Bill Price, owner of Classic Wines and Price Family Vineyards, along with Winemaker Gavin Chanin, announced today the launch of LUTUM, their new Pinot Noir and Chardonnay label. Latin for "dirt" or "soil", LUTUM references the partners' mission to make wines that express great vineyards of California, with little to mask the sites' natural character. The first wines will be released on November 12th via mailing list offering and will feature a small amount of 2011 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir ($60) from the Sonoma Coast and 2011 La Rinconada Vineyard Pinot Noir ($50) from the Sta. Rita Hills. For more information or to join the mailing list, please visit www.lutumwines.com.
Chardonnay will be added to the line-up beginning with the 2012 vintage, as well as additional vineyard sources including La Encantada, Bien Nacido, Gap's Crown and Sanford & Benedict in Sta. Rita Hills, among others.
Price and Chanin's relationship began when they met at an "In Pursuit of Balance" tasting, a movement of young California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers who have eschewed the high alcohol, highly oaked and extracted wines that became critical "darlings" of the 1990s, in favor of balanced and restrained wines that favor subtlety and vineyard expression. Price, who owns the Durell Vineyard, the Gap's Crown Vineyard and has ownership interests in Three Sticks, Kistler, Kosta Browne and Gary Farrell wineries, was so impressed with Chanin's winemaking talent and philosophical focus at such a young age, he asked him to make Pinot Noir from the Durell Vineyard with the 2011 vintage.
"As the relationship developed, we realized we are both true vineyard nerds and our shared vision came to fruition with this brand," says Chanin. Previously assistant winemaker at Qupé and Au Bon Climat, Chanin now has his own label, Chanin Wine Co., and has been making wine from many of the Santa Barbara County vineyards for 10 years. He was named one of Forbes' "30 under 30" in 2011, a "winemaker to watch" by San Francisco Chronicle in 2012, one of Food & Wine's "winemakers of the year" in 2012, and was featured in Wine Enthusiast magazine's "40 under 40" tastemakers in the wine industry for 2013. A recent article in Wine & Spirits prominently featured Chanin as a leader in "the shape of Chardonnays to come."
LUTUM is a label born from a shared vision between Bill Price, entrepreneur and owner of Classic Wines and Price Family Vineyards, and 27-year-old winemaker and owner of Chanin Wine Co., Gavin Chanin. The new winery and partnership, which came to fruition in 2012, focuses on small-production, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from prime vineyard sites in California. The Durell Vineyard, which is owned by Price, and Bien Nacido Vineyard, a site where Chanin has nearly a decade of experience making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are two of LUTUM's vineyard sources. The name LUTUM is Latin for dirt or soil, referencing the partners' mission to make wines that express the great vineyard sites of California, with little to mask the vineyards' natural character. The wines are made at LUTUM's new winery in Lompoc, California.