La Clarine Farm

  • Sierra Foothills, California, United States
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

Hank Beckmeyer and his wife, Caroline Hoel, met in the 80s while he was on tour in Europe with his band Half Japanese. Hank left the band and the tour to remain with Caroline in Europe, and over the years they would take trips to the south of France, drink a bunch of Bandol at Domaine Tempier, and discuss how much they loved what these smaller producers were doing. They eventually decided to make wine themselves, and California seemed like the right place to do it.

In 2001, the two settled in Somerset (El Dorado County, Sierra Foothills) at a site 2600 feet up in the foothills and planted a few acres of vines - mostly Tempranillo but also Syrah, Tannat, Grenache, Negroamaro, Cabernet Sauvignon, and some unknown varieties that emerged from seeds in the compost heap. The vineyard was first farmed biodynamically (certified for a few years), but eventually evolved into the farmer-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka’s ‘do nothing’ methods. As the name implies, the vineyard grows wild with weeds, insects, birds, and all sorts of life teeming among the vines.

From this vineyard a single wine is made in extremely low quantities and for the rest of their wines, Hank and Caro purchase fruit from like-minded, organic farmers in the foothills.

Hank and Caroline use natural methods for making their wines and have been doing so long before it became trendy in California. Generally, this means native yeasts, neutral vessels, and nothing added except a small amount (if any) of SO2 at bottling. Their goal is to make wines that are alive and enjoyable to drink during all stages of their lives while at the same time expressing the vineyards. Just taste a vertical lineup of Sumu Kaw Syrah or Cedarville Mourvedre and see for yourself!

    Image Producer PRODUCT Description Country / Region

    DB5106-21
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Albariño Sierra Foothills
    2021
    Albariño
    100% Albariño from the Rorick Heritage Vineyard outside of Murphy's, CA in the Sierra Foothills. The is steep east-facing site, planted on...
    United States

    DB9189-20
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Viognier Sierra Foothills
    2020
    Viognier
    100% Viognier. Half of the fruit comes from Cedarville (decomposed granite) and the other half from Sumu Kaw (volcanic). The granite soils...
    United States

    DB5107-21
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Rosé "Alors!" Sierra Foothills
    2021
    Mourvedre (69%), Counoise (16%), and Grenache (15%). The Mourvedre was picked early in the Caldor fire saga, and was lightly pressed at... United States

    DB3981-20
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Mourvèdre Sierra Foothills
    2020
    Mourvèdre
    Mourvèdre from two high-elevation vineyards in the Sierra Foothills - Cedarville and Sumu Kaw. Hank Beckmeyer knows these sites well and...
    United States

    DB7831-19
    La Clarine Farm Syrah Sumu Kaw Vineyard Sierra Foothills
    2019
    Syrah
    Sumu Kaw is an exemplary Syrah vineyard. The elements of elevation (3000 feet), location (in the middle of a pine forest), exposition (...
    United States