La Clarine Farm

La Clarine Farm
  • “La Clarine Farm makes wines that are alive in the glass… I love their minimalist approach in the vineyard and the cellar, and I’ve loved all their wines, whether mourvèdre, rosé or the 2011 Piedi Grandi, a blend of nebbiolo, mourvèdre and syrah that is precise, savory, juicy and just plain delicious.”

    —Eric Asimov, NY Times

  • “…the wines are defiant and different, and are helping to rewrite the story of the Sierras”

    –Jon Bonné, The New California Wine

  • “Is someone else doing anything as insanely stupid as we are?”

    –Hank Beckmeyer, Proprietor

Hank Beckmeyer and his wife, Caroline, met while he was on tour in Europe with his band Half Japanese. He left the band and the tour to remain with her in Europe. Over the next few years they became immersed in the great wines of Europe and started to wonder whether this was something they could do themselves. They settled on the Sierra Foothills and in 2001 they purchased the property that is La Clarine (Cowbell) Farm.

2600 feet up in the foothills they planted 2 acres of vines, mostly Tempranillo but also including Syrah, Tannat, Grenache, Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and some unknown vines that emerged from seeds in the compost heap. The vineyard is farmed following the farmer-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka’s ‘do nothing’ methods. As the name implies, the vineyard is allowed to grow wild, with weeds, insects, birds, and all sorts of life teeming among the vines. From this vineyard he produces a single wine in extremely low quantities.

For the rest of his wines he purchases fruit from like-minded farmers in the area. He makes a variety of bottlings but handles all of his wines using some essential methods: Native yeasts, neutral or no oak, and minimal sulfur. The goal here is to keep his wines fresh and pure expressions of their individual terroirs.

Hank’s wines are made without thought given to critics, scores, popular styles, or anything else. They are simply the wines that he wants to make and the results speak for themselves. Each bottle is distinctive and alive, a testament to the surprises you can find in a bottle simply marked ‘domestic’. 

    Image PRODUCT Description Country / Region Region Materials

    DB5933-NV
    Syrah "El Dorado"
    NV
    Syrah
    Hank had been experimenting with small lots from various Syrah vineyards in his area, exploring the varied terroirs of El Dorado County. ... Read More
    United States California

    DB5086-17
    Mourvèdre/Marsanne "Mo-Ma"
    2017
    Mourvèdre
    61% Mourvedre, 32% Marsanne, 7% Roussanne Co-fermented The 2017 vintage overall has been marked by lower alcohols and lower yields than the... Read More
    United States California

    DB5107-16
    Organic
    Rosé "Alors!"
    2016
    Direct-pressed rosé from Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. No added yeasts or enzymes or cultures. Half barrel fermented, half in tank, and... Read More United States California

    DB5185-17
    Organic
    Albariño/Marsanne "One-Eighty"
    2017
    The One-Eighty shows an intriguing lemon and chalk nose, thanks to the Albariño grown on limestone. 56% Albarino, 44% Marsanne (skin... Read More United States California

    DB5106-17
    Organic
    Albarino "Al Basc" Sierra Foothills
    2017
    Albariño
    100% Albariño. The grapes are from the Rorick vineyard (limestone). Skin fermented and macerated Albarino for 7 months, no SO2 added. 11.... Read More
    United States California

    DB5106-16
    Organic
    Albarino "Al Basc" Sierra Foothills
    2016
    Albariño
    100% Albariño. The grapes are from the same vineyard (limestone) as LFC’s pure Albariño bottling.  The grapes were foot crushed in open top... Read More
    United States California

    DB7834-16
    Mourvèdre Sierra Foothills Cedarville
    2016
    Mourvèdre
    100% Mourvedre from decomposed granite soils. Foot crushed, whole cluster fermented in open top tanks, and aged in a combination of tanks... Read More
    United States California

    DB5106-16
    Organic
    Albariño Sierra Foothills
    2016
    Albariño
    100% Albarino comes from Mathew Rorick’s limestone vineyard site. The vines sit on very steep, east-facing slopes, and are farmed with... Read More
    United States California

    DB6076-16
    Organic
    Petit Manseng Sierra Foothills
    2016
    Petit Manseng
    100% Petit Menseng from the Fenaughty vineyard in El Dorado county. Vines are planted in volcanic soils at 2600 feet elevation. The grapes... Read More
    United States California

    DB5086-16
    Mourvèdre/Marsanne "Mo-Ma"
    2016
    Mourvèdre
    A lively and delicious co-ferment of 2/3 Mourvedre and 1/3 Marsanne from volcanic soils, this wine is the living embodiment of the “glou-... Read More
    United States California

    DB5170-15
    Tempranillo Rorick Vineyard Sierra Foothills
    2015
    Tempranillo
    A new wine from Clarine Farm, this is a blend of 94% Tempranillo with 6% Albarino coming from Matthew Rorick's (Forlorn Hope) estate... Read More
    United States California

    DB7831-15
    Syrah Sierra Foothills Sumu Kaw
    2015
    Syrah
    Winemaker musings: Sumu Kaw is an exemplary Syrah vineyard. The elements of elevation (3000 feet), location (in the middle of a pine forest... Read More
    United States California

    DB7836-15
    Piedi Grandi Blend
    2015
    Nebbiolo
    52% Mourvèdre and 48% Nebbiolo. Racked after 11 months and then aged for an additional 7 months before bottling. 122 cases produced.
    United States California

    DB5107-15
    Organic
    Rosé "Alors!"
    2015
    Made of 50% Syrah, 42% Mourvedre and 8% Counoise from two different vineyards plots farmed specifically for rosé wine. The grapes were... Read More United States California