Podcast – Winemaker Interview with Kanzler Vineyards in California’s Sebastopol of Sonoma County

Alex and Breauna of Kanzler Vineyards

Here we are, the first episode of the podcast this year. I skimmed over an article earlier from another wine podcast that did over 1,200 interviews. Impressive is all I have to say since this is only my 16th episode.

For the podcast this week, the theme is the tiniest bit different. When I was at IPNC in July, a winery from the Sebastopol Hills located in the Russian River Valley presented its wines at a session. I was impressed by the three wines I tasted at the session and several other wines over the next few days.

You know me, it has to be more than just the wine to catch my attention. So I talked with Alex Kanzler, the winemaker at Kanzler Vineyards, and his cousin Morgan. In talking with the two of them, the winery’s orbit is family with excellent, down-to-earth stories. Alex talked Morgan, his cousin, into moving from North Carolina to California.

After IPNC, I made sure to add them to my podcast interview list, and before asking if they were interested, I had to do some research. I stumbled upon some incredible stories!

Today’s podcast interview is with Alex and his wife, Breauna, from Kanzler Vineyards. I hope you enjoy and be sure to visit their website, sign up for their mailing list to follow their wine journey, and purchase wine!

Transcription of Alex and Breauna of Kanzler Vineyards

[00:00:00] A.J. Weinzettel: , Alex. Brianna, thank you so much for taking the time today to join me on the podcast. I really appreciate 

[00:00:05] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: it. We are super happy to be here with you, aj. Thank you for having us. Absolutely. 

[00:00:09] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. Are you getting ready for the holidays? I mean, it’s what, we’re a week and a half away. . Yeah, 

[00:00:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: actually , if anything, we have a little bit more breathing room this year.

[00:00:20] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We typically, we always bottle in December. Sometimes we’re bottling this week in the, in the month. Oh. Um, this year we bottled last week, so actually all of our bottlings already in the rear view mirror. And, uh, we got a couple extra work days to get everything packaged up, shipped out. We’ve been hand waxing and labeling large format bottles and, um, getting those packed up, um, for some holiday gifts.

[00:00:42] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So yeah, it’s been busy and we are looking forward to. I think hibernating a little bit around the holidays. , we bottle 

[00:00:48] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: our entire vintage over the course of two days, so our entire year is wrapped up into these two days in December. And, uh, it’s really the nice little bow on the end of the year before we jump into our holidays with family.

[00:01:03] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So. Wow, 

[00:01:04] A.J. Weinzettel: that’s sounds absolutely amazing, but congratulations in getting everything bottled. Thank you. 

[00:01:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s always a bit of a relief. Yeah. And then you start looking at next harvest, like day one of next year. So , , wine making cyclical right for farmers . Yeah. There, there 

[00:01:20] A.J. Weinzettel: is no, uh, no downtime whatsoever. Yeah.

[00:01:22] A.J. Weinzettel: Um, I just wanna kind of go back a little bit. In July when we first met at, uh, I p and C, that was, that was a nice little surprise to run into you and Morgan there. Um, was that your first i, p and C that you have attended? 

[00:01:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It was, yeah. Um, you know, IP and C has been on our radar for a long time. It’s definitely one of the signature, if not the signature, you know, pinot noir centered events in North America.

[00:01:48] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and so we had, you know, been pinging them for, in corresponding with them for a couple of years. Obviously, you throw a pandemic in there and, uh, event schedules get a little bit thrown for a loop. But we were happy to, uh, uh, get the official invite for 2022 and then make our way up there to, you know, meet customers, meet colleagues and peers, um, learn a lot, share a lot.

[00:02:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and it was. . It was fun. I think for us in particular because at a lot of events we go to, they’re very California pinot noir or centric, or even Sonoma County Pinot Noir centric. So you’re with amongst of like, uh, you’re with a lot of your kind of immediate, um, peers up there. We were a little bit more of like unique, um, because it was very Oregon centric and we were kind of with, uh, I think a little bit more with some of the international folks being from California.

[00:02:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And people were, I think a little bit more gravitating towards us. Like, oh, I don’t taste California Pinot noir dearly as often as Oregon Pinot Noir. So, um, helped feel a little bit more unique up there, 

[00:02:43] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: which was fun. I had fomo. Uh, I was home on mom duty. We have a one and a half year old at home, so this was my first year of not doing, uh, those events.

[00:02:52] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So it was, but it was really nice to have Morgan Alex’s cousin, uh, join along, uh, for the event. It. , like so much fun. 

[00:03:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So we had a decent time. We drank some decent wines. Yeah, I heard it was a little hot though, so . Oh 

[00:03:06] A.J. Weinzettel: yeah, it was definitely a little hot. Yes. . Were there any, uh, standout, you know, activities or anything that that stood out for you?

[00:03:13] A.J. Weinzettel: At I p and C? 

[00:03:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Gosh, uh, probably the seminar and the lunch where we met each other. Um, you know, going out to residence, um, and being with a, you know, slightly smaller kind of breakout group, being able to interact with people a little bit more one-on-one. I mean, the whole program, I mean, there’s plenty of times where you’re just like in this like sea of people, you know, at the big dinners, um, or the right, um, the breakfast and stuff like that.

[00:03:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So, you know, having it be a little bit more, um, of a smaller, more curated group was really fun. But honestly, like I’m the wine maker, Bree’s the wine seller and says it on the back of our model . Um, so like I’m always really happy and in my element just. Discussing kind of like wine making and I guess what I would call the cork dork topics.

[00:03:58] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And like everybody there was super into wine, super technical, super into Pinot Noir, um, which is, you know, my expertise. So it was just fun to be around a lot of like-minded people and, you know, being able to get into the weeds on some topics. 

[00:04:12] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s Noah. That’s awesome. And to dive a little bit more into your story, um, so your parents, if I remember correctly, they, they planted the vineyard in 96, but 

[00:04:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: yeah.

[00:04:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So you want me to jump in and give like, kind of the, the quick synopsis of how we got up to today? 

[00:04:31] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, yeah, I mean, I mean, if you want to, uh, I’m just there. There’s all you. And diving into like your story, I’m always kind of curious, are you, um, are you traumatized by raspberries? Are you able to eat raspberries to this day?

[00:04:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I appreciate speaking of getting the weeds, I appreciate that AJ has read our website. Oh yeah. Really hard on being like super clean and user friendly and appealing. Like I had a glance, but then if you want to dig into our website, there’s a lot to dig into. Uh, 

[00:05:00] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: we sort of pride ourselves on being extremely transparent.

[00:05:05] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I mean, if you look at the back of the Pinot Noir bottle, we get down to every nitty gritty percentage of each of our vineyards that goes into our Russian River Valley blend, so, right. Uh, 

[00:05:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: there’s, I’m a little obsessed with compulsive disorders helpful. We’re pretty, 

[00:05:20] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: we’re pretty detail. That’s not a bad.

[00:05:22] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We’re pretty detailed. So going back to the, you know, details of, of how we got our start. My husband here, his parents found this old decrepit apple orchard here in Sebastopol. 

[00:05:35] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, yeah. So they, they found the property first. There was nothing here besides these old apple trees that, like, you couldn’t pay somebody to take the apples, um, let alone sell them.

[00:05:46] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So they, um, they built a family house first, and then, uh, I guess their first stab at farming was, I don’t know, two to three acres of raspberries kind of surrounding, um, one of the portions of the, the property. Should I get the photo? Uh, yeah. Okay. I have a photo of the raspberries. Yeah, that’s awesome. Old aerial of the property.

[00:06:06] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So, I don’t know, that was just some hair-brained idea of my dad’s. Um, and he gave it a whirl. And the way my dad tells that story is, you know, Raspberries have a shelf life of about two minutes. They take a bunch of water, they take a bunch of care. There’s no like, market for them. So besides like having some fruit to put on your morning breakfast cereal, you know, which you can do with a couple of plants, not a couple acres of plants.

[00:06:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, that was a non-starter. So then he went and did a smart thing, which was talk to one of the neighbors. Um, and our neighbor just to the north that we share a property line with, um, is owned by the Koslowski family and they are, I think Tyler, who’s my age, is fifth generation farmer. So Perry, my dad’s, uh, cohort, fourth generation Sonoma County farmer, and they grow a little bit of everything.

[00:06:51] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: They do a lot of grapes now, a lot of apples in the past. And then they’ve also had, like, they have a whole specialty foods brand of like, Pies and jams and salad dressings and marinades and all this stuff. So they, they know farming had Cru back, priest got, this is from Oh, . 

[00:07:08] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: These aren’t grapes. Yeah. 

[00:07:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s 

[00:07:10] A.J. Weinzettel: like, oh my goodness.

[00:07:12] A.J. Weinzettel: Preston’s 

[00:07:13] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: moon of, uh, of agriculture. Right. There are, are the raspberry plants. Oh my 

[00:07:18] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: goodness. So this is, this is when the house was first built. Right. And uh, you can see the teeny tiny cypress trees lining the driveway leaning up to the house, and then two to three acres of raspberries, . 

[00:07:30] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Oh my goodness.

[00:07:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: These are just like blackberry patches and like scrub trees and stuff. And I think AJ has a, all the property now and then here it is now. Yeah. Oh, 15 acres 

[00:07:42] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: of planted pinot noir. Yeah. This is a fun Before and after . 

[00:07:47] A.J. Weinzettel: No, that, that, that is fun. And to kind of give everybody a reference that’s watching on the video, um, We can see that’s, that’s a nice little aerial of the property today.

[00:07:59] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So this is 

[00:07:59] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: where we’re sitting now, uh, in the kitchen overlooking the small lawn, I guess you would call it. Yeah, the pool and the fire pit there. Um, so as you can see, the house is fully surrounded by. What are now 26 year old vines And uh, so this house is really, you know, the heart of the property and I would say both literally and figuratively.

[00:08:30] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. Well, and since, I mean, not to get too off topic from kind of the history, I’m sure we’ll get back to it, but it’s worth mentioning maybe at this point. So this house is now, um, for rent also, um, for vacations. So mostly to our mailing list and wine club members. If we have free weekends, we will put ’em up on the, the rental websites.

