Posts in producer profile
Ordaz Family Wines: A Personal Terroir

Terroir is a complex concept. It’s commonly translated as “a sense of place,” and most understandings of the term are largely dependant on how the vine’s physical environment affects the expression of the resulting wine. Soil type, aspect, climate and farming regime all contribute to the raw material—grapes. Then it’s over to the winemaker to preserve these distinctive markers of that particular place and encapsulate them in a bottle. Very few times in my life has this concept of a more holistic definition of terroir made more sense than on a recent trip to visit Ordaz Family Wines in Sonoma.

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Alfaro Family Vineyards is Heating up Corralitos

Under his Alfaro Family Wines label, Alfaro primarily produces estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in addition to small lots of Syrah, Merlot and even a little Grüner Veltliner. His wines are delicate, bright and terroir-expressive; a style Alfaro has developed over time. “We used to do major cold soaks and tried to extract all of these different flavors. Today we tend to go the opposite direction. I’m making better wine by being more gentle with the grapes and trying to let them work on their own,” he explained. The results are pretty astounding. It’s no wonder he has a line out the door of winemakers who want buy his grapes.

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