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

    DB5188-19
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Chardonnay
    2019
    Chardonnay
    100% Chardonnay from the Rorick Heritage Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. Soils are primarily slate and limestone with vines sitting 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

    DB5107-20
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Rosé "Alors!" Sierra Foothills
    2020
    Mourvèdre (67%), Counoise (20%), and Grenache (13%). All fruit is hand harvested and direct pressed into both tank and puncheon. The wine... United States

    DB9190-19
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm b-sides (Syrah/Zin/Grenache)
    2019
    Red blend
    La Clarine Farm's version of a “weekday wine” - it is primarily composed of Syrah (50%), Zinfandel (15%) and Grenache (10%), the blend also...
    United States

    DB3662-20
    Biodynamic
    La Clarine Farm Gamay
    2020
    Gamay
    100% Gamay sourced from a high-elevation site above Camino in El Dorado County. This is Gamay made the old-fashioned way - whole cluster,...
    United States

    DB3660-20
    Biodynamic
    La Clarine Farm Tannat/Grenache "Angle of Repose"
    2020
    Tannat
    This co-fermented blend of Grenache and Tannat is grown in a young vineyard planted on a rocky clay soil. Both varieties were picked...
    United States

    DB3663-19
    Biodynamic
    La Clarine Farm Cabernet Sauvignon
    2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Cedarville Vineyard in El Dorado AVA. Whole cluster fermented and gently foot crushed, with only free...
    United States

    DB7834-19
    La Clarine Farm Mourvèdre Cedarville Vineyard Sierra Foothills
    2019
    Mourvèdre
    Mourvèdre from the organically farmed granite soils of Cedarville Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. Foot crushed, whole cluster fermented...
    United States
    DB3167-17
    Organic
    La Clarine Farm Tempranillo La Paciencia
    2017
    Tempranillo
    Tempranillo from the slate and limestone soils of Rorick Heritage Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills. Aptly named for the wine's extended...
    United States