[00:08:48] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, but yeah, we like kind of talking about the house cuz it’s a great way to experience Cansler, um, taste with Brianna or with Morgan. Um, and, you know, stay in this property amongst the vines. Um, if you’re ever visiting, uh, Weno County. 

[00:09:02] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, it started out as a wine club benefit and it’s. Kind of exploded, so we hope that, uh, 

[00:09:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: folks will look us up.

[00:09:09] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, yeah. It’s on our website and, um, there’s a link to Airbnb that has a whole boatload of photos and all the amenities listed, like any Airbnb listing. 

[00:09:18] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. Yeah. I have to say I did to take a look, and it looks absolutely amazing. I’m like, oh, I gotta go. Hey, AJ . Yeah, no, it looks great. 

[00:09:28] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. Next time you’re doing a, if you’re doing a Sonoma County or Sonoma Napa circuit, um, maybe we can put you up and, uh, have some wines taste and all that.

[00:09:37] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah, no, well, I’m coming out in January for the, well, no, no, no, I’m not coming. I’m going to the, I’ll see you probably again in January at the Palm Springs Penal Fest. Oh, 

[00:09:46] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: good. Awesome. Perfect. That’ll be super fun. We’re looking forward to that event. Yeah. Yeah. Well, back to a little bit about sort of the house, the vineyard, how we got started as farmers.

[00:09:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, the raspberries, as Alex mentioned, weren’t working out. Uh, Perry Koslowski. , I told, uh, Steven and Linda to plant grapes. Did you tell him 

[00:10:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: his exacts? No, not, yeah. The saying that I always associate with that advice is, you know, Perry, our neighbors said something to the extent, said to my dad, something to the extent of like, you can plant apple, you can grow apples in like 48 states in this country.

[00:10:23] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You can grow premium wine grapes, a handful of places in the world. If I were you, I’d plant grapes. Um, and so my dad took that advice. Ironically, now in the long run, uh, Perry kept growing apples for another like 20 years and. 6, 7, 8 years ago, he tore out like two thirds of his orchard and planted grapes.

[00:10:40] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And he is like, I should have taken my own darn advice when I told you dad too, 20 years ago. Um, well, 

[00:10:46] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: and it’s actually really fun because they’re fourth, fifth generation 

[00:10:50] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: farmers next door. I to mention that, I think, I think Perry’s four in Tyler’s. Yeah. And now our 

[00:10:54] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: kids go to daycare together up the road.

[00:10:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Oh 

[00:10:56] A.J. Weinzettel: my goodness. So that’s awesome. 

[00:10:58] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Two longtime farming families living right next door and it’s ki and now we have kids that are the exact same age, so that’s fine. It’s gonna be fun to see what this looks like in the next 10 to 15 

[00:11:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: years. . 

[00:11:11] A.J. Weinzettel: Oh, it, I’m sure it’s gonna be amazing. I’m sure . Um, I’m curious, you know, so your dad worked for Microsoft.

[00:11:18] A.J. Weinzettel: Mm-hmm. , was he just looking for, um, a slower, you know, to slow down in life and he was just, you know, tired of tech? Or like why did he, like, why did he want to move out into the country and 

[00:11:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. In West? Yeah, I think, um, so my parents met in the Bay Area. Um, They met, uh, living in the East Bay in Berkeley and Oakland.

[00:11:39] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And so they met there, they got married there, and they kind of, they started there. I I was born and my older sister was born in the East Bay, so we were a Northern California family. Um, so the trip up to Microsoft was kind of a, an opportunity that my dad couldn’t pass out. This was like late eighties too.

[00:11:54] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Like I think my dad was one of the first thousand employees at Microsoft’s. You know, it was an established company in a, in a growing, you know, um, field, but it was not the, the behemoth that it is today. Um, so I think they always intended to kind of come back down. And I think after five years, the, the weather had gotten to ’em a little bit and they were ready for kind of the, the California lifestyle that they had gotten used to.

[00:12:16] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I think they kind of went across the Golden Gate Bridge and just started looking and looked at communities in Marin County. Looked at Southern Sonoma County. I know they took a hard look at Petaluma and they’d been to Sebastopol, you know, during their time just jotting around coastal communities when they lived here.

[00:12:32] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Just kind of fell in love with the area, but it was like a family and community move. They weren’t, like, both of my parents drank wine and liked wine, but they weren’t like, right, this wasn’t a, a life goal or a dream, you know, we’ve always wanted to have our own vineyard or winery or anything like that.

[00:12:47] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It was started as a family and community move, and then happened like really organically from there. Like my dad calls himself an accidental farmer. Um, you know, kind of picking this property and having a good feeling about it, um, just from a family standpoint. And then, you know, the, the fall start with the raspberries and then good advice from a neighbor.

[00:13:06] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then he just started plugging himself into, you know, the, the farming community. You know, taking uc, Davis extension courses, uh, taking courses here at Santa Rosa Junior College, which, you know, as a solid community college, you know, serves the community industry, you know, which to a large extent here is ology.

[00:13:23] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So they have a great program over there and he met, um, The fellow who planted our vineyard, a guy named Eric Neal, who continues to manage the vineyard to this day. So I’ve known Eric, you know, they started working together in 1995, and Eric and I still work together. , uh, I sent Eric an email this morning, so he’s still managing the vineyard and that kind of continuity for farming, um, I think has been a huge part of our success as well.

[00:13:48] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Just, you know, really having the same, you know, boots in the dirt, the same hands on the vines, year and year out, you know, working towards, you know, Bringing in the great crop, the best crop that we can every single year, you know, despite what Mother Nature throws at us. Yeah, 

[00:14:03] A.J. Weinzettel: I I, I can imagine. So who yelled at you more when you were 16, Eric or your dad when you wrecked the car in the vineyard?

[00:14:09] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Oh, definitely my dad. definitely. 

[00:14:12] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, you gotta, so you gotta tell them this 

[00:14:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: story from your stand. Is that on the side or did I 

[00:14:18] A.J. Weinzettel: drop that during our seminar? No, it wasn’t during the seminar. I, I, I, I’ve dug a little bit. That’s, that’s one of the things that I do. This is 

[00:14:26] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: good. Ah, to, I mean, so the 

[00:14:30] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: vineyard was planted in 96 and Fast forward we’re selling all the fruit to other clients to make Cansler Vineyard designate.

[00:14:38] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, we were not making Cansler wine wine. Okay. Um, just selling all the fruits. So, 

[00:14:46] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: so, I mean, long story short, I turned 16 and got my, which was what year? Uh, 2002. 2002. Okay. Uh, I turned 16. I got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday cuz um, you know, that’s what you did and you’re super excited. And, I don’t know, four months, five months late, you know, less than that.

[00:15:04] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Three or four months later, I crashed my dad’s car and they, my parents basically told me like, you’re not allowed to drive again. I mean, there was the grounding and the, all that stuff, that was one thing. But then like the medium term sort of punishment or lesson was, well, you’re not allowed to drive again until you pay us the insurance deductible for the car.

[00:15:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Which I think. 1500 or 2000 bucks and I’m 16. That’s a lot for 

[00:15:29] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: a 16 year old . 

[00:15:31] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. 

[00:15:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. I think minimum wage at the time in California was like 6 75 an hour. So like it was, takes some time to make that kind of money, but it was going into summer. It was the summer after my sophomore year of high school.

[00:15:43] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So I think that was sort of my calculus was like, I can try to flip burgers for 6 75 an hour, just go find a minimum wage job. But even at that time, the vineyard guys were making between like eight 50 and maybe 10 50 an hour depending on the work we were doing. So I called Eric and asked for a job and he gave me one, I think expecting, you know, a 16 year old gringo kid to drop out pretty promptly.

[00:16:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But, uh, I managed to earn my stripes a little bit and I worked for Eric that whole summer and was able to, to pay back my parents, um, and then save a little bit of money. I think I bought a car stereo for my Volvo the next year. , I downgraded in cars after the accident. It was a 

[00:16:23] Volvo 

[00:16:24] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: wagon. Was great car.

[00:16:26] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It was a one of those boxy Volvo wagons. We went That’s awesome. On a date in that wagon. 

[00:16:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: That was a great, that was a great car . Um, but yeah, you know, I worked for Eric, um, kind of got my start in the vineyard, you know, learned enough Spanish to be dangerous. Uh, paid my parents back and that was sort of my first entree into anything that, an analogy.

[00:16:47] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, but that was sort of it through the rest of, of high school and college. I didn’t like, I didn’t start gravitating to the wine industry at 16. Um, it took a couple of years after that. 

[00:16:58] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. So you were, you were talking about, you know, some, um, vineyard design, um, Labels for other companies. And I believe one of those other com companies was Costa Brown, right?

[00:17:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. So they were partners of ours. We were partners of theirs for, shoot, I don’t know, 18 or 19 years. 

[00:17:18] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. They made 17 vintages of a Cansler Vineyard designate. 

[00:17:22] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. Wow. And so, I’m sure folks listening to this, I’m sure you yourself aj, are, are familiar with sort of their, um, Genesis, really neat story.

[00:17:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, they were, they were, were partner. They were working together in a restaurant. You know, Dan Cost and Michael Brown were Psalms at a restaurant. They started making their own wine. Um, you know, one barrel grew to four barrels. You know, there’s a lot of history on this. Um, and then my dad met them, it must have been in like oh one or oh two.

[00:17:47] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Met them through a neighbor of ours who had, was thinking of investing with them. And we had a little bit of extra fruit for sale. You know, it was like the fourth or fifth year our vineyard was even producing grapes. Um, and so, My dad liked them and they kind of hit it off. And so we actually, you know, made some grapes available for them.

[00:18:05] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I even think my dad might have fronted them. The grapes just said, take these and pay me later, cuz they were a start of winery. And then we ended up investing in the winery as well with this, you know, group of a couple dozen investors. And that was, you know, Costa Brown. I’m not even gonna say 1.0 that was like Costa Brown, beta.

[00:18:21] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and then like their story is, you know, well documented now, you know, massive. Big scores, full nailing list. Their wines were super in demand. They were, you know, I think played a big role in what I consider kind of, you know, a, a meteoric rise in the early to mid aughts. Um, you know, some people wanna call it the sideways effect, you know, new World, specifically West Coast Cal or Californian, Oregon Pinot, nor kind of took off like a rocket there.

