Dave Ginn of Pebble Beach never thought much about wine and rarely sipped and swirled.
All that changed in 2001 when a friend moved to Southern California and left six barrels of fermenting wine.
“I always been curious,” he said, “So I talked to some winemakers and then bought a book, waded in and then took a serious plunge. I was skeptical at first but spent time to learn more every year.”
After a year of experimenting with homemade wine he entered the Sonoma Harvest Festival won a medal.
What began as a self-described “dumb idea” Swirl Cellars took off in 2010 with a malbec.
“The growing area –San Antonio valley south of the Monterey appellation – is half way between Paso Robles and Monterey County,” he said. “It gets really hot in the summer with altitudes over 990 feet and this environment is great for malbec.”
He sources the grapes for the Bordeaux-style wine which is available at local area markets for about $18. He introduced his 2010 malbec at a tasting at the recent Monterey Wine Fest and received glowing reviews.
The vintage has a great floral bouquet slightly perfumery bursting with dark cherry, blackberry and chocolate. The soft mouth feel pairs elegantly with steak as with pork and sea salt and black pepper potato chips.
“I continue working as a consultant but have more fun producing a small batch, boutique Monterey malbec,” Ginn said. “It’s really a labor of love.”