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In the fall of 2006 I flew to France for my first harvest. I spent the next few months working in the small Roussillon village of Maury picking grapes, hauling boxes, processing fruit, and learning cellar work. The experience I had there with old vines, steep schist slopes, and of getting (literally) up to my elbows in fermentations, convinced me to move to Napa upon my return.

Though my first experience in winemaking was geographically in France, it was culturally in the Cathar and Catalan country just across the Pyrenees from Spain. In Maury, the most common grapes grown are Grenache and Carignan, known in Spanish as Garnacha and Mazuelo. As I set out to make my own wines, I again looked toward Spain and was fortunate to be introduced to two great growers of Spanish varieties. For my first vintage, I started with just one ton of Albariño (a white variety indigenous to Galicia in Northwest Spain) from Markus Bokisch’s Vista Luna Vineyard. In 2011, I began to make Tempranillo (another of the great Spanish varieties) from Ann Kraemer’s Shake Ridge Vineyard. Today the Ferdinand label also includes Garancha Blanca, Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. 

Evan Frazier