[00:18:47] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, I think Sideways came out in oh 

[00:18:49] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: four. Yeah. Well, and it was such a symbiotic relationship just because with, with our, you know, I’m, I’m staring at our little wine country mini bar here in the kitchen. Yeah. And on the cover of Wine Spectator is the Costa Brown Cansler Vineyard designate. Um, that coincided with actually a very important wedding here on the property.

[00:19:12] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: If. Look AJ on your screen, there’s like a big grass area next to that red tree on the top right of your screen there. And Right. Alex’s sister got married here on the property in 2004, and that was, uh, initially when Costa Brown started getting, you know, interested in the fruit. Um, and also when, 

[00:19:35] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: uh, they got, they started getting their like 96 and 98 point wines mm-hmm.

[00:19:40] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: in that era and that, you know, I don’t know how important scores are these days. There’s a lot more people scoring wines, but, you know, back in the early odds, like there was kind of the, I think of like. Spectator advocate and enthusiast, and like, if you got a big score in those magazines as a winery, like it would be reflected in your sales.

[00:20:00] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, that was right. What consumers paid attention to. Um, and, and it was big. So yeah, Costa Brown started getting big scores and our name was associated with that as a, as a vineyard designate. 

[00:20:09] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And so those a result of that, this wedding wine that Yes, my dad and Steven and Greg Stock, who’s actually the winemaker at Landmark, 

[00:20:18] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: who was one of our early clients 

[00:20:19] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: also, um, made this barrel of wine for the wedding.

[00:20:23] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. 

[00:20:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So the, the way that story goes is my sister got married in the backyard. She was, She was like in her earlier mid twenties. And so it was kind of a party wedding. Like it was a pretty young crowd. Great. Um, my brother-in-law is a Scotsman, so there was scotch at the wedding. Um, there were some kegs of beer.

[00:20:41] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I think there were margaritas. They were all in kilts. Yeah, we were all wedding . Um, and then That’s awesome. There was this wine that my dad and Greg had made, which was, the wedding was in oh four, so it was a 2003 vintage of wine, I think mostly made with second crop even. Um, and the way that story goes is we woke up the next morning and like, We drank some of the booze, but there was a bunch of leftover tequila from the margarita bar.

[00:21:04] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We drank some of the beer, but there was plenty left in the kegs and every single drop of wine was gone . So they were like, that’s awesome. Went well. The party liked that wine. So between that sort of just like, you know, experience of getting that direct feedback and then, you know, we’re selling our grapes to these other wineries and people are like, Hey, 

[00:21:21] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: you’re selling all this fruit and you’re getting giant scores, you guys should be doing this for yourselves.

[00:21:27] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. 

[00:21:27] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So that kind of launched, you know, that was the next evolution, is actually keeping some of the fruit from the estate vineyard and, and making some wine for ourselves. And so we did that in, you know, the wedding was, Summer oh four, um, with 2003 vintage second crop. And so that fall, you know, probably four months after the wedding, they, they peeled some rose back, uh, to keep for in-house canceler production.

[00:21:48] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And that was the first year of, first commercial vintage of Canceler Vineyards was 2004. 

[00:21:53] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I remember as a freshman in college meeting you and you were bringing some of those early bottles that your dad and Greg made super basic label to like Fr Crum, you know, like, oh, there’s this guy and he’s bringing his wine, but we’re.

[00:22:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: To college parties. To college parties. . 

[00:22:11] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. I mean, I’m sure you know the, you don’t really think about bringing wine to college parties. You’re 

[00:22:16] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: like, what? Kinda, no, you, but I made me feel cool between that and his 

[00:22:21] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: eyebrow ring that he had. Uh, oh,

[00:22:27] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I was hoping we were gonna be talking about like the oak program or like till or no till in the vineyard. But yeah, let’s talk about Alex’s adolescence. . 

[00:22:38] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. No. So I mean, so in 2008, you know, you, uh, at this time, you know, I think you had like two liberal arts degrees and you did a harvest to kind of kick things off.

[00:22:49] A.J. Weinzettel: When like, at what point did the wine bug actually hit you and you’re like, I just want to go back into wine. 

[00:22:57] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. So, um, . I graduated from school, uh, Bri and I met at University of Colorado, um, in Boulder. So I was graduating from Boulder in the spring of 2008. I had double majored in four years cause I’m a really academically minded, but I had two liberal arts degree.

[00:23:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, in 2008, uh, to just a booming economy. Um, you know, like we even crashed like right around when I graduated. I 

[00:23:25] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: new grads were not, uh, getting their doors knocked down for job 

[00:23:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: opportunities. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah. Um, I wasn’t like ready to just like go try to work for a big company anyway. I was thinking about going into education.

[00:23:37] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I wasn’t really ready to do that yet. Um, a well trodden path for CU graduates is to just go move to the mountains for a year and, you know, be a ski bump. Um, that seemed pretty appealing to me, . Um, but I, you know, I had no free ticket. You know, I was gonna be kind of cut off financially, um, after graduation.

[00:23:55] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So I was like, all right, well what can I do to save money before it starts snowing? Um, and I was like, oh, like grape harvest. Like I can get a job in the wine industry, you know, through my family. And even in a down economy, like the grapes don’t stop growing. Like everybody’s gonna have a harvest. They’re gonna need interns.

[00:24:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, . And so I decided to, to move home and I got, my first internship was at Landmark, uh, in Sonoma Valley. They were a Canceler Fruit client at that time. And there, at the time, he was their assistant winemaker. Now he’s their head winemaker. Um, was making the Canceler wines anyway, um, so he was kind enough to take me on as an intern.

[00:24:30] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And honestly, during that first internship, fall 2008, I’d say like a. Six weeks into it, I was pretty darn interested. Um, we got through bottling, we had like two to three weeks of bottling, which is just like, I mean, that’s just assembly line work. It gets real, all real quick. So after I was like, okay, not all this work is bottling, this is really cool.

[00:24:50] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, right. Yeah. I mean we were actually out at, we’re actually close to the estate here. We had, um, a French intern from Azos. His girlfriend was out with him and she was working at Joseph Phelps Freestone. And so this was like maybe midway or towards the end of the vintage, like the Phelps Freestone crew came to Landmark to taste and hang out and see our operation and vice versa.

[00:25:12] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And we were standing out, you know, at one of their vineyards, you know, kind of the very western border of Russian River Valley, you know, ocean, one way greater Russian River, the other way. Fog kind of blowing around vines just starting to change color. And I was like, okay, like this is really cool. I want to, I wanna see more of this.

[00:25:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Right. Um, . So if I had to pinpoint like one moment, it was, yeah. You know, a couple months into that first vintage standing out in a, a really pretty coastal vineyard. Um, and that took me to New Zealand and then up to Oregon and then back down to California to do a little bit more school and, and try to find a full-time job, which by like early 2011 , the economy had bounced back a little bit and I had, um, you know, some experience under my belt and I was actually able to go out and, and find a, a real job.

[00:25:59] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. And, and then that’s great. And then you ended up, you know, kind of taking over, you know, the wine making for Canceler. And, uh, thinking about that time you were, you know, canceler was doing about 200 cases and you ramped ’em 

[00:26:11] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: to, that was in 2014. 2014. Full-time. 

[00:26:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Full-time, yeah. So it 

[00:26:16] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: started out as part-time you took over the 20 10, 20 

[00:26:20] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: 11.

[00:26:20] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. I kind of inherited the 2010 vintage. Um, it was super small vintage. I think it was either 10 or 12 barrels of wine total. So somewhere in that 200 to 250 case range. Um, short vintage, they had intended to make more in, like, production was way higher in, in eight and nine than it was in 10. But yeah, I, I inherited kind of a, a dozen barrels and then in 2011 forward was doing it, um, uh, scraped glass.

[00:26:46] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But, uh, I didn’t get to quit my day job, so to speak, until just ahead of the 2014 vintage. Um, and that was kind of an inflection point for Canceler. You know, through, I guess 11 and 12 and 13, we kind of built case production back up to around a thousand cases. And that’s sort of like, you know, I found myself working really hard.

[00:27:05] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I was the associate winemaker for another much bigger company. Cansler was getting, you know, a little bit bigger and right there around a thousand, 1200 cases. It was sort of like, we need to shrink this down and kind of keep it as a side hustle for everybody, or we need to grow and I need to kind of quit the rest of my job to make cansler my full-time thing and start creating a real company out of what had essentially been, you know, a, a, a fun side project for everybody.

[00:27:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And it made a little bit of money and we got to make some wine and start meeting great people and having a customer base, but it wasn’t like a growth driven, you know, quarterly examined, financially buttoned up sort of entity. 

[00:27:45] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Well, and just to set the scene a little bit, you were. Um, as you mentioned, doing this kind of on the side to your, uh, full, full-time winemaking gig.

[00:27:55] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I was in tech, we were engaged to be married in a few months. His parents sort of wanted to step back into a more of a retirement role and presented us with a decision We were living here at the house, at the big house. Right. We hadn’t converted it into a, um, you know, wine club, benefit farm stay or anything like that.

[00:28:18] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, we, I think, you know, had to make, ave had to mar make a very big decision pretty quickly and we sort. , we decided that we wanted to put all our chips in the middle and I quit my day job. Alex quit his day job and really started focusing on the growth of, of Cansler. 

[00:28:42] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You hung on for a while. We had to work in tech long enough to like help pay for our wedding.

[00:28:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. And our honeymoon . 

[00:28:47] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, I mean, yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, that, that, that makes sense. I mean, you know, plus Apple is, yeah. Apple’s a fun place to work at. 

[00:28:53] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We didn’t claw her into the wine industry until 16, 20 16. Yeah. 

[00:28:59] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. No, that’s, that is awesome. Um, one of the, the, the story behind, um, the dadStation Vineyard is, is pretty spectacular.

[00:29:11] A.J. Weinzettel: And, and I, uh, I opened up actually the, the 2020 dadChardonnay, you know. Nice. And, uh, we brought some of that as well. Yeah, 

[00:29:18] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: we did. Oh, nice. For the email. Yeah. Yeah. Hardasses. 

