Broc Cellars - Le Clairet 2019
Practicing Organic, Vegan
Berkeley, California, USA
From the distributor-
Four weeks whole cluster maceration in tank before élevage in neutral barrique. At once more structured and fresher than the last release, this is a serious little wine that deserves a place on your dinner table.
Chris Brockway came to call Berkeley home (for his cellar anyways) by way of Omaha, Nebraska, where he was born and raised, Seattle, and finally Los Angeles, with a couple short stops in between. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he began working in restaurants around the city before decamping to the Pacific Northwest, where he ultimately became interested in wine. After a friend joked that he should learn how to actually make it, he packed his things and enrolled in winemaking courses at UC Davis. Before finishing, he made the move to Cal State Fresno, which has its own functioning winery, and this is where he became an expert, as he says, in everything he does not use.
He finished his studies and quickly landed a job at JC Cellars, by all means a conventional winery. At the same time he began to frequent Terroir, San Francisco’s first natural wine bar, and began to think a lot about experimenting with the wines he liked to drink. And so, with a few small experiments, Broc Cellars was born.
His facility comprises two warehouses, one with multiple stainless steel, concrete, and wooden tanks, the other a dedicated barrel and concrete egg room. All fermentations are done with native yeasts, and for the most part he forgoes the use of sulfur. If needed, he will add a few milligrams about four weeks before bottling so that it fully integrates into the wine.
From the producer-
Broc Cellars was nothing more than an idea not that long ago, about making wines that were “site specific”. Where the wines true character came from using only sustainably, organically, or biodynamically grown grapes from areas that most would consider marginal climates. Believing that vineyards develop ‘true’ character and complexity when they have to struggle to survive.This can come from many different aspects: poor nutrient and water holding capacity, steep slopes, cool temperatures, or from old vines that are dry farmed. In the cellar we try to continue this practice using minimal intervention, in an effort to let the grapes speak for themselves.
We are a ‘low wattage’ winery in the sense that we have very little modern equipment. Grapes are pitchforked whole-cluster into the fermenters, fermentation is allowed to happen spontaneously, all wines are basket pressed, with little/no sulphur used in our wines until bottling. True asphalt winemaking, in an urban winery.