We first met John and Carri Holdredge in 2007, after a sommelier from Le Bernardin asked us to clear some wine for her. After we tried the wines, we wanted to do more than clear a few cases for a friend- we wanted make them to be part of our book. It’s been a great ride ever since.
John and Carri were winegrowers who began making wine in the mid 90’s. They began making Pinot commercially in 2001, several years before the movie “Sideways” made it “cool” to make Pinot. For them, it was a grape they loved, and a passion they needed to pursue. They run a “family winery” in the truest sense of the phrase- other than a couple harvest interns, they handle all aspects of winemaking themselves, with occasional help from their two kids (not nearly as often as John would like!). John handles the day to day winemaking, but he insists that Carri has the best palate in the family, and no wine is bottled without her blessing.
Their approach to winemaking has always been one of minimal intervention- even before it was catchy to say so- and they have become more entrenched in that approach as the years have passed. Whether it is exclusively using native yeast fermentations, native malolactic fermentations, an abhorrence for “additions”, hand punch downs, or a minimal (but judicious) use of new oak or sulfur, they view their roles as custodians whose job it is to stand aside and let the place speak.
John recently told us that over the years he’s learned that in the vineyard he “thinks less and listens more” (pointing to his heart), and in the winery he’s learned to “just keep my damn hands in my pockets” (not intervene). The wines reflect it- showing the rich flavors of California, with a thoughtfulness not easily achieved.