[00:29:24] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah, no. So I mean, it, uh, it seemed like from what my research, you know, that, um, is a pretty small little vineyard and it held a very special, you know, place, you know, in everyone’s heart.

[00:29:36] A.J. Weinzettel: And then when, um, Harry dadapproached you about getting fruit from it, you just, you, you had to jump all over it. 

[00:29:43] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, totally. I mean, 

[00:29:45] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: so just to give a little bit of background on, on that, we have three main vineyards, um, within our portfolio. So the estate vineyard that is behind AJ here. And, uh, uh, we have the dadstation, which is this.

[00:30:02] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: The Chardonnay that we’re drinking right now, and another vineyard called May Fi. Uh, we vineyard designate all three of those and then we blend them together to, uh, to make our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Okay. So those are our four pinot noirs within our portfolio. And um, if you look on the back of any of our Russia River Valley, you’ll see that we always provide the break.

[00:30:29] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: of the percentages of each one of those vineyards that we put into our blend. So what we’re talking about right now is this dadstation, uh, vineyard that we lease from Harry dadand have been for seven years now. Mm-hmm. . Um, this will be our eight year coming up, and it’s a teeny tiny site. It’s two acres of pinot noir and one acre, one single acre of Chardonnay.

[00:30:52] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. And so as we’re discussing it, not to confuse people, see Yeah. We all have chardonnay in our glass and Brie was talking about the blend in the Pinot Noir. So yeah, the site is about two-thirds pinot noir, and then we do one wine out of. . It’s just under one acre of Chardonnay, so it’s a really, right.

[00:31:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s actually one of the more challenging wines to make, cuz it’s not like, oh, I picked this block too early. Well, let’s hedge a little bit later with some of our other blocks. It’s like, no, you get one pick call, you get one press load, you get one set of barrels like, yep. It’s the one of the pick calls that I stress about the most actually, because like if you don’t get it where you want it, you’re finding an uphill battle to sort of craft the wine that you want.

[00:31:30] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: How 

[00:31:31] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: did you meet Harry though? 

[00:31:32] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So I, the first time I knew Harry because, um, Catherine and I used to like do, um, a volunteer group back in high school. So Harry’s, you’re this one who, Catherine is Harry Catherine is Harry’s daughter, who’s two years older than me, went to a different high school, but we were in like a youth group together, you know, in high school.

[00:31:51] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, so I’d known the family, like I’d been over to the crash’s house when I was like a kid. And then coincidentally my boss, um, at the previous winery I was working for called VML was close to the dadfamily. And so that was just like, oh, you know the crashs, huh? Know the crashs from back in the day.

[00:32:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Like, oh, haha, coincidence. Um, uh, Harry and his wife Karen used to babysit my boss’s kid, that kind of thing. And they were making their own dadStation wine at the time, and when they decided to, to wind that up and no longer make wine, but just sell the fruit, they first started selling it to my boss and I was like, you gotta let me in on that

[00:32:26] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And so then they made, uh, she was actually only taking the, she was only taking the Chardonnay, um, and I was like, oh, Harry’s selling fruit. Is there any char available? No. Okay. Well, what about the Pinot? And so we bought some Pinot from Harry for a year to 

[00:32:42] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: blend into the Russian River, to blend into 

[00:32:43] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: the Russian River.

[00:32:44] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And my boss was getting the Chardonnay, and then Harry said, do you want to just lease the vineyard? And I said, directly to Alex ? Yeah. And I said, absolutely. Oh yeah. So there was, I had to keep selling the Chardonnay to my boss for another year or two. . , but then starting in 2015, we were leasing the entire vineyard.

[00:33:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then after, when, whenever those contracts lapsed, uh, we were able to just keep all the, all the fruit for ourselves. Um, and so that’s been awesome. You know, we’re a small label. We only grow 15 acres at the estate and still sell some of that fruit to clients. So like we’re, we weren’t in a position to like go out and double production and take on another, you know, dozen acres or anything, but the dadStation site being three acres, giving us an acre of Chardonnay, which we did not have anywhere in our portfolio.

[00:33:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, we were making a char just with purchase fruit, but getting the dadfruit, you know, was, it spoke more to kind of our brand pillars of, you know, being farmers first, controlling everything from grape to glass, working primarily with estate fruit. Um, and it was the right size for us to kind of launch, um, and, and keep up that sku.

[00:33:47] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We make about 200 cases a year is, is what that acre 

[00:33:50] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: gives us. And Harry and Karen still live on that property. And then we do all the farming for that land. Um, the sweetest couple ever. They’re, I think in their mid eighties now, something like that. Something like that. Harry 

[00:34:04] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: still knows the vineyard for me though.

[00:34:05] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Almost, almost every uh, he gets out there on the tractor in Moed, which is actually super helpful for me. Um, and he still enjoys getting on the tractor a couple times a year. Yeah, 

[00:34:16] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: no, I, I forget when they came over here for the first time to sign that fruit contract because they brought a bottle of perk.

[00:34:26] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Which is one of Harry Harry’s favorite. And I had just had lasik and so I had these big goggles on, cause I just had LASIK surgery and Alex had written them and said, Hey, my wife had LASIK surgery today. So yeah, come on over to the vineyard, we’ll sign the fruit contract. But just be aware that like I may have to go upstairs and just check on her every so often.

[00:34:47] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I remember they give you like a lot of Valium before you have lasik. And I was in bed, Valium up the wazoo, and Alex came upstairs and said, Hey, Harry and Karen are downstairs. We’re signing the fruit contract. Do you want a glass of champagne? And I. Yes, but I only drink champagne with peanut butter and jelly

[00:35:14] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Next thing I know, Alex was taking a little break from signing the contract to make me a peanut butter and jelly and bring me a glass of champagne . 

[00:35:24] A.J. Weinzettel: Oh, that was very 

[00:35:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: nice. Yeah, it’s funny to think the cut in your head. . 

[00:35:30] A.J. Weinzettel: Um, so do you wanna geek out a little bit on this wine? 

[00:35:33] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Totally. Yeah. I mean, specific questions or just, 

[00:35:37] A.J. Weinzettel: well, I mean, um, you can just do the rundown.

[00:35:41] A.J. Weinzettel: I mean, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of organ chardonnays and, um, I, I’m, you know, I’m thoroughly enjoying this chardonnay. It’s what, one of the things I’m curious about. , and I don’t know, I, I, I suck at describing many, many things, but on the middle, mid pallet, there’s, it’s, um, it just kind of grabs you a little bit.

[00:36:03] A.J. Weinzettel: And there’s, at first it’s almost, to me it’s like, oh, this is, has more stainless, but it, it doesn’t have more stainless. And I’m just, I’m trying to figure out kind of what, what that is. What, what am I getting? 

[00:36:13] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I’m really excited that you mentioned that because I, we do a little tasting experience here at the house when it’s not rented out.

[00:36:21] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I’ll host people for, um, , uh, just kind of pop by tastings. We’ll start under the pergola, take ’em into the vineyard, come into the house to really focus in on some more of the wines. Um, and we’re known for our pinot noir historically. Um, but our chardonnay, Alex has taken this, I’m gonna toot his horn cuz I know he won’t.

[00:36:47] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: He has taken this one acre and really honed in on it stylistically, and it’s such a beautiful wine. And I get folks who are coming out to taste our pinot noir and they, oh, I don’t drink Chardonnay. I don’t drink Chardonnay. Oh, this chardonnay’s different and not what I expected. Right, right. Um, so with that being said, similar to what you’re saying, it does have a bit of a different flavor profile, and I’ll let Alex sort of get into the nitty gritty of that and how he designs this wine.

[00:37:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yes, it was, I was fortunate that, you know, let’s see. So we started working, um, with Har in 14. We leased the vineyard in 2015. He had been making his own label for a while and also selling some of the fruit previous to that. So I was able to taste some of the wines that came off the vineyard. Um, and like just, you can look at a map and look at the neighbors, um, and know that it’s got great potential and then you can look at how it was farmed and the rootstock and co material in there and have a really good feeling about it.

[00:37:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, but then tasting some of the wines was really like, okay, like I, I think there’s a really a direction that we can go here. And the thing that really, uh, well, some of the characteristics about the site that really appealed to me were. . Um, it’s got immense, I would say, natural acidity to it. Mm-hmm. . Um, and it’s got a really slow ripening curve, um, which it’s in I’d say a medium to warm part of Russian River Valley.

[00:38:09] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, it’s still in Green Valley, so it’s still south of River Road. It’s still in kind of the southwest pocket of Russian River Valley with the most access to the coast, but it’s kind of at the northern part of Green Valley, um, in a bit of a banana belt where it does get a little bit warm up there. But there’s something about this soil rootstock and clone variation where this block really likes to go to, like.

[00:38:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: 21 and a half bricks, and then just kind of sit there. Oh, wow. Which is really cool because it allows us to craft a wine that, um, is a little bit more kind of the style of white wine. We like to drink, we like it to be a little bit more acid driven. Um, and we like it to be as far as like a flavor spectrum for chardonnay, a little bit more in the mineral and citrus range, not so much and, and some stone fruits, but not super ripe.

[00:38:57] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But I, if you can, like my chardonnay like fruit spectrum is kind of like if citrus is one though on the one end and the stone fruits are in the middle and then you start creeping into a pear and then chardonnay can go tropical, like kind of pineappley. Um, right. As it gets riper and riper. And we like to be kind of to the, to the left hand of that spectrum.

[00:39:16] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We like to be more in the citrus, um, and minerality side of things. And I thought that this vineyard could, could really give us that. And it has. So we picketed up super moderate bricks even though it gets good hang time because it likes to just kind of, Park it there. Um, and that allows the pH, um, to come up a little bit as well.

[00:39:33] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Cause it’s wine again. Like we’re, we’re bottling this wine with no acid additions, like right around 3.2 pH. Um, and a TA of around six, six and a half. Um, so it’s got this big acidic backbone to it. So it’s kind of naturally giving us what we want. Um, but then being chardonnay and being, you know, a super premium chardonnay, the wine deserves oak.

