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Written by Nikitas Magel   

Learning to Let Go

Sunset in Sonoma NM:  Overall, then, how pleased would you say you are with how the Bjornstad Cellars wines have come along, especially being that the brand is so new?

GB:  I feel that every year I learn something more — some cornerstone for that particular vintage, some new discovery, something that happened with the weather or that was observed in the vineyard, how the fruit behaved in the winery.  There's always a new theme to anticipate for next year.

NM:  One last question — and one that you preemptively touched on with your analogy to child-rearing: During your personal evolution as a viticulturist and more recently as a winemaker, what have you learned that you've been able to apply to your life in general, perhaps making for a fuller one?

GB:  I'd say probably one of the biggest lessons that comes from both the professional viticultural/winemaking arena as well as the fatherhood side is knowing what there is to do, not being overwhelmed with all the information and choices, and knowing that once I've done all that I can, there is no more to do.  It's like the director of a live stage production, where once all the sets are in place and you've worked with the actors who've rehearsed all their lines, the performance is now live and anything can happen; you've done what you could, so it is what it is.  And so, I'd say that there's a way that I've accepted a certain amount of letting-go.  I do my homework, I pay attention — my intention and motivation is devout — and then after that, I can really do no more!  Mother Nature is a partner in this whole process; hopefully, she'll take it in the right direction.  Of course, I'll still be watching, so if something goes awry, I can bring things back.  It's a partnership, a give-and-take in the involvement.  One response requires an interaction and it proceeds from there.  So, I would say that that's probably a life lesson that is apparent in both wine and kids!

Proof of the exquisite balance he strikes between parental intervention and collegial deference is nowhere more resounding than in Greg Bjornstad's wines themselves, each of which beautifully showcases its respective variety and unique terroir.  To learn more about this producer, its story, and portfolio, visit Bjornstad online.  Photo Credits: Bjornstad Cellars. v


Tasting Notes of the Bjornstad Portfolio
  • 2007 Chardonny, Porter-Bass Vineyard: pronounced aromas of bright green apple, orange blossom, asian pear, and lemon creme, all coming through generously on the palate with mineral undertones, bright acidity, and a floral finish.
  • 2007 Chardonny, Ritchie Vineyard: prominent nose of red apple, terragon and sage, plus a hint of toasted coconut, all coming through on the palate with a smooth, supple texture, bright acidity, and a long, savory finish.
  • 2007 Pinot Noir, Hellenthal Vineyard: pronounced aromas of cranberry, salami, and a hint of animal sweat, yet with a flavor of softly spiced red cherry, chalky tannins, and soft, alluring mouthfeel, balanced acidity, and a long red-fruit finish.
  • 2007 Pinot Noir, Van der Kamp Vineyard: powerful scent of black cherry, cloves, and smokey qualities, coming through assertively on the palate with a dark-berry infused creaminess, satiny tannins, balanced acidity, and a lingering oak-kissed finished.

These four wines are all eminently drinkable now.  However, with time, their rich fruit profiles, acidity, and texture will fully integrate to produce wines of increased elegance, power, and harmony.

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