Yamakiri Wines is an ongoing collaboration between Alex Crangle and Lisa Bauer. Alex is the brains and the brilliance behind the wine and cider making; Lisa mows, prunes, frets, delivers boxes and kegs of wine and cider, and is generally the owner of Yamakiri. Together, they share a commitment to biodynamic and minimally invasive growing and winemaking techniques, and a love of fermented fruit beverages that showcase the place they come from.
Nestled in the hills of Yorkville, California, Yamakiri is located in the Yorkville Highlands. One mountain range away from the Pacific ocean, they enjoy a moderate climate and benefit from warm afternoon air and cool evening breezes, which allow for an extended growing season. Yamakiri, or ‘Mountain Fog,’ is a constant presence.
The mature fruit, picked late in the season, produces complex and balanced wines. They also source grapes from Anderson Valley and Mendocino Ridge appellations. Many of their grapes are from vineyards not currently in commercial production. Left fallow or abandoned, the vines put forth fruit with exceptional flavor profiles and complexity. In sourcing grapes from such vineyards, Linda and Alex are reminded of Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer and philosopher renowned for his agricultural philosophy shizen nōhō (自然農法), or ‘natural farming.’ The five principles of natural farming include: no tilling, no fertilizers, minimal weeding, no pesticides nor herbicides, and no pruning of fruit trees. This system recognizes and utilizes the complex nature of an ecosystem and its living organisms. Yamakiri aspire towards this minimal human intervention. They mow and prune the vineyard minimally, and apply only biodynamic preparations to the grapes and land. The vines are dry-farmed, with deep-reaching roots. They do not irrigate, instead depending on the gracious winter rains for water. They believe this approach to producing grapes allows them to reach their best potential flavor and expression.