Friulano – Subida (orange wine)
Subida is an orange wine made from Tocai Friulano. The skin contact during fermentation, extended maceration and deliberate use of oxidation during aging results in a wine of honesty and vibrancy. The Cliftons travel often to Friuli, which is becoming known as the epicenter of the resurgence of orange wines. With Steve’s continuing “what if” curiosity, it’s easy to see how Subida continues to evolve.
Half of the grapes were de-stemmed, and the balance were left as whole cluster. The grapes were fermented on their skins with indigenous yeast and left to macerate for 36 days. They were then gravity racked to neutral barrels. The wine was left on its lees, the barrels were never topped during aging, malolactic fermentation was neither inhibited nor encouraged and the wines were not sulphured. Once ready to bottle, Subida was neither fined nor filtered. No sulfites or preservatives have ever been added. This is a natural, living and breathing wine! As such, it will continue to evolve in the bottle and has great aging potential. Subida offers vibrant aromas of quince, orange marmalade, caramel, kombucha and ripe mango. There’s a tingle on the palate reminiscent of orange zest as well as flavors of quince, mandarin and hints of ripe apricot with a refreshing brine-like finish. It pairs very well with Thai dishes and curries. 13.5% alcohol. 135 cases produced.
Winemaker’s note: “This wine will change the way you think about wine. Subida is not your everyday white wine, it’s actually quite similar to other fermented drinks such as kombucha and sour beers which makes it not only interesting but also healthy for you as it’s essentially a probiotic. In fact, this wine is similar to what one might expect if they travelled back in time to ancient Rome as it’s made in a very traditional, ancient style.”
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.