Loring Wine Company
Brian Loring’s mission statement is very straightforward: “We’re a small winery that produces tasty Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and whatever else strikes our fancy.”
Talking to Brian, he will tell you, during his previous life he designed military software, and today, designs boutique wines; as he likes to say, with a twinkle in his eyes, he’s keeping the world safe for Pinot Noir, and what a job he’s doing!
Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Brian admits that from the age of 16 he was a wine geek. Working in wine stores throughout his “formative” years, establishing a career, the thought of being in the wine business and making wine was never far from his mind. In 1997, he took the first step to leave the real world behind in order to pursue his passion, working harvest at Cottonwood Canyon. Purchasing a batch of grapes in 1999, he made a few barrels of wine. It was at this point the realization hit: Brian was now a winemaker, proving that dreams do come true. Quitting his day job in 2006, Brian was now full-time wine!
The Romance of Making Wine
Brian will tell you being a winemaker is about the hardest job you can have, so don’t look at it as a job, but a passion and a love. Loring Wine Company is a small operation. Sister Kimberly, mother Helen, and assistant winemaker “YBri” are the sole employees of the winery, so whether it’s hosing down the winery floor, barrel tasting, sorting grapes, doing punch downs during harvest or any other job that is necessary, it’s all up to them. Winemaking may be a romantic thought in the beginning, but it is not for the weak of heart. Loving what he does—making wine that people love, appreciate and enjoy—is the reward. Brian and his team couldn’t think of doing anything else.
A Minimalistic Philosophy
During his teenage and young adult years, working in wine shops, developing his palate and philosophy, Brian concluded what he wanted was to make wine, not be a farmer or scientist. Having the opportunity to sample Pinots (and other wines) from all over the world, he was determined to produce drinkable wines, reflective of their “place” or terroir. Grapes are purchased from a wide variety of California’s premier vineyards, such as Garys’ Vineyard, Rosella’s, Clos Pepe and Cargasacchi to name just a few. He trusts the growers, knows the earth and is content to nurture the grapes from the time of harvest, through barrel time and into the bottle. The result is a variety of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, each reflecting the nuances of the terroir they come from. There are currently about 12 separate Pinots offered on the wine list, some are vineyard designated, others are AVA designated, blending grapes from the best vineyards around.
As much as Pinot is his passion, don’t forget about Chardonnay! As Brian reflects: “I started making Chardonnay because I missed the old-school style that featured some oak and buttery finish that many winemakers don’t seem to want to make anymore.” The Chardonnays are elegant and distinctive. Staying true to the mission statement of producing “whatever else strikes our fancy,” Loring has recently released a scarce German varietal (from Huber vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills), Dornfelder. He describes the wine as “the biggest, baddest wine ever made. It’s massive, and oh so tasty.” Dornfelder is definitely a big, chewy, intriguing variety that will confuse, entice and delight you.
Wine Club Has Its Privileges
Join the wine club so you are certain to avail yourself of these small-lot Pinots, and to have access to unusual and limited-production wines (such as Dornfelder). There are two shipments yearly, but don’t worry, if you miss an order you won’t be dropped! Wine club members have the benefit of arranging for barrel tastings, attending the spring vineyard picnic, going to release parties at the winery, having winery tours with barrel tasting (by appointment), in addition to other events throughout the year.
Don’t Miss Out on the 2015 Spring Release!
Brian Loring is extremely proud of the fact that, since the beginning, Loring wines have been awarded over one-hundred 90+ point scores from Wine Spectator magazine in addition to high ratings and reviews consistently received from other well-regarded wine publications.
Following this pattern of recognition, Loring has just received the following scores to pre-cede the release of the 2015 vintage:
• 2015 Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir, (92-94 Wine Advocate, 92 PinotFile).
• 2015 Kessler-Haak Vineyard Pinot Noir, (92-94 Wine Advocate, 93 PinotFile).
• 2015 Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir, (93 Wine Enthusiast).
• 2015 Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay, (90-93 Wine Advocate, 93 Wine Enthusiast).
Also included in the 2015 release is the Cooper Jaxon Pinot Noir, a special blend of two of Loring’s favorite barrels in the winery. Named after his 21-month-old nephew, Loring says: “It’s a special wine in honor of a special little guy.”
There is always something new and unexpected on the horizon from Brian Loring. One thing you can count on is that every time you open a bottle you will enjoy a new and gratifying wine experience.