Dirt & Water into Grapes & Wine
In 2008 Chris moved from New Orleans to Myers Flat in Humboldt County in northern California with a dream. He purchased raw land without structures or electricity and life off the grid began for him. He built a yurt to live in and developed water and power systems. Later he built a house and then a winery. In 2013 he finished the infrastructure for his compound and planted grapes.
Today Terragena is a fully functioning off-grid and sustainable winery.
“I believe in a world where we dare to dream, to create art, and to represent those who care for the land in the most authentic and intentional way I can. I strive to create a network of consumers who dare to drink the wine that everyone doesn’t have and share it while creating the moments that matter most,” Chris is quoted from his website.
Chris is a member of the Craft Wine Association and a group of writers met with him to taste some of his wine. He graciously sent a bottle of Nebbiolo and Riesling.
The Nebbiolo is sourced from Lost Coast’s Dragon Vineyard in Hoopa CA where there is a continental climate that these grapes prefer. I shared this wine with a few people, one man is a chef from Humboldt County. We found that it was very light, almost a rosé. We liked it with food. It was paired with Butternut Squash soup with homemade pesto and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The other person in the group absolutely loved this wine (but didn’t pair it with food) and thought it was true typicity. The color of the wine is pale, a bit darker than a rosé, the wine has hints of cherries and raspberries. Some tasters thought it had complexity and some didn’t. It’s a different Nebbiolo and I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on this.
The other wine was a Riesling with grapes from Anderson Valley. Riesling grows very well in the Anderson Valley where the cold coastal marine terroir gives the grapes an acid-driven wine with remarkable flavor with depth of fruit and minerality. I shared this wine with two people and we absolutely loved it. We paired this with a split pea soup.
Here are our notes:
The first taste was bitter, when added food to it the flavor softened.
The nose had a hint of fennel. There is a taste of Asian pear and citrus, notes of Calamansi lime and Mandarin (I know that sounds pretentious, but it’s true.)
We also notice steely minerality and a finish of creosote. I think this is one of the best American Riesling I’ve had.
Chris’s passion for his life and his wine are magnetic. I’m so happy that he has followed his passion so that I can follow mine- writing about people’s passions.