[00:39:54] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, we love white, burgundy, like a lot of people do. White burgundy is made with a huge percentage of, of new oak, um, in particular. So we don’t give it that aggressive of a treatment. Um, but the path that I kind of honed in on that’s worked really well for this wine is, um, we do it all in 500 liter punchin instead of a traditional 228 liter barric.

[00:40:14] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So twice the size of a standard barrel. Yeah. And we typically do about 50% new. So at this case production it’s usually about four punch ins and then change. Um, so change can end up in a bere or just in a set of kes or something like that by usually four punch ins. Um, and I try to use two brand new ones and then two used ones.

[00:40:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And so 50% new oak kind of seems like a lot. And depending on, you know, your oak sourcing and how the wine absorbs, it can be a lot. Um, but this wine can handle it. And then also because. , uh, the large format barrels, it’s a little bit different of an impact, um, than you would get on from a barric. You know, there’s an decrease in the surface area that the wine sees compared to the volume in the barrel.

[00:40:58] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So I always consider large format barrels, so just have a lighter touch. Um, they’re also more oxidative, so the wine ages at a little bit of a slower rate in the barrel. And again, we like white, burgundy. We tend to like our whites a little bit more. Um, reductive, sorry, I think I said oxidated before. Uh, punchin is more of a reductive aging vessel.

[00:41:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and so that reductive character keeps things with a lot of tension, a lot of zippy, uh, zipp, pickiness a little bit more, uh, mineral driven, um, of a character to it. And so that’s what we’ve done with this. And 

[00:41:31] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: you can taste it on the wine. I mean, the oak doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Mm-hmm. , it’s really softly integrated, which is great.

[00:41:37] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I get a lot of people who, oh, they’re constantly like, Really this went through full malac fermentation. How is that possible? I’m not getting any of that, like really intense, you know, marshmallowy, vanilla, like, 

[00:41:51] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: you know, no vanilla, no marshmallow, no coconut, no no butter, no cream. Um, we want to use the oak and the malac to build texture, to build some weight into the line.

[00:42:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and some viscosity cuz this wine at our alcohol level, which is kind of always below 14%, and the pH like without the oak and the ml, I think this would just be like a laser beam across your power. Like it’d just be really kind of tingy. Um, so we want to keep the natural acidity in it for, for balance and also for age worthiness.

[00:42:21] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But it gives you the opportunity to layer in the oak and to use full malac. Almost no stirring, um, will stir these barrels, you know, a handful of times. But, you know, there’s, there’s folks out there that are stirring barrels twice a week to really incorporate that leads and really build a lot of texture, um, into the lines.

[00:42:41] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And yet we want, it’s chardonnay, it’s barrel fermented, full malac chardonnay, so it’s gonna have texture and depth. Um, but that’s not what’s driving this wine at all. It’s more of an ex, uh, 

[00:42:50] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: an accent characteristic. Well, to your point, aj, just through the mid palate, you get that creaminess without that butters, which right.

[00:42:57] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Again, to Alex’s point, is really cream 

[00:42:59] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: creamy texture, not creamy flavor. Yeah. 

[00:43:01] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I interestingly, like somebody was equating it, if you’re trying to explain sort of a, a, a textural aspect to your wine, equating it, , fat free milk, 1%, 2% whole milk heavy cream. And like, where does it fall? Textually. And I would say for this wine, it’s, it’s, you know, I would say like a good 2% 

[00:43:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: texturally.

[00:43:25] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: That’s fun analogy. Yeah. Yeah. 2% maybe whole milk in a big area. You don’t wanna get in the half. And halfer are heavy, I say 

[00:43:32] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: consistently. Yeah. 2% though. 

[00:43:34] A.J. Weinzettel: Texturally. Yeah. There you go. No, that, that, that is awesome. It’s, you know, and it’s, it’s been fun to, I opened this about three hours ago and just to watch it evolve.

[00:43:46] A.J. Weinzettel: I’m, I’m very curious to see it even evolve even more. Just, um, it, it’s been a fun pleasure to, you know, to just enjoy these, these, you know, last three hours. 

[00:43:56] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We 

[00:43:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: should send you a 2017. I’m really enjoying our 17 dadStation Chardonnay. . Um, it went through this weird awkward teenager stage a couple years ago.

[00:44:08] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Right. And now it’s come back and I’m, it’s my favorite wine right now. 

[00:44:13] A.J. Weinzettel: Wow. That’s, that sounds 

[00:44:15] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: amazing. So this wine holds its integrity For sure, while also being super, super approachable upon release. And we, we release this wine every year in, in, um, the spring. 

[00:44:25] A.J. Weinzettel: Okay. Very nice. Yeah, so one of the other vineyards that I noticed that you talk about, and I saw the picture on your website and it was just, it just blew me away.

[00:44:37] A.J. Weinzettel: I mean, you know, there’s pictures of the vineyards and there’s fog coming in and, you know, it just looks like it’s on the edge of a cliff. I mean, it just, it’s absolutely fascinating to, to just to see the 

[00:44:51] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: driveway is awful. , 

[00:44:55] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: especially when you got like four tons of fruit hanging off a trailer on the butt of your two small pickup, 

[00:44:59] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: or like my old manual Subaru.

[00:45:03] A.J. Weinzettel: Oh, that would be, that would be awful. That would, that would be awful. Um, what was one of the reasons why you wanted to source fruit? I’m gonna probably mispronounce this. The Mefi 

[00:45:14] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Mafi. Mafi. Yeah. Mafi. 

[00:45:16] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Okay. It’s French for my daughters. And David Genzler, the owner of this vineyard has four daughters. Yeah.

[00:45:23] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Okay. So he named it appropriately . 

[00:45:26] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: No, that’s awesome. Yeah. So really exceptional site. Site, as you can tell, you know, is dramatic just from that photo. Um, it’s dramatic being up there. Uh, it’s very, very close to Cansler estate. Uh, it’s only, I know, I’d say two to three miles, uh, up the road squarely within the Seba.

[00:45:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Neighborhood is what we call ’em here in Russian River Valley. Um, so we were looking, um, to expand the program. Um, this was in 2014 also, you know, similar sort of timeframe, um, as us beginning to, uh, work more with the crashs. Um, but we wanted more fruit with kind of the neighborhood signature on it. Um, we still sell fruit off the estate.

[00:46:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, and you know, that’s, that’s good marketing for us. When other wineries are putting our name on the bottle, it helps us with market penetration. It helps that there’s more canor SKUs out in the market. There’s more ways for people to find us. And so we wanted to grow with some purchase fruit as opposed to taking fruit away from the clients.

[00:46:24] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, we felt that that was a good use of the fruit as well. I think 

[00:46:27] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: it’s also a good opportunity for us to sort of diversify our portfolio, the estate fruit. Uh, we make the estate reserve, which is 100% from the estate, and then making that Russian River. It’s really important to us that all four of our pinots taste.

[00:46:43] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Very different. And so making sure that our estate reserve is a good representation of our vineyard site here, but then making a vastly different wine that really represents the Appalachian as a whole, being that of Russian River Valley and drawing from not only the estate, but also dad

[00:46:59] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: and may fee.

[00:47:00] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, it’s important that the Russian Riverland is not the JV estate. Um, it should kind of be its own wine with its own signature and thumbprint. So bringing in another fruit source was, you know, we weren’t even sure that the May fee was gonna be a vineyard designate, but we knew that it would be a great, um, blending component in the Russian River.

[00:47:18] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And that’s what we did. So for the first two years of working with May fee, it was all blended into the Russian River. And then after gaining some familiarity in the vineyard, um, tasting the lots individually, doing some experiments as far as you. Pick timing, whole cluster inclusion, uh, which cooperages to use with it.

[00:47:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: By that third year, it was like, this is a standalone wine. You know, this is, this is a different animal. Um, and something that we really wanna highlight. Um, and we’ve been making it as a vineyard designate, um, ever since, uh, 2016. So the site, though, being so close to Cansler, I’d say the, the principle difference is cansler estate.

[00:47:54] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I consider a warm site in a cool area. We’re kind of at the bottom third of the hill. We cansler state’s at the bottom third of the hill. It’s purely east facing. We got this kind of little sun bowl in here. We’re protected from the southern winds. It’s, it’s a warmer vineyard in an overall cool area. Macy is a cool vineyard in a cool area,

[00:48:14] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It crowns the top of that hill. It’s directly in the path of all the breezes that come off the ocean. It’s very low yielding. Um, it’s creates really, really thick skins. Like the juice that comes off of this vineyard. Like I don’t use it. We make a rose sonnet. I can’t even use any of the may feed juice in the stock.

[00:48:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We can’t bleed any of the juice. , it’s too dark. Like I want my sanjana to be really light colored and like provincial style and the may fee juice off the vinyls, like it’s already too dark without any skin contact in the wine. Oh, wow. Um, so it makes this very like lic chewy, dense, you know, spicy kind of wine.

[00:48:53] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, which is really, really neat. Um, again, for a blending component and as a standalone wine, I’ve often, I’m writing tasting notes on this wine and I’m. Why am I writings raw tasting notes, , I’m writing like white pepper, lilac, 

[00:49:09] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: rin, grimy mushroom. 

[00:49:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, green olive. There’s a meat component to it, like I’m writing ci raw notes.

[00:49:14] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then you taste it and it’s pinot or right, like it’s, it doesn’t tan and load that a Syrah has. Um, it’s not like chewy or inky. Um, the alca super moderate on it. Well, al can be moderate on Syrah also, um, depending on where you’re growing it. But yeah, some of the aromatics are really like in that realm of more like a cool climate Syrah, um, which is really cool.

[00:49:36] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: it’s definitely pinot noir through and through. Uh, but yeah, just in that photo you can tell um, you know, the exposure that it has. And you know, in Russian River Valley, the weather, you know, the ocean is the main influencer, right? And all of Russian River Valley is only within a couple dozen miles of the coast.

[00:49:53] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But there are some portions of Russian River Valley that are seven or eight miles or even less from the coast. And then there’s some that are quite a bit further. But actually the weather doesn’t move west to east cuz we’re protected by mountains. The weather moves south to north and the southern entrance, for lack of a better word to Russian River Valley is the Petaluma gap.

