Exploring SoCal’s Fallbrook Winery
by Linda Stewart
Fallbrook Winery is located in San Diego’s North County, at the 33rd N Parallel. Rebecca Wood and Ira Gourvitz (on right in photo) purchased the winery in the mid 90s. Recently I had the opportunity to tour the winery with fellow wine writers and enthusiasts, hosted by the owners and winemaker Euan Parker (on left in photo). Originally, the winery produced sparkling wines, but the new owners replanted the vineyard with varietals that would flourish in this microclimate – similar to a Mediterranean climate – with moderate temperatures and precipitation, along with warm days and cooler evenings. This beautiful vineyard, which consists of 36 acres, lies between California’s South Coast and the Pala Mesa Mountains
Winemaker Euan Parker has over twenty years of winemaking experience, which began with working on his family’s vineyards in New Zealand, and continued with his education in France. He emphasized the winery’s attention to detail – the red grapes are picked by hand - and its philosophy that the best wines start with the best fruit. They are sustainable caretakers of the land, planting clover and barley to replenish nutrients, composting, and establishing beehives on the property.
Estate wines are cleverly labeled using their latitudinal designation, 33 N Parallel. Bordeaux blends are keenly labeled with the initialism BDX. For their Reserve wines, Fallbrook Winery uses estate fruit along with select grapes from regional growers.
After our tour, we entered through the imposing wood doors and gathered in the stunning tasting room to experience their wines. Our first tasting was the estate rosé made from 71% Sangiovese and 29% Merlot. Brief contact with the grape skins only during pressing gives the wine a delicate shade of pink. It has a soft floral bouquet with a light, raspberry character. This is a dry rosé that can be savored alone or paired with food.
Our next tasting was a white BDX - Bordeaux style blend, but with more Sauvignon Blanc (85%) and less Sémillon (15%). This wine has aromas of citrus, pear, and papaya with a rich creamy lemon flavor. The Chardonnay we tasted is from their Reserve selection made with Chardonnay grapes grown in Monterey County. This complex fruit forward wine with a lingering acidic finish spends time fermenting in oak barrels and stainless steel. Their estate grown Cabernet Franc is made with 100% of the grape, and as expected, there is total typicity (the degree a wine reflects the classic expectation of the grape varietal). This wine has aromas of dill and eucalyptus, bold berry and plum flavors, and a moderate acidic finish.
Tours are by reservation only. Call (760) 728-0156 or email email@example.com to make reservations.
$20.00 on Monday-Friday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
$30.00 on Weekends/Holidays from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
2554 Via Rancheros
Fallbrook, CA 92028