass of wine in the afternoon. In stunning temperature the deck is a pretty space. In inclement climate the tasting home is cozy, and similarly delightful.

Even now, I could not aid but ponder, what is up with all individuals wine cocktails? As a vineyard shouldn’t the concentration be wine, not wine cocktails?

It was Kim Crevoiserat who answered that a person. Wine cocktails attraction to a younger crowd, she stated. Having just put in a week with some twenty-some thing nephews, I never when observed them drink a glass of chardonnay or cabernet. There was peanut butter-flavored bourbon and fruit-flavored wine coolers.

What ever, I imagined at the time. But I now understand the ideal cabernet in the earth would not have introduced them into a winery tasting home. So maybe char-tinis are the ticket. That was what we utilized to say about white-zinfandel back in the day a stepping stone to other wines.

Wine in Nevada County has taken a strike around the last many several years. We desperately require Nevada Metropolis Vineyard to continue to be the beacon of wine it has been for the past forty a long time. And like I said, nonetheless a good spot to fulfill for a glass, specially if you want to converse to the winemaker.

Rod Byers, CWE, is a Licensed Wine Educator and wine writer as effectively as a California State Certified Wine Choose. He is the host of the nearby television exhibit Wine Speak. He can be achieved at [email protected] or 530-802-7172.