[00:50:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, you know, Petaluma Gap is our van user cord. Right? Mm-hmm. , it’s the break in the mountains where the weather can come in. Um, and Petaluma Gap is its own Ava right now. So, you know, that’s the gap where the fog and the wind can come from. And so it comes in, and that’s the south of us, and then it moves south to north.

[00:50:28] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So if you’re driving up the 1 0 1 corridor and you’re in Petaluma on a summer day at 11:00 AM it could. 64 degrees of Petaluma at 11 on a Sunday, and then you drive another 30 minutes up to Healdsburg and it’s 20 degrees warmer , and it’s just about that access to the coast. And you’re still right basically in the Russian River Valley that entire time.

[00:50:51] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And there’s this immense climatic difference, um, just from south to North. And so again, Macy is on like the southern, like Macy is, I don’t know, a stones throw less than a half a mile from that border of Russian River Valley to, to Petaluma gas. So just walloped by 

[00:51:06] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: that coastal 

[00:51:06] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: wind. Yeah. And it’s really at the edge.

[00:51:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Like if you look at an aerial, there used to be this great site called Every Vine that was kind of like Vineyard. Yes. Of a Google path. Mm-hmm. , um, which I used to use all the time, but the whole Sebas Hills neighborhood. And a site like this in particular, like if you go north or east of Sebastopol, , it’s great forever.

[00:51:28] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, you’re the whole rest of Russian River Valley, dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, Knight Valley Vineyards, north Napa, all the way up until Lake County. Um, all that, it’s just vineyards forever. If you go south or west of Sevastopol, you got, you know, a couple miles of Braze land and the ocean, like, that’s it.

[00:51:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So there is not too much to the south and west of us. It just gets too cold and too dry too quickly for, you know, there’s, and I tip my hat to them. There’s some people really pushing the boundaries of, you know, coastal access and, you know, they’re planting vineyards within sight of the ocean. Um, and in a, the right year, that’s great, but that is some high risk, high reward viticulture out there and mm-hmm.

[00:52:07] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I tip my cap to people and I’ll buy you a fruit. Uh, in a good year, , I know that I’d wanna own one of those vineyards. It’s be a little spook. , it is a 

[00:52:16] A.J. Weinzettel: little spooky. Um, you know, I’m just kind of diving in a little bit to, into the harvest of 2022. Mm-hmm. , um, for Oregon, I mean, it was a crazy vintage for us in April.

[00:52:29] A.J. Weinzettel: We had frost and yeah, we had frost and then we had snow in April and, you know, we were already starting to see a little bit of bud break and, you know, so all the, the first leaves were, you know, you know, a lot of them were damaged and, you know, people were saying, Hey, we’re gonna get, you know, like 50% crop loss.

[00:52:48] A.J. Weinzettel: Um, , but the summer turned it out to be pretty nice. Uh, we had an ex super extended, uh, summer and so normally we, you know, we start picking mid-September, maybe late September. Um, but people started picking like mid-October this year and, uh, it was just kind of crazy how it just, it kind of took forever for everything to, to come off.

[00:53:16] A.J. Weinzettel: But, um, the second and third blooms actually produced crazy amounts of fruits and there was large clusters, and I think some people were getting five to seven times an acre. And it was just, it was huge. That’s awesome. Oh, it is awesome. Yeah, I 

[00:53:33] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: mean, after lost like that, everybody’s like, practically wants to throw in the towel in April and you gotta remotivate yourself to Yeah.

[00:53:40] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Do those crops. So that’s really cool that they had that success. 

[00:53:44] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. So I was just kind of curious, what did, what did harvest look like for you all? 

[00:53:48] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Well, I’m gonna set the scene again here. Okay. And, okay, so in March, leading up to, 

[00:53:55] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I don’t know where she’s going with this yet. Leading up to that . 

[00:53:58] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Okay. Let, let me just tell you.

[00:53:59] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So we, so now that we, um, welcome guests. This house, we live about 15 to 20 minutes away. Uh, but Alex still manages all of our frost. Mm-hmm. . So here in the vineyard we have sort of two lines of defense for frost, frost protection in the vineyard. The first line of defense, we have some two fans down at the bottom of the property that we can turn on that will sort of, uh, throw that, you know, cold air up in and allow the warm air to cycle through.

[00:54:32] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Right? We’ve got that line of defense, which is really great for us because they turn on automatically when it gets to a certain temperature and they run to an app on Alex’s phone. So, getting up in the middle of the night and not having to leave bed to make sure that, you know, frost protection is being handled, is great, but if you get below a certain temperature, those fans are no longer.

[00:54:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: The end all be all with protection. So we have sprinkler systems that run, um, uh, parallel with the vines there. So not the rain birds, but the ones that run across the vine. Uh, so, uh, Alex has to ride the ATV down to the well at 3:00 AM in the morning if it gets too cold and turn it on manually and. Go through, make sure none of the tiny little sprinkler heads are frosted over because obviously if 1, 2, 3 of those are busted, you’re gonna lose a few vines, right?

[00:55:28] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, but we really wanna protect those buds, uh, from freezing. So Alex is doing that manually, which was a little easier when we were living here on site, roll outta bed, hop on the atv, but now he’s getting outta bed and driving 15 to 20 minutes in the middle of the night. On top of that, in 2022, we had a six month old at home , 

[00:55:49] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: good times.

[00:55:50] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So 2022 and the big Froster was not, um, fun, but 

[00:55:57] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: well, don’t make me too much of a hero. Morgan a hero. Morgan lives here on property. Um, and her boyfriend, Zack, who’s our assistant winemaker, lives here. Well, so I, that helps with, I have to take responsibility for the system getting started, but at least like when I feel like everything’s.

[00:56:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Working as optimally as I can. I can sometimes go back to bed and Zach can go turn off the system, you know, after the sun comes up, which is helpful. That’s really nice. Yeah, no, that, that helps. Um, yeah, to kind of summarize the 2022 vintage, um, warm drive dry winter in California, um, as a drought year, which was disappointing cuz we had this like epic December.

[00:56:33] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I swear that I read December, 2021 was like one of the three snowiest winters in Tahoe ever. Like it just wow. Piled in December, 2021. Ton of rain here, ton of snow up in the mountains and then done. And it like we were putting up goose eggs precipitation wise, and I think January and February and then we got a little.

[00:56:54] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, later in the winter, but like not nearly enough to make up for that deficit. So overall a warmer, drier winter. Um, early bud break in a lot of sites. We work really, really hard at cansler to delay bud break as much as possible cuz we’re in that frost zone. So we prune as late as possible, like we tie as late as possible.

[00:57:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: There’s been years where like we’re pushing buds and still like tying the canes down to the trellis . Um, cause we’re just trying to hold that bud break as long as possible. Cuz you know, the earlier in the season is the more likely you are to experience frost. So we definitely had some borderline frost nights.

[00:57:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We definitely got hit. Um, in the, we have a swale kind of in the bottom third of the vineyard, in the middle of it. It’s the lowest point in the entire vineyard. . And then the bottom of the vineyard is actually like a small ravine and like a creek bottom. Um, and anybody who’s, you know, dealt with frost or sort of understands that like cold water, or excuse me, cold air on a cold night flows like water.

[00:57:54] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So it will just go to the lowest point and then start backing up. It’s like that picture that you got there still, AJ may feed that vineyard up on the crown of the hill up in the inversion layer on steeper slopes. Like it almost, almost, I should knock wood right now. never freeze up there in, in April.

[00:58:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Like there’s too much air movement at that elevation and there’s too much space, literally space for cold air to just slop off that hill and, and move on its way. At Cansler at the bottom of the. We collect all that cold air and it starts backing up into the vineyard. Um, so that’s why we delay bud break as much as possible and we deploy the methods, um, that Brianna was describing.

[00:58:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, so warm, dry winter, earlier, bud break. We, you know, kept the brakes on until early April. Um, like normal, that frost event that you guys had in Oregon, I remember it being cold here, but it wasn’t nearly as devastating here. Um, as it was up there. It was, you know, it was frost fighting, but nothing catastrophic.

[00:58:50] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then a pretty normal summer, um, pretty normal fruit set, um, except for the areas that got frosted. Um, I think overall we were within about, we, the collectively district three, you know, Sonoma, Napa County within 10% of, you know, a normal 10 year average of harvest. Uh, but our big challenge, kind of two of them was.

[00:59:13] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Incredible heat around Labor Day, which we’ve had a couple Labor Day heat waves over the last five to 10 years. This was probably the worst one overall. Mm-hmm. , um, just like way over a hundred degrees for like. close to a week. Um, and the forecasters seem to always like, oh, it’s gonna be a hundred for two or three days, and you’re like, okay, that’s far from ideal, but I can deal with that.

[00:59:39] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But then when it’s over 105 for six days, then you’re really getting your butt kicked. Um, we kind of pride ourselves on only irrigating as necessary here. Um, we’re on no regular irrigation program. We don’t irrigate in the spring. We don’t irrigate in the summer. But for events like that, I’m, I’m happy that the vineyard does have drip and, you know, post ration in the fall, in the face.

[01:00:03] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: If heat, we can turn on the water and we just like, we irrigated basically as much as we could this year and we just try to pour water on those vines 

[01:00:11] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: right 

[01:00:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: before that heat wave and during rain, before and during. Yeah, just try to keep things as hydrated as possible. Keep the vines as healthy as possible.

[01:00:18] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Keep the clusters as with as much integrity as possible. Um, and I’m glad that we did, cause we wrote out that heat wave as, as well as anybody. I think we picked some fruit before the heat. Um, some blocks were not even ready. And I’m, you know, we’re lucky in the sense that some of those early season heat waves in August and even around Labor Day, like there’s a lot of vineyards in Russian River that.

[01:00:39] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Man, I’m at like 22 bricks right now and I don’t want to pick it, but like if I don’t pick it and this heat hits, I’m gonna go from 2022 to 27 in a week. Yeah, we’re lucky to, like in early August, it’s a lot like, oh, we’re not even done with verian yet, so like we’re not gonna pick it. I’m not happy about the heat, but I guess I’m happy that I don’t going to make that call

[01:00:59] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Right, right. No, I don’t blame you. Gonna have to ride it out. So we did that and then we got on the other side of it and stuff got totally moderate and we’re like, cool. Like that was the harvest drama. We’re done now. We did really, really well. Fruit looks good. We thought the drama was over. Yeah, bricks are coming down.

