Los Carneros AVA
“Like many winemakers, I am really interested in bringing out the terroir of a certain area or vineyard."
If ever a small winery fitted the parameters of a true Garagiste winery, then Clime Vineyards of the Sierra Foothills would fit that bill. A relative newcomer to the wine world, Clime Vineyards made its first release in 2016 with a tiny 50-case release of Zinfandel. In the ensuring period, the small operation has grown to around 400 cases, a level that owner and winemaker Byron Elmendorf believes is perfect for his fledgling business.
We started out small and are taking things as they come,” he related. “I think we are in a good place right now, but I can foresee us growing in the future, possible to around 1,000 cases if everything goes as we expect.”
Clime, by the way, is the Elmendorfs’ (his wife Miranda is also active in the operation) abridgment of the word climate. “We want our name to signify our attempt to capture the feeling of a single place, or single vineyard bottling,” informed Byron Elmendorf. “Like many winemakers, I am really interested in bringing out the terroir of a certain area or vineyard.
If you keep your operation small, I believe it’s easier to do. The name Clime reminds me of our mission on every bottle we produce.”
Byron Elmendorf’s road to success is a virtual travelogue of wine experience. He has worked extensively in New Zealand, France, Italy, Canada and Northern California. At one point he resolved to increase his working knowledge of the wine industry and attended the iconic University of California Davis where he received his Masters’ Degree in Viticulture and Enology.
He now works at a large winery in the Sierra Foothills as winemaker and is happy to report that he makes the wines for Clime Vineyards in his basement at home, a true Garagiste approach.
The fascinating label for Clime Vineyards is the product of graphic artist Jess Lanham. It is an abstract, but not too literal, representation of the artist’s feeling about a place, or clime as the name suggests.
One other note. Byron Elmendorf is not a fan of new oak aging and utilizes very little new oak in his winemaking. “New oak has a homogenizing effect on many wines,” he added. “I prefer to let the grapes I use shine through on their own and provide their unique varietal character. It makes for really expressive wines that are wonderful in your mouth.”
Byron and Miranda Elmendorf seem in a perfect place - at least for the present. Miranda handles all the business activities for the business and frees Byron to concentrate on the winemaking aspect he loves so much. Meet Clime Vineyards and the Elmendorfs. It is a pleasure to welcome them and their lovely Merlot to our Garagiste Wine Club. Enjoy!