Nestled within the captivating landscapes of Santa Cruz, California, Birichino Winery is a hidden gem. Founded in 2008 by Alex Krause and John Locke, two wine enthusiasts with a collective forty years of experience in winemaking. They picked an intriguing name for their venture, 'Birichino,' derived from the Italian word 'biricchino', which roughly translates to cheeky or naughty, giving an indication of their dynamic and unconventional approach to crafting wines.
Vibrantly contrasting the industry's norm, Birichino Winery pays homage to the traditions of old world winemaking by using an integrated, hands-off approach. This essentially entails allowing their wines to naturally express the unique characteristics of the individual vineyard instead of enforcing a preconceived style. Each wine they produce is imbued with personality, carefully amplified by the winemaker’s skill, drawing from the richness of the Californian terroir.
The grapes Birichino use originate from a handful of sites, some planted as long ago as the 19th century. The vineyards are carefully picked for their ability to grow vines sustainably, without the need for intervention. This deep respect for nature and the vine cycle is evident in every bottle, be it their famed Grenache, sublime Saint Georges, iconic Besson Grenache, or any of their other award-winning wines.
Despite its relative youth, Birichino wines have been enthusiastically adopted by wine collectors around the globe. Notably, their wines grace the tables of many Michelin-starred restaurants, standing testament to their quality and appeal to discerning palates.
Recognised for its quirkiness, authenticity and ecological ethos, Birichino Winery is a wonderful American winery embodying, and innovating, the traditions of European-style viniculture. Each bottle tells a story of the land, the year, and the passionate people who carefully coaxed each grape from vine to a delightful wine.
In essence Birichino Winery is a beautiful paradox. They are old-world crafters in spirit, youthful modernists in practice; enviably American, but thoroughly European in their winemaking approach. The only thing predictable about Birichino is the surprise and delight that each uncorking provides.
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