La Clarine Farm

How to order / Terms of Sale

Call us at 530-306-3608 or follow the links below (“Buy Now”) to order on-line.

We accept all major credit cards.  Prices do not include CA sales tax (if applicable) and shipping charges. A case discount will apply to all orders of 12 or more bottles.  Shipping restrictions may apply.  If your state is not listed on our online system, please call us - there may be a way to ship your wine.  We will not ship during excessively warm or cold weather.  Shipping to a business address is preferred.

Our wines are unfiltered and unfined, so please expect some sediment and/or haze in some of the wines.  It is not a sign that the wine is defective.  Please contact us if you think a bottle might be “bad” - we want to to be happy with your purchase - but remember that “I don’t like it” is not a reason for return.

All wines sold in California and title passes to the buyer in California.  We make no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import into any state outside of California.  The buyer is solely responsible for shipment of wines.  By placing an order, you authorize us to act on your behalf to engage a common carrier on your behalf to deliver wine to you.  Wines may be sold only to persons 21 years old.  By placing an order, you represent to us that you are at least 21 years old.  When your wine is delivered to you, you will be required to show identification proving that you are at least 21 years old

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2012 home vineyard

Thanks to a generous 2012 vintage (at least in the sensual sense), this new release of the Home Vineyard is the most forward version yet.  We farm our home property in as minimalist fashion as possible, allowing the native, natural vegetation to grow between the vines.  We don't fertilize the vines, preferring to allow the course granitic soil to “be what it is” and to experience this “is-ness” in the finished wine.  We also use a minimum of treatment against the more common maladies of grapevines: occasional sprays using natural sulfur compounds, along with homeopathic treatments, seem to help combat powdery mildew and insect issues.  These sprays, and the biodiversity we promote in the vineyard, seem to allow the natural balance of the ecosystem to prevent anything from getting too far out of balance.  Those of you who have seen the vineyard can attest to the fact that it barely resembles a vineyard at all!  But the wines it produces are very special.

This year's blend is composed of 35% Tempranillo, 28% Grenache, 21% Tannat, 13% Syrah and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.  100% whole cluster fermentation, ambient yeasts, gentle basket pressing, no sulfites added until bottling, aging in neutral, thin-stave small oak barrels and hand bottling help insure that this is as true an expression of site and vintage as possible. The wine shows great concentration, herb-tinged and savory textures, and tremendous depth of flavor.  Drinking nicely now, it has the tannic and acid structure to age quite gracefully for years to come. 

The downside to this natural viticulture is the fact that yields are insanely low (at least from an economic viewpoint).  There are only 453 bottles of this wine to go around, and it will sell out very quickly (in a matter of hours in past years), so if you have interest in tasting this, please do not delay!

$32 per bottle.  Screwcap closure.  13.2% alcohol by volume.

Limit 4 bottles per customer.  Shipping and applicable sales tax not included in the price.

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2012 piedi grandi

Another red blend, this time from deeper volcanic soils.  Composed of 54% Nebbiolo, 42% Mourvedre, 3% Syrah and 1% Semillon, this wine never fails to make us smile each year.  From its rather serendipitous origins, it's become one of our favorites for spring- and summertime dining (and drinking).

Ambient yeast fermentation, foot stomped whole clusters, no sulfites added until bottling (and just enough then to protect the wine from the stresses of bottling) and aging entirely in tank help to give this wine a juicy and pure personality.

Intensely aromatic, lighter in body but full in flavor, with a tannic / acid backbone so typical of nebbiolo, this wine pairs well with a variety of dishes.  Its versatility is what makes it so much fun.  The wine gains complexity with air, and becomes spicier with time in the bottle (the 2010, for instance,  is quite nice right now).  Try, if you can, to hold on to a few bottles for future exploration!

$25 per bottle. 156 cases made.  Screwcap closure.  14.2% alcohol by volume.

Can be combined with the Home Vineyard (or in-stock past releases) for a 20% discount on 12 bottles or more.  Shipping and applicable sales tax not included in the price.

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2012 Syrah “sumu kaw”

Although I love change and surprise in my winemaking and wines, it is sometimes comforting to know (at least approximately) what you are going to get when you open a bottle.  In fact, I would say that the most enjoyable bottles are those with some sort of reference point.  A place on which to grab, whilst exploring the “unknown”.  Sometimes, that “handle” is simply the grape variety.  Sometimes it goes deeper than that.

The most interesting vineyards are those which provide something of an anchor.  They have a consistency about them, a fixed value on which vintage variation can dance around.  That interplay between vineyard and vintage is a fascinating one, and we have enough vintages under our belt to confidently say that the Sumu Kaw Vineyard is one such vineyard.

I've always believed Sumu Kaw to be an exemplary syrah vineyard.  The elements of elevation (3000 feet), location (in the middle of a pine forest), exposition (ridge-top) and soil composition (deep volcanic loam) come together here in a nearly perfect combination.   With thoughtful farming and careful treatment in the cellar, it is possible to “make” a really superlative wine here.

