Becky Naumann told her husband, Don, he needed a hobby. So he put his horticulture degree and career in viticulture sales to good work. He started Naumann Vineyards.
Today, the boutique winery, perched 2,000-plus feet above Cupertino, CA, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, produces about 750 cases a year and specializes in Merlot blends.
We caught up with Don at the 38th Annual Los Altos Art & Wine Festival last weekend. It’s Naumann’s 11th year at the festival, one of Don’s favorite events.
And, although he’s proud of all the wines he produces, he highlights the Rose Merlot as one of his more unique creations.
“There’s only one other winery in the state that does the Rose Merlot. We’re pretty proud of that,” he says. This particular blend was something of an innovative way to make use of juicier grapes on his property. Although he dry farms his crops, a natural spring runs under one section of his grapes.
“I didn’t want to blend that in with the traditional Merlot,” he says, noting that the Rose Merlot is aged in stainless steel, while the rest of his blends are aged in French oak barrels.
We explained our process of pairing a wine with a song, and Don says he prefers light country and light rock. So we think we have come up with the perfect combination for our latest Wine Wednesday episode below. We hope you enjoy it.
And if you’re free this Saturday from noon till 5 p.m., Don’s winery will be open as part of the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Growers Association Passport Days.
It’s one of only five days a year his winery is open. In addition to the four Passport Days each year, he holds a release party for his latest vintage. This year’s party will be held on Aug. 26. “We’re really small,” says Don, “the release party is basically on my deck overlooking the valley. This year we will be opening the 2014 Merlot, which has been aging in oak.”
Sounds like a perfect setting and an ideal vintage. Hope to see you there. Naumann Vineyards is located at Naumann Vineyards, 16505 Montebello Rd., Cupertino, CA.