I recently became a huge fan of Hourglass Wines. So much so I can’t resist sharing their latest news:
A new year. A new leaf. An opportunity to reflect. Wine is rhythmic in that seasonal way. As the vines lay dormant and last year’s harvest is quietly performing its magic in the barrel, we are afforded another opportunity to step back and contemplate.
2017 was our 20th harvest! Doesn’t seem possible, yet here we are. We’ve learned a lot in 20 years and the journey is just getting started. Hourglass debuted during a time of profound change in Napa Valley. The 1990’s ushered in a radical stylistic shift toward high pH winemaking. A style pioneered by brave winemakers who dared go where they were schooled not to. Modernism was born and I’m proud to say we helped put an indelible stamp on it. In the ensuing years, we rode the pendulum swing of ripeness to its edges, and helped define the spectrum of stylistic choices Napa affords. In the process, we learned a great deal.
When we enticed Tony Biagi to take over winemaking in 2012, we had decided to evolve beyond modernism and the goal of ultra-ripeness. Tony was game! He had come to the same conclusion: richness – the end result of ripeness – is delicious, yet can be heavy handed. Monochromatic. We concluded Hourglass would move forward with a dialectic approach. Tension was needed to counterweight richness. Acid and minerality would create the electric charge – the vibrancy – that would bring richness to life.
But how to do that? How would we take the elements of modernism we loved to a more refined place? How could we refine what we started without blowing everything up? What would it taste like and where would it lead? This recalculation marked our first steps toward postmodernism.
Postmodernism – what’s that you ask? Great question, not a simple answer. To truly understand Hourglass, we thought it a worthy journey to peel the layers back and invite you into the process of our craft and the thinking behind it. Over the course of the next year, in a series of video and photo essays we will pull the curtain back: on our sites, the team, our thinking and the wines, to provide you insight as to how we discovered postmodernism and what that means in the glass.