Salinia Wine Company
”9 American Wine People you need to know”
The mad genius behind Hardy Wallace’s first individually released wine was not Cathy Corison, but a young winemaker with an actual winery, Kevin Kelley of Salinia. Making stunning, if not controversial, examples of old Chardonnay vineyards like Charles Heintz’s Sonoma plantings, the wines are beguiling. Kelley is making wines for the ages, which means that he is not afraid of bottling with tons of acidity (read: longevity), but, also, after an extended time in oak barrels. Although he was involved in making the lean, Chablis-esque wines from Lioco, which favor fermentation in tank so that they are enjoyable soon after release, he doesn’t eschew the richness and development that occurs in the barrels that have long been used in Burgundy and the Jura. The clincher, though, was not a wine he expected to make when he started Salinia, but a field blend of both red and white mostly Rhone varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and Muscat Blanc), all fermented in Acacia oak barrels together. Coming from the Sun Hawk Farm, near Hopland in Mendocino County, it is beautiful, unique and promising.