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Larner Vineyard and Winery

Michael Larner
January 23, 2018 | Michael Larner


n. In geology, stratum or the plural strata, is a layer of igneous rock or sedimentary rock or soil that was formed at the surface of our earth. It will have internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers above or below. When composed of sedimentary rock, it generally consists of one kind of matter representing continuous deposition. The stratum is the fundamental unit in a stratigraphic column and forms the basis of the study in stratigraphy, almost like writing another page in the book of geologic time.

While the estate of Larner Vineyard may be composed of primarily two strata, both the Careaga Sandstone Formation and the Paso Robles Conglomerate Formation, the layers of complexity harvested from the organically cultivated grapes not only distinguish the wines they make, but yield consistency from vintage to vintage. Even looking back in the recent decade where we have experienced a 5-year drought, the resulting wines varied in nuances, yet are steadfast to speak of the land from where they were born.

This begs the question, how do these wines evolve and how do we know where they are going? Luckily at Larner we keep an extensive library starting back to our first vintages in 2009, and occasionally we get to revisit these moments in time. If you still have our inaugural 2009 Syrah or Elemental in the cellar, you will find it to be at its peak of expression, enticing bold fruit still remains, adorned with spices and a solid finish. If you have 2010s, not to worry, pepper spices dominate, with hints of blue fruits, and an even smoother mouth feel. We could go on and on for each vintage, but invite you to look out for any of these wines – we even release some at our wine club events.

If your not into collecting or sitting on wines, not to worry, the 2014s and 2015s being released in our February 2018 shipment represent further distinguishing pages in our vinous almanac. Probably the two most expressive vintages in our now near decade of estate winemaking, they are sure to be noteworthy bookmarks or points of reflection. The best part of enjoying either our young or older wines, is the experience of exploring these pages of our viticultural story or strata – making you no longer just wine lovers, but geologist in our book.


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