Sunday, June 6, 2010

Husic Vineyards News

Last week I attended the Husic Vineyards Vintner's Dinner in San Francisco and then visited with Frank Husic in Napa.  I will cover these events in subsequent posts but, first, some Husic Vineyards news.

Celia Masyczek, who had been the winemaker of record at Husic Vineyards, has been replaced as winemaker by Michael Hirby (pictured at left;  Michael got his start in the wine business as sommelier at a restaurant named Primativo.  He left for a job at a winery in France but the job did not show up when he did.  He made his way back to the US and got a position as Assistant Winemaker at Behrens and Hitchcock (B&H) in 2000.   While at B&H he married the General Manager (Schatzi Throckmorton) and, soon thereafter, left to become the winemaker at Realm Cellars and, subsequently, to launch their joint label Relic.   In addition to his responsibilities at Relic and Husic Vineyards, Michael is also the winemaker at Winter Wines, Realm Cellars, and D.R. Stephens Estate and consulting winemaker at Sherwin Family Vineyards and St. Helena Road Winery.   No reasons were provided for the winemaker change and it is not clear how differences in style or philosophy will affect the final product.  Michael will be fully responsible for the 2010 vintage.

Beginning with the upcoming bottling, Husic Vineyards will be switching to a lighter bottle for its Napa Cabernets.  Husic has traditionally used the heavier style Bordeaux bottles (a la Shafer Hillside Select) but, according to Frank Husic, the additional weight associated with that bottle type translates into higher shipping costs, costs that he will now spare himself and his wine-club members.

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