Wine doesn't have to be stodgy. Or expensive. And this month's featured winery, Black Sheep Finds, or also known as Holus Bolus Winery, proves that over and again, with every new vintage. Founded by former Stolpman assistant winemaker, Peter Hunken and his now-wife Amy Christine, who is a Master of Wine candidate (one of the only 14 women in the US to achieve this remarkable goal), sommelier at L.A's famed AOC and a rep for the Burgundy and Bordeaux importer Veritas - the pair are both as approachable as they are knowledgeable.
Founders of Black Sheep Finds - Peter Hunken and Amy Christine (Photo credits: K&L Wines)
In the world of Garagiste wineries, Black Sheep Finds (or Holus Bolus Winery) is definitely in a world of its own. The smallish winery produces generally around 2,000 cases annually, mostly from the Rhône varietals Syrah and Roussanne grown
in the red-hot Sta. Rita Hills Appellation - arguably the most sought-after grapes located in California's Central Coast region.
"We released our first wines in 2005, around 200 cases and we've grown slowly", recanted Peter. "Our fruit all comes from single vineyards and are not blended to ensure the varietal integrity of the wine. So far, this process has worked extremely well for us and our cadre of followers."
Black Sheep Finds wine (Photo credits: Independent)
The term 'Holus Bolus', which is derived from the Latin meaning of 'all together without modification', is applicable to their wines and their single vineyard origins as all the grapes go into one configuration rather than being blended with other varieties as many wineries prefer to do.
Accolades have come quickly and frequently for Black Sheep Finds and its imposing husband and wife team. They operate a successful tasting room in its production facility located in Lompoc's heralded 'Wine Ghetto' and newly-planted 5-acre estate vineyard. Peter and Amy tend to these vines with their own hands saying "We're trying to do most of the work that we can ourselves, it gives that added sense of connection. The dream is to be able to have something to work on yourself," explains Peter, "and we feel super fortunate to have this opportunity." Fortune may have played a role in getting them a slice of the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills, but hard work in all facets of the wine business is what got Black Sheep Finds to this point.
Shop Black Sheep Finds here.