LA CLARINE FARM, Sierra Foothills, CA
It was music, not wine, that drew Hank and Caroline Beckmeyer together. Hank was touring with the art-punk band Half-Japanese and Caro was working in music licensing for record labels Polygram and Repetoire. Ready for a change of pace, they moved in 2001 to Somerset, California, home of the Gold Rush, not-yet home to natural wine. La Clarine was a Demeter-certified farm which laid the groundwork for a healthy and productive goat cheese business. But you know what's less perishable than goat cheese? WINE. So, in 2008, Hank and Caro released their first vintage and are now considered by many to be one of the pioneers of natural wine in CA. Yeah I know that 2008 was very recent, but remember that many "old" things in CA are very new by national and international standards...except the redwoods...we got that. These days, Hank and Caro work with single-vineyard syrah, mourvedre, tempranillo, nebbiolo, petite manseng, and albariño on the granitic, volcanic, and limestone soils of the Sierra Nevada foothills, letting their wines reveal themselves. It's part Fukuoka, part art punk band, what more can we say?