SMALL VINEYARD PROJECT, WILL TRAVEL

On Tuesday 24 July and Wednesday 25 July, we welcome Nic Coturri and the Sonoma Mtn Winery crew as they stop off in London on their way through old Europe from California.

This is the very first showing in the UK of the Sonoma Mtn Winery wines — for our money some of the most exciting and unclassifiable wines coming out of the West Coast in a generation. It’s a one-afternoon only chance to taste through some sold-out vintages, plus preview what we’re releasing in September.

Nic is Tony Coturri pedigree: an off-shoot of one of the most venerable, natural wine-making rootstocks in California. He grew up in the vineyards and the family cellar, found his own way into them and, in 2009, took over a couple of sites for his own project. Now almost a decade down the line, under the Small Vineyard Project label, Nic continues to push the boundaries of the California wine scene by both resurrecting and reinventing that California’s long winemaking heritage. Nic is showing us experimental, unboxed thinking both in the vineyard and the cellar, taking old Coturri tradition and shapeshifting with it into a whole new space.

The Sonoma Mtn crew will be pouring old and new vintages from 11-3pm downstairs at Ducksoup in Soho on Tuesday and from 6-8 pm at Leila’s Shop on Calvert Ave on Wednesday, along with a special presentation of their wines on Tuesday night for dinner at Kiln in Soho. Expect some signature co-ferments and field blends in the pre-Prohibition California paisano-style, delicious renditions of classic single-varietal California Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay, and a single-varietal Gravenstein cider that’s never made it further than local Bay Area markets. Only a couple bottles of some of these, so we’d say come by earlier rather than later.

The approach here is uncompromisingly zerozero — nothing added and nothing removed. Dry-farming, old school open-top fermenters from local redwood, ambient yeasts and absolutely no additives or sulphites make for wines we call natural, by tradition. Yet they wear their learning lightly. Nic’ll tell you the rest.