Food & Drink Awards 2019 Page 21 Both are intertwined to guarantee the best result. Chris spent 11 years as a winemaker in El Dorado championing Mourvédre and Grenache in the regions’ granitic soils and high elevation vineyards. Arriving at Limerick Lane, he felt an immediate connection to the site, and his overall goal for this icon of a site is to preserve the beauty, grace and precision through Limerick Lane wines. To this end, much like growing the fine vines that form the backbone of the business, the process of winemaking is hands off and eyes open. This process is about letting the vines, the dirt, the wind speak, intervening with as invisible a hand as possible and trusting in the mystery of Limerick Lane. The majority of fruit is destemmed and fermented in 4ton open-top fermenters. Depending on the health of the fermentation, the must is inoculated, but native fermentations are also allowed to occur. The wine is aged in predominantly neutral French oak and lies dormant in barrel for anywhere between 12-16 months. The resulting wines speak resoundingly of the soil from which they were born. They are full-bodied and rich with a core of beautiful fresh fruit and striking acidity and structure. No wine is anything without the talented people who care for it, while the vine grows and the wine ferments. Family first, authentic and unpretentious, the team behind Limerick Lane are always open to new approaches and perspectives. For them, every obstacle has an opportunity, with a positive and appreciative energy. Jake Bilbro, the aforementioned owner, is a fourth-generation Sonoma County winemaker and grape grower. Growing up drinking cream soda and playing hide and go seek with his brothers in his dad’s winery, this experience provided Jake with an intimate knowledge of how to get the best results out of a winery and out of the grapes that grow there. It’s Jake who built up the Limerick Lane Estate to its award- winning success, encourages as far as possible to grow vines and make wines that reflect the personality, history and heartbeat that is intrinsic at Limerick Lane. Every single aspect of Limerick Lane screams authenticity. The entire basis of the business’ approach relies on adapting to situations as they arise and making the best of each situation. It means the creation of a wine that isn’t manufactured, but grown, that is personal, not corporate. Limerick Lane unites people in its business and in its product. World class wine makes people put down their phone, step away from the computer and appreciate what nature has to offer. As a vineyard built on that intimate connection, surely there can be no higher compliment. Contact: Gina Lathrum Email: [email protected] Company: Limerick Lane Cellars Web Address: Telephone: 001 949-683-1870 Of particular note is that the vineyard hosts tasting and cellar tours to allow visitors a tantalizing glimpse of the true magic of Limerick Lane. Moreover, from next year, the Estate Home will be made available for the quintessential vineyard experience.