Q&A with Jason De Loach, Hook & Ladder Winery, Santa Rosa, California
1. WHAT DOES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OPIMIAN MEAN TO YOU?
Being able to display our wines through an exclusive offering.
2. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT PRODUCING WINE WAS YOUR PASSION?
Growing up in the industry, I’d always wanted to take part in the excitement surrounding wine production. The controlled chaos that surrounds harvest was something I really wanted to be a part of.
3. WHICH OF YOUR CURRENT WINES ARE YOU THE MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
Our Severson Ranch Pinot Noir is by far one of our favorites. Our 2018 Single Vineyard Designate Pinot has turned out to be a fantastic showing of what that particular vineyard can achieve.
4. IF YOU WERE NOT A WINEMAKER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I would probably either be a fire fighter, police officer or a commercial pilot.
5. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The technical aspect of building awesome wines. I love the challenge from grape to bottle. For me it is one giant, logistical puzzle.
6. WHICH WINEMAKING TRADITIONS, IF ANY, ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Really focussing on staying as true as possible to each varietal of wine, calling vineyard picks when the fruit tastes its absolute best, and letting the wines speak for themselves.
7. WHAT IS THE BEST WINE YOU HAVE EVER TASTED?
A 1997 Hersh Vineyard William Syleum Pinot Noir.
8. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU’RE NOT MAKING WINE OR GROWING GRAPES?
Spending time with my wife and our two boys, enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.
9. WHAT BOTTLE IS OPEN IN YOUR KITCHEN RIGHT NOW?
Our 2017 Single Vineyard Designate Gambogi Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINE?
I really love our Merlot. The dark fruit components of black berries and black currant along with raspberry, cherry, red wild berries, combined with toasted oak and spice with brown sugar and nutmeg is a balance that I truly enjoy.
11. WHAT UP-AND-COMING WINE REGION WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TRAVELING TO? WHY?
The Russian River Valley is the place to be. We have a wonderful, diverse microclimate.
12. YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK OR MOVIE?
John Glenn : A Memoir
13. WHO IS A PERSON YOU ADMIRE?
My uncle James; he would be the reason I would have gone into law enforcement or the Airforce if I wasn’t in wine production.
14. RED, WHITE OR ROSÉ?
15. DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN ONE WORD OR SENTENCE.
Excellence and true grit.