Harvest Conversation at The Ojai Vineyard about the new hybrids with winemakers Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel #WinePW

The Ojai Vineyard’s General Manager Fabien Castel

“To make great wine you can’t be greedy,” says Fabien Castel, General Manager at The Ojai Vineyard.

Sue Hill and I are standing with Fabien Castel and winemaker Adam Tolmach in the The Ojai Vineyard estate experimental vineyard planted in 2017 with special UC Davis Pierce disease resistant hybridized vines — two reds and two whites– that will be blended into an as yet to be named wines. The white was just bottled and I’ve been promised a shiner– no label yet because they don’t know what they will call it.

Although the vineyard was harvested between two intense heat waves– 48 hours before this area of Ojai’s Ventura County reached 120 degrees– there’s still lots of ripe fruit for us to snack on.

And it’s good.

“Don’t you tire of eating grapes?” I ask Adam as he almost greedily enjoys handfuls of purple fruit. Clearly he still relishes this aspect of the business, forty years after he planted his first vineyard here along Creek Road, a route which leads to Ojai proper and The Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room on Montgomery Street which opened in 2010.

The Ojai Vineyard’s Fabien Castel with founder Adam Tolmach; Fabien has worked with Adam for 20 years now.

We’re near the end of a two hour conversation Continue reading