The Solar Fortún Estate:
- Solar Fortún is a family owned and operated winery that was officially established in 2010 and planted 3 years prior in 2007. Coming from a background in theoretical and natural physics, (both of Santiago's parents are professors of physics at the university in Ensenada), the plan for this estate was methodical and precise, with no consideration left unattended.
- Fully sustainable, (and idyllic to the point of being completely transportive) the only non-renewable resource they use in their operation is the fuel that runs their tractor. As the harvests, and almost all of the work in the vineyards is done by hand, it doesn't get used much!
- All grapes are estate grown in an organically farmed vineyard site at 1,100 ft elevation in the northern most section of the valley, approximately 15 miles from the Pacific in a part of the valley called Francisco Zarco. The confining walls are so tight at this point that they create more of a canyon than a valley. This creates a unique micro climate where the temperature differential between the mountainsides and the valley floor generates a nearly constant breeze eliminating the risk of cluster rot or powdery mildew. This cooler climate also plays a role in the high natural acidity of these wines and their very prevalent floral components.
Total production: 18.5 acres under vine, 10 wines, 3,000 cases
2018 Viña en Rosa - Solar Fortún
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
The 2018 Viña en Rosa represents a very interesting experiment with options of how to make a rosé. With just over 30 hours of contact with the skins, (long for a ros̩) this vintage was also permitted to undergo full malolactic fermentation, (a spontaneous secondary form of fermentation that converts malic acids into lactic acids resulting in a 'creamy' or 'buttery' mouthfeel). Dominated by tropical notes, dried leaves and crushed herbs this is a lovely wine to chill deeply and take in as a sublime textural experience.
Drinking window: Now - 2 years
Santiago Lopez - Mexican
Valle de Guadalupe, ejido de Francisco Zarco - Estate vineyards in a tight valley with sandy soils of decomposed sandstone and some red clay. Vines were planted in 2007 and the elevation is 1,100 ft.
After extended skin contact this wine was left to ferment in stainless steel tanks for 2 weeks. The wine was then racked to a fresh stainless tank where it undergoes full malolactic fermentation and aged for an additional 4 months.