Nebbiolo – Santa Barbara County
100% Nebbiolo from Santa Barbara County. When working with Nebbiolo, Steve has always sought to make a classic, traditional wine, and this philosophy extends from the vineyard to the cellar. Grapes are generally picked between 22.5 and 23.5 Brix, in October. Fermentation with 100% indigenous yeast. Wines from each vineyard were vinified separately and then aged for 4 years in neutral French oak barrels. The blend was created using 2/3 of its grapes from Rancho Sisquoc Vineyard and 1/3 from Honea Vineyard before being bottled in November 2018. The wines were not filtered.
Bright and vibrant with pomegranate and cranberry dominating the nose. A mild scent of molasses hints at the depth of flavor to come. Aromas of red rose, cinnamon and bay leaf mingle softly. Flavors of white and bing cherry blend with kirsch and mint immediately. Behind, and with a bit of air, a more earthy porcini base begins to rise. The finish is long and lingering with orange zest and fresh cranberry notes. 14% alcohol. 800 cases produced.
About the Producer
Palmina’s philosophy, passion and strongly held belief is that wine is an extension of the plate, a component of a meal and a means to bring people together. Formed by winemaker Steve Clifton (of La Voix Winery) in 1995, Palmina is named in honor of Steve’s great friend Paula. Like a grandmother to him, she taught Steve the love of cooking, wine, the Italian lifestyle, and was a spark in his life. After Paula succumbed to breast cancer, Steve found that her given name on her Italian birth certificate was Palmina, and the winery was thus fittingly named. First made in the basement of Steve's home, the wines, crafted solely from Italian varieties, are now produced in the famed Lompoc “wine ghetto”.
Steve found that the climate and soil types in Santa Barbara County are similar to those in his favorite regions of Northern Italy, namely Piemonte and Friuli. All feature cold air pushing warm air to create growing conditions that provide enough sunlight to help fully develop fruit flavors. And all three regions enjoy cool night temperatures that maintain the grape’s natural acidity levels, which allows winemakers to create “food wines” with a balance of fruit, tannin and acid. Palmina wines are Italian by inspiration with flavors rooted in Santa Barbara County.
Palmina “pure farms” its 11 acres in Santa Barbara County. Pure farming gives back more than it takes. Unwavering in its farming standards, Palmina does not utilize herbicides or pesticides. Weed-clearing is done through laborious hand-hoeing, with critical soil nutrients reintroduced by planting organic legumes and grasses between the vines. With mindful intention, organic, sustainable and biodynamic practices are utilized.
About Steve Clifton: his appreciation for Italian wines began while working in Italian restaurants. His first wine job was in the tasting room at Rancho Sisquoc where he eventually graduated to the position of Assistant Winemaker. Over the next few years he held winemaking positions at Beckmen, Brander and Domaine Santa Barbara wineries, and managed from 1995 to 1998 the retail section of The Wine Cask in downtown Santa Barbara. He met Greg Brewer in 1995 and formed a partnership that became Brewer-Clifton, a winery solely devoted to vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Sta. Rita Hills appellation in western Santa Barbara County. In 2015, Steve decided to focus on Palmina and la Voix. Before wine, he had a successful career as a nightclub entrepreneur and in the music industry as a musician, singer, booking agent, and studio producer.