The soil, in particular, seems to lend everything grown here amazing aromatics.  These syrah grapes always gives meaty and smokey tones, with dark fruit, and our choice to ferment these grapes with 100% whole clusters adds an intriguing herbal note to the wine.  These notes are always present - one year may show more of the herby character, like 2010; the next may show intense smoke (like 2011).

This release, the 2012, has all of the “comfort” notes there in a remarkable balance.  Add in the rather intense structure of this vintage, with the tannins and acidity playing off each other, and the experience is quite attention-getting.  Yet, nothing sticks out too much, nothing is lacking.  It's all in there for you to explore.  

It's a blast to drink now, all up-front and primary, and it seems to need a good 6-8 hours of air to start to show its potential.  It will certainly repay a few years (5? 6? 10? more?) in the cellar with deepening complexity and depth of flavor.

345 cases bottled.  Aged in 600 liter demi-muids, racked once, and bottled under screwcap with a single 20ppm addition of sulfites.  14.2% alcohol.

$25 per bottle.  A 20% discount will apply on all orders of 12 bottles or more.  Applicable sales tax and shipping not included in the price.

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2012 josephine + mariposa

In the summer of 2012, as we walked through the Fenaughty Vineyard in El Dorado county's Apple Hill area, ace-grower Ron Mansfield and I discussed vines and wines and the sort of things I was looking for.  I told him of my increasing interest in vineyard specific blends, how I felt that often a blend is a more complete picture of a particular soil and site. I explained that I was looking for vineyards which can express themselves through whichever variety (or varieties) were planted there. Which varieties were there was (almost) of secondary importance. In short, a great site with the right grapes.

Ron kept mentioning a vineyard in a “town” called Swansboro.  A quick lookup on my phone revealed Swansboro to be, apparently, the intersection of two roads. He told me of a vineyard with grenache blanc, grenache noir and mourvedre, plus a few other scattered patches of interesting varieties.  The soil, he said, was particularly interesting.

We met a week or so later to drive to Swansburo.  Down an old, one-and-a-half-lane road into a steep  canyon, over the coolest one-lane, wooden suspension bridge I've ever seen, and back up the other side of the canyon to a small vineyard perched at the top of what looks to be an old lava cap.  Head-trained grenache and mourvedre vines.  Loamy soil with bits of yellow rock poking up here and there.  My soils app identified the site as sitting on the Josephine/Mariposa Complex. Gravelly loam underlaid with yellow slate.

We walked through the vines.  It was one of those experiences when you just know this is a special place.  Down at the bottom of the vineyard was a huge pile of rock that had been cleared when the vines were planted.  Crumbly, yellow slate.  Yes!

Without hesitation, we reached an agreement on getting me some grapes.  I was most interested in the grenache noir, and I took a little mourvedre, too, to see what it was like.

Once the grapes were delivered, back at La Clarine Farm, we foot stomped both lots and let them ferment.  Wonderful aromas.  We pressed them after 8 or 9 days into older 600 liter demi-muids, again keeping the grenache and mourvedre separate.  We instantly felt we had something special going on – the aromas and flavors were quite different than what we get from our more normal soils here, decomposed granite.  We were also amazed that the grenache and mourvedre shared more similarities than differences (I probably couldn't tell them apart in a blind tasting), again leading us to feel that this vineyard site was indeed special.

After a few trials, we decided that blending them together made the most complete picture.  The final blend is 72% grenache and 28% mourvedre. The aromas are classic, old-school grenache – pure, high-toned fruit, some dried herb, and wet, chalky stones.  The wine is certainly full-bodied, but surprisingly light on its feet.  The mourvedre adds its structure to the blend.  The finish wraps itself around you in a bear-hug of minerals and fine tannins. Again those stoney flavors!  This wine seems to have the balance, energy and structure to age gracefully for many years. Think of Collioure, or Priorat before all the new oak salespeople showed up. 

Give the wine plenty of air and time to unravel itself.  Try it with robust winter fare; we can't wait to try this with a cassoulet.

280 cases made.  Screwtop closure.  14.6% alcohol.  Racked only once and bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a small 20ppm sulfite addition.

$26.00 per bottle.  A 20% discount will be applied on purchases of 12 bottles or more.  Applicable sales tax and shipping costs not included in the price.

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You may be able to find our wines at the following locations in California:

Domaine L.A., Arlequin Wine Merchant, Buzz Wine & Beer, Alma, Vintage Berkeley, Sotto, Canyon Market, Chez Panisse, Local Mission Eatery, Rainbow Grocery, Vineyard Gate, Passionfish, Mission Cheese, Salt’s Cure, Hidden Vine, The Wine House, Bar Covell, Bi-Rite Market, K&L Wine Merchants, Papilles, Gorbals, Jonathan Downtown Club, The Wine Lab, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Barbacco, Fundamental LA, Gitane...

More are being added all the time...

Retailers: Please contact one of our distribution partners!

CA: Cleanskins Wine LLC / Amy Atwood


NY: David Bowler Wine


MA: Olmstead Wine Co.


NC: {proof} wine & spirits

(c) 2014 La Clarine Farm


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