All Little Trouble wines are crafted with minimal intervention. We work with organic and sustainable vineyards, farmed by proud land stewards.
All wines are unfined and unfiltered, utilizing only native yeasts and never blocking secondary fermentation. Wines are fermented and aged in entirely neutral vessels to preserve the flavor profiles inherent to each vineyard site.
2021 Grist Vineyard Syrah
Surely we have made our love for this vineyard clear by now, yes? While it’s not a contest, and there’s no such thing as a bad block at the site, we like to think we get the best of the best when it comes to this Syrah. Our “section” of this vineyard is the far west terraced block that tends to ripen the slowest. From here we get the best views of the wild Sonoma west coast forests full of deer, boar, coyote and bobcats. Grist is always generous when it comes to both acid and juicy fruit-driven qualities in its’ wines, but where we really get heart-eyed emojis for this wine is in it’s savory components. This year the spicy and savory black tea components really shone especially when paired up with curranty goodness.
Grapes were 50% destemmed upon arrival at winery. Fruit fermented on skins in neutral vessel until dryness, then pressed into neutral barrels. Native primary and secondary ferments, unfined/unfiltered, and minimal So2 before bottling was the only addition.
Look at us being all grown up! While the constant thread that runs between all of our wines is a juicy drinkability, we still want their individual personalities to show. Thus is the joy of making low-intervention wines; the grapes speak for themselves. The Grist Vineyard Syrah is the superlative "elegant" wine in our lineup. Something for you? Yep! Something for your fancy tasting group? You bet! With a nod to the northern Rhone, we include a bit of field planted Viognier in our bins when we harvest at Grist Vineyard. Additionally we only destem 50% of the fruit in order to extract some spicy, stemmy flavors without going overboard on structure. Tastes like Russian Caravan tea and Black Currant all held together by trademark Grist acidity.
Here goes nothing.
We first met back in 2016 while working for a Sonoma Coast winemaker and grower. Jen was the assistant winemaker, Sara the sales director. After getting to know each other over bottles shared at Casino Bar and Grill in Bodega, we quickly realized our mutual love of bright, fresh wines, low intervention vineyard practices, fluffy dogs and eventually each other. Jen’s family took in Sara, an east coast transplant, and many a holiday was shared together. While joking for years about starting a label together, dreams became reality in 2020 when Jen discovered Stampede Vineyard in Lodi.
Our goal is to make wines that highlight the fantastic vineyards we are privileged to work with. We won’t call ourselves “natural”, but we source solely organic fruit and do as little as possible to intervene in the winery. You can call that what you like. At the end of the day we’re two best pals who are thrilled to share our labor of love and sweat and roadside sandwiches with you.
Jen and Sara
While every Autumn is a blur activity in this industry, 2022 seemed particular manic as we bobbed and weaved to ensure the utmost attention to detail for every pick and fermentation. We often find ourselves wondering, “Was that insane? Or are we just imagining that life zoomed by at 100 miles per hour?”. Luckily this year we caught a good bit of it on video, and it’s safe to say that we’re moving just about as fast as our legs will let us. Enjoy a little glimpse into the helter skelter of harvest 2022.
Sara and Jen
Since 1901, Jen’s family has been in the food industry of California, most specifically raising ducks for restaurants in the Bay Area.
The winemaking bug bit in the spring of 2011, and that autumn Jen completed her first harvest in Sonoma County, California. Over the next few years, she completed six additional harvests, to the Sonoma Coast, down to Chile, back to Sonoma Coast, down to Australia, and back again. Harvest number eight brought in a new meaning, when she started her own label, Raft Wines.
These days, Jen continues to run Liberty Duck, Raft Wines, and Et Al wines. She’s roommates with Jack the dog and Mike the husband.
Sara’s journey has taken her from lab technician to wine director, national sales broker to winemaker. She has made or sold wine in California, New York, Florida and New Zealand.
Sara became enamored with low intervention wines when she first started working as a wine buyer in San Francisco. Growing up with a park ranger mom, environmental issues were always important to her and tied in directly with her passions in the wine industry. Her goal with Little Trouble is to highlight fun and transparent expressions of the fantastic vineyards LT works with, while getting in the way of nature as little as possible.
In addition to Little Trouble Wines, she is currently the Director of Operations for Ruth Lewandowski Wines based in Healdsburg, CA. Sara is also a horse girl and mom to Ham the dog.