FOUR QUESTIONS WITH ADAM TOLMACH

 
 Adam Tolmach standing in his family garden beneath his brother's hop arbor.

Adam Tolmach standing in his family garden beneath his brother's hop arbor.

 

Adam Tolmach is the winemaking legend behind The Ojai Vineyard, and a 2018 Wine Speak panelist.

After studying viticulture and enology at UC Davis, Adam found work at Santa Barbara County’s Zaca Mesa Winery, which would soon become notable for producing numerous winemaking luminaries. In 1982, he co-founded the famed Au Bon Climat Winery with Jim Clendenen. In 1991, he started focusing solely on his separate Ojai Vineyard brand located in the Ojai Valley on the south Central Coast. To this day, Adam is renowned for his stellar wines and enduring contributions to the Central Coast winemaking community.

Wine Speak co-founder Amanda Wittstrom-Higgins recently caught up with Adam to reflect on his career—and to look ahead to the next Wine Speak:

 Some of our favorites from the visit

Some of our favorites from the visit

 Tolmach's trusty companion Hula

Tolmach's trusty companion Hula

After nearly 30 years in the wine business what continues to excite you?

Not to sound trite, but it's all about the craft. Working on those devilish details of winemaking, trying new things every year to get closer to one's dream of perfection, tasting wines from around the world and discovering something special. It's an awesome job!

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would that be?

Work at wineries around the world for five or 10 years before settling down to my own work.

What wine and vintage are you most proud of? What made it so special?

The vintages are all interesting for one reason or another, but around Santa Barbara County I love the 2011 vintage. It was cool and challenging and the wines are well balanced and will continue to evolve for years.

You attended the inaugural Wine Speak last year, what were your impressions?

Wine Speak was great because of your great organizational abilities and Chuck's passion. I’m excited to return.

 Tolmach's latest research project - a test vineyard with resistance to Pierce's Disease

Tolmach's latest research project - a test vineyard with resistance to Pierce's Disease

 The original roadside sign from the family ranch

The original roadside sign from the family ranch

 
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