Margins Sangiovese Arroyo Seco 2020


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“Mesa del Sol lies in the hot Arroyo Seco gorge at the foot of the Santa Lucia mountain range. I was connected with vineyard owner/manager Ann Hougham in 2017 when I was exploring additional sites for Margins to begin making red wines. Every year the night before we pick, Ann and I camp on her property at the edge of a steep drop into the dry riverbed, drink wines, and
talk about how life has gotten us where we are. The following day the two of us and her small crew pick Sangiovese for Margins in the early morning before the sun begins to bake the land.

 In 2020 the Dolan fire was raging though nearby Big Sur in the weeks leading up to harvest, and we questioned whether or not we were even going to pick these grapes. Ann offered to let me harvest the grapes but not pay for them until it was confirmed that the wine was going to be viable. I felt like I had nothing to lose so we brought out a tiny crew of folks to harvest the entire block of Sangiovese in one very long, smoky day. I figured that even if the wine was a little smoky it may not be entirely unappealing, given the typical characteristics of Sangiovese. I washed the grapes with water upon return to the winery because they were covered in ash.

 I waited until February to determine the final outcome of the wine and was pleasantly surprised. The finished product bears no resemblance to the smoky conditions in which the grapes were harvested--proof of the infinite complexity and unpredictability of smoke taint. The wine is dominated by notes of black currant, herbs, and only the pleasant earthy aspects of tobacco.”

-Megan Bell, Winemaker/Owner, Margins Wine