[01:01:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Mines have good integrity. Like we did it and then we got like eight or nine days of that and they’re like, oh, there’s like two inches of rain on the forecast. cool. So we did another like kind of massive pick and another big like stress fest of a pick call. But the 

[01:01:31] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: fruit, he’s gonna be modest here. The fruit that came off that off the vine in between the heat and rain sandwich was 

[01:01:39] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: was gorgeous.

[01:01:40] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Excellent. Yeah. And I was happy with the stuff that we pulled off right before the heat. I don’t, do not like picking during a heat wave. I really think you gotta pick your poison, you gotta commit to getting it off before or you gotta commit to seeing the weather on the other end, letting your vineyard work through that water if you’re able to give it and kind of let things come back into balance.

[01:01:58] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, so yeah, we, we try to split the difference there. Um, and we even hun some fruit out in through the rain, um, which is a little breath something I think some Oregon winemakers are more familiar with. Like if you picked every before some rain came in, then uh, the wines wouldn’t be good every year. Um, so you gotta learn how to, uh, manage those obstacles.

[01:02:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, but yeah, that was our big drama was this massive heat wave and like at eight to 10 day break and, and I think it was 10 days after then we got a bunch of rain and that was kind of it. Um, for the vintage it was early though, so we had everything off the vine. Do we have everything picked before October?

[01:02:34] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: This might be the first year, year We picked everything in September. Yeah, we’re usually picking in October too. And I think we had everything off the vine in September. 

[01:02:44] A.J. Weinzettel: Wow. That’s, that’s awesome. Well, thank you for that. I was just, I always like to hear different perspectives in different places and kind of what, you know, what all was happening.

[01:02:53] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. 

[01:02:53] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: At least it doesn’t hail, like it doesn’t, doesn’t occur. Oh, 

[01:02:58] A.J. Weinzettel: that’d be, that would be heart wrenching. Oh, weird. Who? 

[01:03:02] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Those, we may have to face it. . 

[01:03:04] A.J. Weinzettel: Yes. Yes. I’m sure that we will. Um, you know, you, you talked about Morgan a little bit, um, you know, and, you know, uh, she was with you at IP and C so she’s, she’s your cousin.

[01:03:15] A.J. Weinzettel: She, um, , uh, lived in North Carolina, graduated UNC at Charlotte, and uh, in 2019 she did a, you know, it sounded like she did a road trip, you know, and harvest out in California. But like, how did you convince her to even like, even come out? I mean, I love this. That’s two totally different. She was just 

[01:03:35] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: up, she came to live with 

[01:03:37] A.J. Weinzettel: us.

[01:03:38] A.J. Weinzettel: she 

[01:03:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: lived with 

[01:03:38] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: us. Yeah. Uh, we put her, this was before we had our son and we put her up, uh, in a room in our house. And she had, you know, she had a, a big hospitality background just in the restaurant industry while she was going to school. And so she had an interest in wine and spirits and, um, had, you know, there’s this great photo of her and Alex at his sister’s wedding here on the property.

[01:04:06] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So like, she was very familiar with the property and like, Always interested in kind of what Alex was doing, but then when she moved out here, um, she got an internship as a harvest 

[01:04:18] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: intern. Yeah, I mean she was, I think just interested in coming out here and coming west and um, yeah, as Bree mentioned, she had this strong hospitality background, um, already, and also some sales, some event planning, just kind of that end of things.

[01:04:33] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I think she was interested in pursuing that, but also wanted to get back to basics. Be like, if I’m gonna work in this realm, like I want to understand where my product comes from. So like I want to do a harvest at least, and kind of see where that takes me. and so she’s probably around here somewhere.

[01:04:48] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. . Hi . Um, I’ll go grab her. You should. So, yeah. Um, she did an internship in 19 at Paul Hobbs. Really enjoyed the work, was living with us, enjoyed all of her colleagues. Um, got along pretty well with one of the seller guys there. Um, his name’s Zach, he’s still with us. Um, so she did that internship and then was working in tasting rooms and kind of figuring out what was next after the internship ended.

[01:05:13] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then she went up, uh, to Willamette and worked at Anti Kotera that next vintage. Um, so definitely pursuing her career, excuse me, in the wine industry and then in early to mid 2020. So 2020 or 2021 must have been 2021. We just needed help at Cansler. It was like, and we needed kind of a jack of all trades.

[01:05:37] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Like I was like, I could use some help in the seller. Brie could use some help with sales. We need help around the property, managing the farms stay. And um, her and Zach were still living up in Oregon after their internships. And so we kind of like put together a little compensation package for them, which included a place to live here at the property and lured them down here to California.

[01:05:56] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, she’s on the, the 

[01:05:58] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: phone with our shipping company, 

[01:05:59] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: so and they’ve been living here and working with us ever since. So it’s super fun for my dad to have his niece working with us. Uh, super fun for me to have my cousin working with us. It’s like it totally fits our mo of who we are as a company. You know, we like.

[01:06:15] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Total, including my parents. There’s what, like seven of us? There’s six of us. Six of us and four of them are like counselors. Right. Definitely. Now we have Elizabeth and Jake and Zach, yeah. Who are not directly counselors. But my mom’s trying to adopt that in many way, so to speak. Um, yeah. Yeah. It’s just, it’s, it’s our team’s made up of friends and family.

[01:06:37] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s a family company. Yeah. . 

[01:06:39] A.J. Weinzettel: And, and you know, and that’s awesome. It’s one of the things I really enjoyed reading, you know, it’s, you know, it sounded like that your mom and dad split, but still everybody’s like one big huge family and they all together, 

[01:06:50] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: together Thanksgiving all together. Like they’re, it’s kind of funny cuz even, you know, after they divorce, they’re both remarried have been for over 10 years, but they’re still best friends and we all do everything 

[01:07:04] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: together.

[01:07:04] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s, I was gonna say, like my mother-in-law, my dad’s wife watches our kid once a week. No, your stepmom. My stepmom watches our son once a week. my mom’ss boyfriend who said the same boyfriend for like, I don’t know, 12 years. Like built a wine storage seller for us here in the garage. Like, yeah. It’s all very synthetic

[01:07:25] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s awesome. What, uh, I mean, you have a nice foundation already laid for a great legacy for your, for your son. You know what, what do you hope 

[01:07:37] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: for future? He’s our one maker in 2042 and we can retire and get like a vineyard in Italy or something. , 

[01:07:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: no pressure. , 

[01:07:46] A.J. Weinzettel: no pressure. Zero. Zero, zero. 

[01:07:48] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Uh, yeah, we’re a one and done family.

[01:07:51] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Our son is gonna be our only child if I’m getting super personal and we hold him up like Simba over the vineyard, say everything, the light, no pressure, everything. The light 

[01:08:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: will 

[01:08:01] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: be yours, . Um, no, I think we’re gonna go the opposite route. We’re gonna push him to be an electrician or something. So maybe he’ll wanna wind up being a winemaker 

[01:08:11] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: or, 

[01:08:12] A.J. Weinzettel: that’s, that’s cool.

[01:08:13] A.J. Weinzettel: Is are you gonna get him like a Volvo station wagon for his 16th birthday? 

[01:08:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Actually, I think we have a longstanding bet that like self-driving cars will be the norm by the time he’s of driving age. I think we’ve got a burger on that a couple years ago. That’s 

[01:08:27] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: our standard. There’s a, there’s a hole in the wall diner here called Mike’s Burgers, and that’s our standing bet.

[01:08:34] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So I, I think Alex is hard pressed to get a self-driving car for our son. But no, I think from a legacy standpoint of winemaking standpoint, a a farming standpoint, I mean, Alex and I talk about this a lot, um, especially during the pandemic when things got really bad. Like, are we doing enough? You know, we’re too, we’re too very driven.

[01:09:00] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: People, like, we’re making wine, we’re doing this really fun thing. That’s a lot of hard work. We wear a lot of hats. Like everything like I’ve talked about, bottling, frost protection and then all of, you know, I’m pretty sure people think. On a Tuesday or walking through the vines with a wine in our hands every day.

[01:09:19] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And that’s, that’s not what what we do. But I think, um, you know, in the long run, we just wanna leave the land better than we found it. And we want to make sure that we’re doing our part to not only, um, you. Grow something, um, you know, tangible like the vines, but also put something in bottle that people are gonna love and gift and share together.

[01:09:48] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And, you know, that’s all a, a bit of the flowery portion of, of winemaking and wine selling, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable things. Mm-hmm. . Um, you know, when things got super bad during the pandemic, we had customers who were er doctors writing us at 1:00 AM with a photo of, you know, them just opening their first bottle of Cansler and just being like, thank 

[01:10:13] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: you.

[01:10:13] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: This like, by, like, it’s been a horror show for my last 24 hour shift and the 24 hour shift before that and before that and before that. And like I came home and opened a bottle of one of your wines. Like, thanks. Yeah. So that’s, that’s so trivial. Like, so trivial. But you know, It makes us feel good that, you know, you can do some small part to, to brighten up somebody’s day in in that sense.

[01:10:37] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And yeah, I mean, we just, um, I think we’re proud to be small business owners. We’re proud of our little team and we’re proud to, you know, Contribute to our community and, you know, try to make this little product and make this little business work. And yeah, for the kid, all jokes aside, like we, I think be thrilled if he was interested in this in the long run, but we’re not gonna like, try to steer him into that.

[01:11:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Maybe do the reverse psychology thing, go, you can’t work here, forget about it. Go get a job. 

[01:11:08] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, the, yeah, no. If it helps any, I mean, I mean, you took the path of like not going wine and then you came back. I mean, I see it over and over and over again. 

[01:11:18] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Exactly. And I think, yeah, we’d love for him to fall into it.

[01:11:22] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We’d love for him to be interested in it, but it’s, it’s what we love to do Right now, we’re about to build a little tasting space adjacent to the house here, um, which we’re about to break ground on in a couple months. And, um, that’s really gonna be, that’s our generat, our generational. Investment in our, in this business.

