They bill David Hopkins “half winemaker, half mad scientist” at Bridlewood Winery, and it is true he gets to experiment on E. & J. Gallo’s behalf in this more boutique setting. Aspiring to “excess in moderation,” Hopkins will wax eloquent about how adding actual frozen viognier grapes, not just viognier juice, to syrah at fermentation will make the final syrah better, but that’s just one of the many details you’ll hear in a chat with him, which might also include talk of the best barrels to musings about Bowzer from the band Sha Na Na. Simply put, Hopkins is as good a talker as he is a winemaker, and that’s saying something: For, as he modestly claimed, “After 30 years in the business, in the last five years I’ve finally figured it out.”
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