Byron Blatty Wines
Los Angeles County
Crafting bold, powerfully styled wines that stand out from the crowd
Founded by Mark and Jenny Blatty in 2014, Byron Blatty Wines focuses on limited-edition, handcrafted red wines from small family-owned vineyards in Los Angeles County, California. Los Angeles County? Yes, you read that right.
After a visit to Napa Valley, Mark and Jenny were inspired by the story of Napa’s original vintners - the ones who challenged the French with their determination to create world-class wines in a previously unproven region. The Blattys, who both have backgrounds in television production, had an idea - to craft their own world-class wines from their hometown of Los Angeles, a region that was once the center of California’s wine trade back in the late 1800’s. At that time, vineyards lined the banks of the LA River and dotted the area, supplying grapes for the finest wines in the state - but by the early 1930’s, the impact of the Gold Rush, an outbreak of Pierce’s disease, and the devastation of Prohibition had nearly wiped out LA’s vineyards. Most were converted to citrus groves, replanted to other crops, or cleared for urban development. In the decades since, only a mere few vineyards have reemerged, by those who know LA is still capable of producing world-class wines.
Initially, Mark and Jenny intended to plant a small vineyard on their hillside property, but soon realized that the space was not large enough, nor was it right for the varietals they had in mind. Undeterred, they began to search for vineyards in LA County from which to source their grapes, but it took the couple nearly a year to discover just the right sites, tucked away in the far corners of the county (to be sure, established vineyards in LA are certainly few and far between). They happily found Neenach Ranch, Smith Family Vineyard, and Alonso Family Vineyard, from which they source much of their fruit. Each site is unique in its altitude, soil type, exposure, and overall climate, yet the common thread among them is the magnificent sunshine that graces the Los Angeles County region year round.
Byron Blatty Wines are made by Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper, who bring more than thirty-five years of combined winemaking experience to this endeavor, as well as formal training at UC Davis. Steve and Nate work hand in hand with the Byron Blatty growers to push the fruit to the absolute limits for maximum flavor and color extraction, while still retaining each varietal’s nuances and subtleties. The result is bold, powerfully styled wines that stand out from the crowd and express the best of what LA has to offer.
With only 750 cases produced each year, Byron Blatty Wines are made in extremely limited quantities and thus virtually impossible to find. We are happy to introduce this rising star winery to our Garagiste Wine Club members and share one of their latest releases. Cheers!