Get the Dirt from co-owner Zoubeida Zajac
“The vineyard is located on the land of Pomo natives and we choose a Pomo name to honor the history of the place, Powicana or red clay earth. The label illustration is a rendering of a view of the vineyard.”
What was your first vintage year? 2013
How many cases do you make per vintage? 600
If not you, who is your winemaker? My husband, Remi Zajac.
What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? An orange wine made from Pinot Gris fermented and aged in a greek pithos ceramic vessel by Aurum Winery that we tasted in New Zealand.
What varietals do you work with? Why? Petite Sirah, because we use exclusively estate grapes. In our vineyard, we are growing a single varietal of Petite Sirah grapes (Clone 3) on 110 rootstock, planted in 2002.
What vineyards do you source from? Why? If Estate, why do you choose your location? Best location for Petite Sirah! We are at 700 feet elevation. The rich red color of the clay soil, a Redvine sandy clay loam, is the signature of the vineyard. The vineyard receives plenty of hot sun during the day and cool breezes from the ocean in the evening. Mendocino is also home of many organic and biodynamic wineries and a GMO free county.
What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? No oak treatment, neutral barrels only, to preserve aromas and fruit flavors,
What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special?
Perfect for Mediterranean style wines, many organic and biodynamic wineries and GMO free.
What’s the story behind your winery name / label? The vineyard is located on the land of Pomo natives and we choose a Pomo name to honor the history of the place, Powicana or red clay earth. The label illustration is a rendering of a view of the vineyard.
What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Focus on the marketing first.
Most importantly, what's so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn't be possible for larger wineries? Hands-on work with both grape vines and the wine, ability to take risks and make interesting wines.
How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? Local first, but strength through association.
If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? Anderson Valley.