January is a month for firsts… and this January I’m doing a big first…
The Bliss Wine Club is featuring wines from my good friend and California winemaker Noel Diaz. Yes…you heard me… January is featuring non-imported wines! Noel Diaz is the owner and winemaker of Purity Wines in California.
Purity Wines are among my FAVORITE domestic natural wines. Noel and I have done case exchanges in the past where I give him 12 bottles and he gives me 12 bottles. This means I get to enjoy his wines all year long and they make up most of the California wine that I drink.
This might not happen again…we had some logistical hiccups and delayed shipments from Europe that threw a wrench in what I was planning to send. I didn’t want to repeat any wines we sent for the wine club last year and then I had this brilliant idea! I called up Noel and he was happy to help us out. His wines are not easy to find so I’m excited to have picked out four awesome bottles for you.
Just a heads up… I only have enough wine for 3 new members… so now is the perfect time to sign up! First come, first serve. This is extremely limited stock.
Okay, okay. On to the wines!
Bliss Wine Club January Shipment
Here are the yummies you get this month:
2016 Nevada County Grenache
- Tasting Notes: Deep red fruit, sandalwood. Classical in profile.
- Tasting Notes: Nevada County Cinsault/Mourvedre/Grenache/Syrah. Bright fresh red fruit, crunchy, alive, natural in profile, but not really “funky” per se.
2019 Peace, Love, Happiness
- Gravenstein cider with Gewurztraminer mash.
- Tasting Notes: Smells like roses, light, in body, some mild tannins, a slight bit of lychee. Yes, this is a 50/50 of cider and wine… You will love it and if you don’t, please don’t tell me.
2019 Orange Carbo Crush
- Russian River Gewurztraminer with Nevada County Marsanne/Roussanne
- Tasting Notes: Floral, herby, textured without being too tannic
Let’s learn a little more about Noel and Purity Wines:
1. Who the hell is Noel?
[Noel] I thik I’m still trying to figure this out, maybe that’s actually a useable answer. I am always a student, I’ve always been curious. I love learning and applying this knowledge to whatever it is I’m doing, such as winemaking.
2. How the hell did he start making natural wine?
Gosh, I’ve been studying wine pretty much all my life. worked in restaurants all my life and learning about food and wine came with the territory. I loved it. I love that natural wine is so honest and pure. We’re not afraid to show our blemishes, our normalcy, our weaknesses, but at the same time, exposing our soulful beauty. I started making wine by accident, but I fell in love, and I continue to fall deeper in love every day. There isn’t any aspect of this profession that doesn’t fascinate me, even the little things. There’s a certain magic that occurs while squeegeeing the floors at 4 in the morning after working for almost 24 hours, putting the wines to bed, cleaning up, and turning off the lights, the smell, the sounds, the sights; it’s glorious.
3. Why is the pursuit of purity important – and even more important in California?
We need to talk about our environment, we need to constantly be questioning if the way we live is the right way. I’m not perfect, I sometimes share a burger, fries, and a shake with my kids. It’s not the healthiest thing to do. I know this food isn’t organic, but it’s a choice I make knowingly, just like figuring out how to have a smaller footprint by recycling glass and making sure to get my trash to the recycling center and avoiding the landfill. I’m constantly speaking with people about why we should move more towards organic farming and chemical-free living. We’re able to make free choices in this country, but we should make informed choices. And organic doesn’t need to be much more costly.
4. What do you normally rant about when it comes to talking about wine?
Transparency. If a winemaker isn’t afraid to make wine with numerous additions, then she or he should stand behind the product and all that made up the production of it. If a winemaker is adding color, acid, yeasts, sulfur, velcorin or any other chemicals it should be stated on an ingredients list. And though sustainable farming is maybe slightly better than conventional farming, it’s not organic and shouldn’t be used interchangeably as it often is.
5. What is your farming philosophy?
Organic, no-till, regenerative. By allowing competition within a farm, we can use a system of balance to control pests, weeds, and undesirables, but we need to be willing to look, learn, and adjust. It’s so easy to throw science at a problem and go back to watching tv, but what are the long-term effects of that science? Long-term chemical use is not the answer to our environmental problems.
6. What is your winemaking philosophy?
I’m okay with letting a wine be what it wants to be. I don’t need to push it into being something else. Sure, I handle the fruit, I’m not doing nothing, but I’m shepherding what’s there into its next stage of evolution, hoping to stop it before it decays into carbon dioxide and water. I blend too, but I do it in a very general way, more to economize than manipulate.
7. What’s your favorite part of life?
Being alive and experiencing everything this world has to offer. As I’ve gotten more and more into the environment and farming, I’ve more and more taken on the belief that this is just another place in a cycle of comings and goings, metamorphoses, of ebbs and flows, of recycling. You see this in nature, from ocean waves to stars coalescing, living, dying being reborn. Patterns emerge if we pay attention. It’s beautiful and so elegant.
I had a great time putting together this box for the wine club this month. These wines are fun, unique, and are true to natural winemaking. This is a great opportunity to try some new wines by a California natural winemaker and experience what Purity Wines has to offer!
BTW, natural and delicious wines don't have to be expensive. Have you tried any of ours yet?Start tasting now