Good wine starts with good dirt and in 2012 Anna and David deLaski finally got their shot at farming and producing California wine. In the process, they HAVE also discovered what makes them happy. This is their story...
The first seed was planted meeting in 2009 and falling in love with Santa Barbara wine country and each other. We married soon after and while visiting Anna's family in Austria, a desire to settle down and create a life together in a more agricultural setting started to take root. We were pregnant with our first child and back in California (in LA the walls were closing in) when a chance meeting with a winemaking mentor and a property for sale with vines in the front yard grew into something we could no longer ignore. We went "all in" and decided to buy a fixer farmhouse and vineyard in Los Olivos and call the fruits of our labor of love "Solminer". Our son Linus was born the same year.
What is Solminer?
Sol-miner as in mining the "Sun" which in turn nourishes the soul. The name inspires us to discover and unearth the treasures in the soils of the California Central Coast. Our decisions have always been personal (not commercial) and involve what we call "conscious farming". As we learn about our little piece of earth and our place in it, the picture begins to widen. We've incorporated chickens, grazing sheep, the lunar calendar, biodynamic compost, preparations and teas all to support the microorganisms in the dirt and health of the vineyard. We have a feeling of connectedness as each trip around the sun gives us the chance to experience the magical process of exchange from the dirt, plants, fruit, wine, humans, sky, moon, sun and stars.
Creating Authentic wine from healthy vineyards
Organic and conscious farming practices are just one of many things we are dedicated to in order to make wines honestly. Each wine is unique and we're doing what feels right with no recipes - we don't do manifestos either. We mainly just want the wines to reflect the vineyard and the vintage. We think wines express their site well when picked at the right time (earlier than most would think in California) and made without added yeast or other additions using only minimal sulphur to help preserve what we work so hard to get into the bottle. This way they also turn into refreshing, food-friendly and balanced wines, with good acidity and structure.
Creativity and experimentation with unique varietals
We named our 3 acre vineyard "deLanda" a combination of our first and last name as it reflects our personal desire to produce unique wines and experiment with Austrian varietals. Since the beginning, we thought Grüner Veltliner would do well here and soon after we discovered that the Austrian red grape, Blaufränkisch, is perfect for our climate as well. We've rounded things out with a bit of Muscat to create an Austrian inspired dry "Muskateller" and some Syrah for Rose, Sparkling Syrah, a blend and a single vineyard Syrah. Our Riesling is sourced from neighboring vineyards that we have selected for their climate, soils and sustainable growing practices. 700-900 cases are produced per year.
Hard Work and Pure Pleasure
In farming and winemaking we take part in the continuum of past, present and future cycles set forth by nature. They seem to drive us as we bottle the current year's vintage (fresh Grüner) while drinking a past year's bottle (nice age on that Syrah) and stare in awe at buds that will create the next year's grapes and juice (and man is Linus getting bigger each time). The cycles remind us of what is important and nothing makes us happier than creating our wines year after year and sharing them with family and friends (old and new) to celebrate another trip around the sun...