[01:11:42] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: You know, the vineyard was Alex’s parents big investment, the house, the vineyard, the property. Um, they’ve been so generous in allowing us to take this to the next level. Um, you know, they’re like, make sure we’re getting four to eight cases a year and, uh, making a little bit of money and have fun kids. Yes.

[01:12:02] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But for us, um, in order to expand, we really wanna be able to host people. Um, here on the estate, here on the estate vineyard, uh, for tasting experience, as well as have the house in play so people can actually sleep on the vineyard that their favorite wine is coming from. And so that’s our next big endeavor and that’s really where we see the business staying for a really long time.

[01:12:24] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, is having everything you know here on the estate, um, and be able to welcome guests here and grow a little bit. So we’re at about 2,500 cases right now, um, which Alex and I are super proud that we’ve gone from that, you know, 400 number to 2,500 cases in total. Um, and we hope to one day be, you know, keeping more of the state fruit for ourselves.

[01:12:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Maybe, you know, leasing another vineyard. Maybe Alex and I are able to plant our own little vineyard, um, close by, but all of it. Uh, being farmed by ourselves and growing this label to a, to a giant 5,000 pieces . 

[01:13:12] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: No, that’s, that’s awesome. We bought it last week, aj, so it was 2283.8 cases. Oh my 

[01:13:19] A.J. Weinzettel: goodness.

[01:13:20] A.J. Weinzettel: Production for this production spreadsheet right now. No, that’s, that’s great. Um, how about we dive into a few rapid fire questions? Sure. Bring it on. Okay. Uh, favorite artist to listen to during harvest? Oh 

[01:13:35] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: gosh, that’s a hard one. Red Hot Chili Peppers. That’s a good answer. . It’s so just like the old stuff.

[01:13:43] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Mood, like, yeah. Oh, Tom Petty. Tom Petty’s a good one. Mm-hmm. . I listen to hip hop. Sometimes I listen to outcasts, like old outcasts or the roots. Um, there you go. Yeah. Uh, yeah, those are, those are four pretty good ones. 

[01:13:57] A.J. Weinzettel: Okay. Uh, your favorite indulgent food? 

[01:14:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Ooh, are oysters indulgent? 

[01:14:04] A.J. Weinzettel: Cause they’re not like, of course.

[01:14:06] A.J. Weinzettel: Okay. Yeah. No. Yeah. He 

[01:14:08] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: crushes oysters. It’s 

[01:14:10] embarrassing. . 

[01:14:10] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We were just at a, a really nice wedding and there was an oyster bar at the reception, and I’m like, There’s not enough people here. Like nobody’s gonna crowd this bar like Rick Park and bless them. They were, they bought wine from us, so they were drinking our 2018 vintage Chardonnay, which is also in a really nice place.

[01:14:29] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And I drank like two and a half glasses of our own wine and put down well over a dozen oysters in that part of the recession. . 

[01:14:38] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So we gave him a really nice wedding gift, cause I’m pretty sure he ate a thousand dollars 

[01:14:44] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: oysters . 

[01:14:47] A.J. Weinzettel: Um, if you could choose the superpower, what would it be?

[01:14:51] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Superpower fly. Okay. Nothing, 

[01:14:56] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: nothing like that’s going to contribute to winemaking abilities. You wanna fly ? 

[01:15:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I could conceal winemaking like anywhere in the world. If I could fly, we could make wine in France in the morning, in California, in the. . There 

[01:15:08] A.J. Weinzettel: you go, . Good answer. Good answer. Um, so I have a personal, uh, rapid fire question that I’ve been dying to know.

[01:15:19] A.J. Weinzettel: So, Alex, your dad worked at Microsoft Brie, you worked at Apple . So is this a Microsoft or an Apple household ? 

[01:15:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Really good question. That’s 

[01:15:33] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: a great question. Well, fun fact. Uh, so Alex went the winemaking route from family history and his older sister is actually a director at Microsoft now. Oh. And so Steven had, you know, one of his kids go one of his routes and then the other go the other route.

[01:15:53] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Um, so we’re a divided house. Uh, all of my products are Apple, however, you know, we’ve got like, It’s 

[01:16:03] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: somewhat high in our household. It’s an Apple house. And I never, to your point exactly, I came from this like Microsoft family. I didn’t own a single Apple product until like Brie and I got engaged , and then I got my first iPhone and I was like, this thing’s awesome.

[01:16:19] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And then I got, uh, MacBook after that and we’re actually talking on, I got my first new computer in eight years as a MacBook Pro. Um, so love that. But even our company, like everybody uses a Mac except for Jake. 

[01:16:33] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah. So we’re a little bit of a divided household, but it started out super divided. Like 

[01:16:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: divided.

[01:16:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So most of our hardware is Mac, but we use like Microsoft Office Suite, like we use SharePoint and Teams and all the, um, applications and all that stuff. Yeah. Melissa’s, 

[01:16:49] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Melissa’s household is, is a Microsoft 

[01:16:52] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: household. Yeah. Except the Windows phone is not a thing anymore, so they don’t want Android . 

[01:16:57] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So no dedicated answer to that rapid fire question.

[01:17:01] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: It’s a house. 

[01:17:01] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Oh, 

[01:17:02] A.J. Weinzettel: no, it’s, it’s fine. It’s fine. I was just super curious. Yeah. All right. Um. . That is all the questions that I have. Is there anything else that you’d like to, to mention? 

[01:17:12] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: I don’t think so. I think, you know, if anybody’s watching this and interested in coming out to see us here in Sebastopol, California, um, I’d love to host you out on the vineyard.

[01:17:22] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So, you know, my cell phone number is all over our website. Um, my brianna@canslervineyards.com is all over the website. Um, we’ll have a. Few splashes of wine, we’ll walk the vineyard. Uh, if you’re interested in staying out here, we also offer that. And if you’re interested in acquiring our wine, we’re allocation only.

[01:17:44] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: So we sell our wine in the spring and in the fall, our next release will be in March of 2023. However, uh, if you do hit the acquire button on our cansler.com website, uh, and sign up for our mailing list, we do offer a one-time welcome allocation, uh, if you are just dying to try some cansler wines. So please come find us, find us@cansler.com.

[01:18:11] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: We’d love to see you, uh, sign up for a mailing list. And, um, you know, eventually, uh, you’ll see information on our, on our. F very full, uh, wine club right now. I’m hoping to open up some wine club spots this coming spring. Um, our wine club has a really intense following. I keep thinking the other shoe’s gonna drop and we’re gonna see attrition, but nobody drops my wine club, 

[01:18:38] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: so Bri’s, too popular.

[01:18:39] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: A good problem there. , 

[01:18:40] A.J. Weinzettel: no, 

[01:18:41] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: it definitely good with my popularity. It’s gonna watch popularity to 

[01:18:44] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: do with the wine, everything do with wine . Um, but uh, it’s a case in the spring and a case in the fall, which is a large commitment. But, um, we’re really, really proud of this wine club. Um, and we offer some really fun benefits like, you know, 30% off the nightly rate of the house, and we’re building out the tasting room, which is gonna have a wine club v i p lounge.

[01:19:04] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And there’s some really cool stuff on the docket. So check us out 

[01:19:08] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: if we don’t see you soon. Just stay tuned and if you’re, you know, we’re, we’ve been, this, this tasting room project has been a long and slow journey, and we’re finally breaking ground on it and are gonna have it open towards the end of next year.

[01:19:20] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And that’s like, as we mentioned before, like that’s our generational investment and that’s the, the catalyst to which we can grow and, and meet a lot more people and spend time with a lot more people. And so right now, you know, the, the farm stay is limited and the sort of, Um, under the table, um, you know, casual tastings that we can offer are super limited, but once we do that, we promise we’re gonna keep all, all the good vibes and who we are as, um, as a winery.

[01:19:45] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: But, um, we’ll get to do it in a little bit more of a formal and, and welcoming, uh, setting and get to see a few more people. We’re we’re, we’re gonna really blow it up at 10 people per day, who, that’s what I use for, says we can do is, uh, 10 people per. That’s 

[01:19:58] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: perfect. I know you hear tasting room and you think of like the limos that like, 

[01:20:02] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: it’s 

[01:20:02] A.J. Weinzettel: not gonna be that.

[01:20:02] A.J. Weinzettel: I know it’s 

[01:20:03] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: still your little buy appointment. We kind of call it European and style. Like, you’re coming out to our family house, you’re gonna be doing your tasting with me like marriage wine maker. 

[01:20:16] A.J. Weinzettel: You know, but those are the best. You know, it’s, you know, the more and more people that I run into, it’s, they want the, the smaller field.

[01:20:23] A.J. Weinzettel: They don’t wanna go to places where all the limos are going and everything. They want want, they want the peace and quiet and tranquility. 

[01:20:31] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Well, we appreciate the folks who do both. I mean, we work with, um, some concierges around here and people will go to a bigger glitz. Are curated winery, where the owners are, you know, four tiers above, five tiers above who you’re gonna taste with.

[01:20:46] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And that’s talk. Any of those places, a lot of them do just a gorgeous job. Um, and then those same folks will come out and see us, and it’s actually 

[01:20:53] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: really fun when they do both of those types of experiences. And one day. Yeah. Um, oh yeah, just getting different vantage points of this industry is really cool.

[01:21:03] Breauna Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: And 

[01:21:03] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: at the end of the day, like it’s what’s in the model, right? Like that’s what the, the true cork dorks really care about. . . 

[01:21:10] A.J. Weinzettel: Yes. Yes. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time today. It’s been an absolute pleasure. I can’t thank you enough. 

[01:21:17] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Yeah, thanks, aj. Let’s, let’s do it again. Whenever you’re ready.

[01:21:20] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: Maybe we, maybe we can, when we open the tasting room or when you’re, you’re on a California junket and you want to pop by, we’ll, we’ll do it again and taste some more at wine. Yeah, that would be 

[01:21:28] A.J. Weinzettel: amazing. Come see us. Well, thank you so much. Yes. All right. Thank you. Thank you 

[01:21:32] Alex Kanzler of Kanzler Vineyards: all.

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