A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Creativity can often come from shaking things up a bit, which is exactly what winemaker Ryan Carr has done with his new label, CrossHatch, a project focusing on co-fermented blends from Santa Barbara County vineyards. After making only single varietal wines for 11 years, Ryan wanted to try something different. He and his wife Jessica came up with the idea of CrossHatch, inspired by cross hatching, an artistic technique that uses closely spaced intersecting lines to create shading, definition, and form in a drawing.
Ryan adapted this technique to the winemaking process by harvesting multiple varietals on the same day then crushing and fermenting them together.
According to Carr Winery Marketing Manager Kayla Bonnin, “the idea of co-fermented wine is nothing new. Some of the best and oldest wines in the world are made this way, but with the microclimates of Santa Barbara it really adds another layer to the process. Co-fermentation brings out and creates flavors in the wine that would not have existed otherwise. This makes the CrossHatch wine truly one-of-a-kind.”
The labels are also quite unique, inspired by the antique winemaking equipment Ryan and his dad have collected over the years and created by local artist, Thomas Van Stein, who used the crosshatch technique to draw the crusher, corkscrew and basket press labels.
There are three blends in the first CrossHatch portfolio (and lucky me, I got to try—and give a thumbs up to—all three:
2012 CrossHatch Bordeaux Blend, Santa Ynez Valley – $28 bottle 250 cases produced
Made of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, these two Bordeaux varietals add up to a beautiful garnet color with notes of cherries and jalapeños.
2012 CrossHatch Rhone Blend, Santa Ynez Valley – $25 bottle 225 cases produced
Made of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah to create a big, bold and spicy wine. It paired perfectly with Santa Maria style tri-tip.
2014 CrossHatch White Blend, Santa Ynez Valley – $17 bottle 154 cases produced
Made of 70% Viognier and 30% Marsanne, it’s not wonder that the makers described this white blend as “sunshine in a bottle. ” It’s a perfect summer wine with a beautiful golden color and a crisp finish.
For more information, visit www.carrwinery.com.
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When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”