A craft creates something unique from various individual components and, in that process, it is the attention to detail that is the source of quality.
We are guided by the belief that winemaking is a matter of crafting balance. A well-made wine will seamlessly balance fruit, acidity, oak nuances, alcohol and tannins. A great wine, however, will take all of that and then raise the stakes by adding some additional components to the mix - character, complexity and layers of intriguing flavors. We approach our winemaking with the intention of crafting wines that incorporate all of these qualities. And we’re able to take our wines to this next level because of something that we realized early on - paying attention to every detail of our vineyards' personalities is what creates the special nuances in the grapes that will then become great wine.
That realization may sound obvious, but the attention to detail in the vineyard - brought about by our dedication to meticulous care - is something that takes single-minded commitment. Once we understood this, we became dedicated to spotting and nurturing these unique qualities in each of our vineyards. We then focused our winemaking to ensure that those are the traits that will shine through in every sip of our wine.
Essentially, we believe that the magic of winemaking occurs when you’re able to interpret the character of each of the various parts of a vineyard, and then are able to capture that essence in a bottle of wine. Because of this belief, our winemaking ethos would probably be described as minimalistic. Not because we don’t spend a lot of time and energy on the handcrafted, small details - we most certainly do; but because our approach to finding balance in our wines is simply a matter of finding balance in nature.
Our hands-on, personal approach means that our wines are created by paying attention to the smallest of details - from vineyard maintenance, to barrel selection, and through to bottling. We like paying attention to these fine details. It makes us happy to know that we’re doing all that we can to produce wines that celebrate the precious vineyards that we own and nurture. It is our hope that you'll find soul and a sense of place in our Black Cordon Vineyards and Sixteen by Twenty wines, and that you will come to know us as crafters of wines with balance, complexity and character. We want to keep you intrigued; glass after glass, bottle after bottle.
Our Winemaker, Julian Gonzalez, is more particular about detail than we are, and that's saying something. On the other hand Julian is just plain incredibly talented at viticulture and fine wine craftsmanship. We can't say enough about the great working relationship we have with Julian and what he means to our success vintage after vintage after vintage.
We came to know Julian Gonzalez while working with him as the head winemaker for Paul Hobbs Consulting. Julian is an extraordinary winemaker with an impressive resume including winemaking at Paul Hobbs Winery, Dominus Estate, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Mi Sueno, Baldacci Vineyards, and Mark Herold's Merus Estate. Working behind the scene with so many top wineries and winemakers, Julian has not found the spotlight that he deserves… but over the years, here at Black Cordon Vineyards, we came to realize that he is equally as talented as any of the celebrity winemakers in the valley and it’s only a matter of time before his name will be as well known to the general public as it is to the fine wine insiders of the Valley. Julian’s willingness to go the extra mile and his attention to detail are in perfect harmony with the Black Cordon spirit. When you combine this kind of drive and enthusiasm with his extraordinary winemaking abilities the end result is predictably special wines. Since our beginning the style and vinous expression of Black Cordon Vineyard's wines has evolved as a team effort, but over the most recent years Julian, working closely with David, has been the driving force that continues to take our wines to the next level. It was a proud day and a guarantee for the future when Julian agreed to join Black Cordon Vineyards full time. Through it all we are proud to say that Julian has become a good friend for life.
David Dunphy is the co-owner, with his wife Karen, of Black Cordon Vineyards- but that’s not why they let him on the team! David is a hands on owner that works closely day to day with every facet of the wine business and participates in all aspects of wine production from overseeing the vineyards' viticulture to blending the final wines with Julian. After all of these years it is clear that it has been a fortuitous path for David in having worked to establish Black Cordon Vineyards winery with such an amazing team. The knowledge gained over the years by working with Paul Hobbs and Julian Gonzalez will forever impact our approach to crafting fine wine. David and Karen passed up retirement to be this involved, but when you’re part of a winery...a dream really... like this, it’s worth it.