Welcome to the Sparkling Wine Revolution— An Interview with Dan Person of CARBONISTE

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Above: Jacqueline & Dan Person of CARBONISTE.


Reimagine California sparkling wines with the lineup of individual,
regional expressions from CARBONISTE.

Husband and wife duo Dan and Jacqueline Person are producing some of the most innovative expressions of California sparkling wines out there. This smaller, younger (read: get in early with this brand!) Napa-based operation hit their stride with three flagship items, a bubbly Albariño, a fizzy rosé, and a pét-nat Pinot Grigio, while also perfecting some single-vineyard projects that represent unique, cool-climate California terroirs.

And the Persons haven’t stopped there. This summer they’ll release a sparkling red wine with the same ambition to push the limits of an entire category, experimenting with the combination of Albariño and Merlot to create something fresh, zippy, and crush-able.

Rather than creating a California representation of Champagne, CARBONISTE is a proud statement of the beauty of California’s fruit. Dan decided there was a need for a new interpretation of California sparkling wine while working for Schramsberg, where he made traditional wines from California grapes; Jacqueline was concurrently making still wines from a variety of terroirs across the Golden State, which would later inspire the vineyard selections for CARBONISTE. Together, they have endeavored to think about the best way to express the distinctive California fruit and terroirs that they work with. This means they are not a pét-nat, méthode traditionnelle, or méthode ancestrale house— each wine they produce is handled a bit differently depending on the fruit.

We sat down with Dan to talk about his & Jacqueline’s backgrounds, winemaking philosophy, and what sets their bubbles apart!


LET’S FIRST TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE PRE-CARBONISTE. WE KNOW YOU WENT TO UC DAVIS, THEN WORKED WITH THE FOLKS AT SCHRAMSBERG – WALK US THROUGH ALL OF THAT

GIVE US THE STORY OF CARBONISTE – THE BEGINNINGS & PHILOSOPHY.


WHAT’S THE THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND THESE WINES? WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED FROM THE TRADITIONAL METHOD?


TELL ME ABOUT EACH WINE…


COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE SINGLE VINEYARD RELEASES?

THE WINES

Wine and Spirit Label 1

Albarino Extra Brut ‘Gomes Vyd’, Carboniste

A light and fresh sparkling wine with notes of gooseberry, kumquat, and stonefruit blossom. It is a fantastic aperitif wine and is guaranteed to pair with so many favorite recipes including grilled octopus!

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS

The Gomes family has been farming on Andrus Island since the 1800’s when they immigrated from Portugal, where Albarino (Alvarinho) is grown extensively in Vinho Verde near the Atlantic Ocean. This site has deep, rich soil, well fed from the Sacramento River. It is dry farmed without cultivation and is transitioning to organic farming certification.

Wine and Spirit Label 2

Pinot Noir Rose Extra Brut, Carboniste

A fun and fresh sparkling wine with notes of wild strawberry and guava. It pairs well with a wide range of fresh foods, like uni.

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS

This wine is assembled from a range of cool-climate vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Marin County, and Anderson Valley. Dan & Jacqueline consider these to be the best appellations in California for sparkling wine, and carefully select barrels in order to create this unique sparkling rosé.

Wine and Spirit Label 3

Pinot Grigio Pét Nat Extra Brut, Carboniste

This wine was an experiment for 2018– but has really taken off in popularity. This pét-nat is a fresh and clean example of petillant naturel wine, bottled in accordance with primary yeast sediment, it shows lovely yeast flavors along with primary fruit.

Early picking allows this wine to carry only 11% alcohol along with an abundance of energy and lightness.

Wine and Spirit Label 4

Brut ‘California’, Carboniste

A step toward what you might expect from a more traditional producer, but it retains unmistakable brightness and energy that you’d expect from CARBONISTE. It has added weight from aging in barrel as well as in bottle, which allows this wine to handle fatty foods better than the core offerings. Consider pairing this wine with moules frites or steak tartare.

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS

This wine is assembled from a range of cool-climate vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Marin County, and Santa Rita. Dan & Jacqueline consider these to be the best appellations in California for sparkling wine, and carefully select barrels that contribute to this unique sparkling brut.

Wine and Spirit Label 5

Brut Rose ‘Marin’, Carboniste

An emphatic, resounding response to basic rosé. It offers savory complexity along with balanced red fruit characters. Flavors linger on the palate and entice the next sip until the glass is empty.

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS

This wine is blend of two organically-grown vineyards in Marin County. Growing grapes in Marin county is not for the faint of heart. Marginal (cold) weather, disease, shallow soil, and lack of water all work against viticulture here.

Wine and Spirit Label 6

Brut ‘Corralitos’, Carboniste

An exciting expression of the Corralitos area of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which produces highly expressive fruit that’s ideal for sparkling wines. Peach, nectarine, and bing cherry aromas with meyer lemon, ruby grapefruit, and Marcona almonds on the palate.

ABOUT THE VINEYARDS

Grapes for this wine are sourced exclusively from the Corralitos area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is a unique and highly expressive wine growing region due to very sandy soils and the strong influence of the Monterey Bay. This vintage includes two neighboring vineyards including Deer Park Ranch and the Francis J Vineyard.