Founded in 1983 by Claiborne Thompson and Fredericka Churchill. Former teachers at the University of Michigan, the couple left the "Groves of Academe" for the vineyards of California in 1981 in order to start a new life in the wine industry. With its first crush Claiborne & Churchill announced its special focus, producing 565 cases of Dry Gew¸rztraminer and Dry Riesling, modeled on the fruity but dry dinner wines of the French province of Alsace. Sourcing grapes from vineyards in the cool maritime valleys of California's Central Coast, three quarters of the production is dedicated to our signature wines, the Dry Riesling, Dry Gew¸rztraminer and Pinot Noir. At Claiborne & Churchill, traditional European winemaking techniques prevail, including extensive use of barrel fermentation and barrel-aging, harvesting grapes with a lower sugar content, minimal manipulation of juice and wine, selected yeasts for different varietals, and limited use of SO2, all in the belief that the winemaker's task is to bring out the flavor and character that is latent in the grape. Claiborne & Churchillís Straw Bale Winery, a noteworthy example of environmental architecture and sustainability, was the first of its kind in California. With sixteen inch thick walls made from bales of rice straw, the winery is so well insulated that it maintains a constant cellar temperature, without the need for mechanical cooling or heating. We invite you to visit us in our ìstraw baleî winery. Bring a picnic lunch and savor these wines while enjoying the lovely mountain and vineyard views.
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Clairborne & Churchill Vinters
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