La Fenêtre Wines
Central Coast AVA
A very balanced, food friendly, and terroir-driven wine!
Sommelier turned winemaker Joshua Klapper is the founder of this month’s Pinot Noir Wine Club Series selection, La Fenêtre Wines. Joshua began making wines in 2005 on California’s Central Coast and realized that his Sommelier training had been the perfect preparation. Today his small-production winery turns out exceptional wines that could rival any on the Central Coast.
Joshua Klapper grew up in Manhattan, New York and though he always had an insatiable thirst for learning, he decided not to pursue college immediately after high school. Instead, he followed the nontraditional path and started a professional serving career at New York’s Coco Pazzo restaurant.
After just one year, Joshua found himself amidst the elite working at Café Boulud - he was just nineteen years old and one of the youngest servers ever to work at the acclaimed restaurant. Over the next three years, Joshua became an expert at blind tasting, he mastered the art of food and wine pairing and was exposed to some of the most renowned winemakers and vintages in the world. He also participated in weekly wine seminars that further opened his mind and palate to the expansive world of wine. It is easy to see why Joshua’s time at Café Boulud is what lead him to his great passion in life - wine.
In 2001, Joshua had the opportunity to move west, enroll at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and be a part of the opening team for one of Los Angeles’ most acclaimed restaurants, Sona. The restaurant opened the following year, and after just 6 months, Joshua’s talents from Café Boulud were greatly recognized and he was offered the distinguished position of Wine Director. He even earned a Level I Sommelier Certification, and designed a wine list that was nationally recognized and earned Sona a coveted Grand Award from Wine Spectator in 2006.
After years of tasting wines professionally and then visiting the winemakers and regions he respected most, Joshua decided it was time to get his hands dirty and take on the next challenge - winemaking. Unlike most winemakers starting out, Joshua had a unique advantage. He had built strong relationships with many California winemakers through his work in the restaurant industry, and thus had access to some of the state’s most renowned vineyard properties. Plus, let’s not forget Joshua was an expert both at tasting and selling wines, so his palate was a force to be reckoned with.
Joshua decided to focus on California’s Central Coast, specifically in the Santa Barbara County region, since Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were well-suited to its cooler climate and these were his two favorite varietals. He made his first batch of wines in 2004, sourcing fruit from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard and Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard and released a total of 225 cases. 2005 marked the first official vintage from Joshua’s boutique wine label he named La Fenêtre.
The name La Fenêtre is French for 'The Window', and ties to a specific quote by Ladybird Johnson - “Art is the window to a man’s soul.” For Joshua Klapper, wine is the expression of his art, and thus, his window.
In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Joshua Klapper worked the harvests at the Santa Maria Valley’s Qupé and Au Bon Climat wineries where he was mentored by Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist and Jim Adelman. Not only did he master the laborious work of picking and crushing, but he learned the intricacies of blending and creating his own personal style. Joshua used Qupé and Au Bon Climat’s winemaking facility for his La Fenêtre wines up until 2010, when he moved to the Central Coast Wine Services center in Santa Maria.
La Fenêtre Wines has grown to include Syrah and Grenache, in addition to the Chardonnay and multiple vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs. In 2008, Joshua added a sister label to La Fenêtre that he named Á Côté, French for 'Next Door'. These wines are meant for everyday drinking and include a Chardonnay, Syrah/Grenache blend, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. He currently produces 2,000 cases for La Fenêtre and 4,500 cases for Á Côté.
In 2010, Joshua was joined by his best friend Alex Katz, who now serves as the General Manager, Partner, and CFO for the winery. Joshua’s wife Chiasa also helps out, taking care of the customer service and administration side of the company. Together, they are seeing La Fenêtre grow into a leader in California’s movement back to more balanced, food friendly, and terroir-driven wines. They are thrilled with the success of their small label and look forward to expanding further in the coming years.
About the Vineyard
Thee Presqu’ile Vineyard is located in the Santa Maria Valley, a ribbon of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Coast’s San Rafael mountains that sees near perfect conditions for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vineyard is located in such a place that it receives the right balance of cool maritime breezes and the warm California heat.
Planted in the late 1990’s (when the vineyard was called Addamo), this vineyard has long been recognized for its powerful yet elegant fruit. The Presqu’ile Vineyard is now owned by the Murphy family who has a passion for perfection and will spare no cost in the growing of each grape cluster. The section La Fenêtre’s fruit comes from is one of the most perfectly manicured blocks of Pinot Noir that owner/winemaker Joshua Klapper has ever seen and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to consistently source from this remarkable site.
Joshua Klapper - Winemaker & Sommelier
La Fenêtre’s Owner and Winemaker Joshua Klapper has a deep passion for the world of wine. After years working in the restaurant industry and serving as a Wine Director and Sommelier at a top Los Angeles restaurant, Joshua decided to try his own hand at winemaking. After mentoring with top winemakers on the Central Coast, Joshua developed his signature style and began sourcing from some of California’s most respected vineyards.
While the classic, Old World wine regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhône are his benchmarks, Joshua also stays true to the terroir of the vineyards from which his wines originate. He finds the Central Coast wine region to be exactly in tune with his favorite varietals and wouldn’t choose to work anywhere else.
“The terroir of the Central Coast is unmistakable,” Joshua Klapper has said, “and the wines from this region possess intense flavor and unique character. I love the wines of this region.”
It is his undeniable passion, meticulous winemaking techniques, and focused vision on crafting elegant, artistic, Old World-styled wines that has made La Fenêtre an immediate favorite among savvy wine enthusiasts on the Central Coast. Joshua and his wife Chiasa live in Arroyo Grande with their two children, Lily (6) and Alex (4).