Region: California, USA
Grape Varieties: Trousseau, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Mondeuse, Blaufrankish
Size: 750ml bottle
Iruai Winery (“ear-oo-eye" … the artist formerly known as Methode Sauvage) was started in 2013 by Chad and Michelle Westbrook Hinds in Berkeley, CA as a gypsy natural wine project, before laying down roots in Michelle’s beautiful hometown of Etna, CA in the mythical Shasta-Cascade mountains of Siskiyou County in 2019.
Trading in the urban winery hustle for the vigneron life, we are exploring avant garde vineyard planting and rehabilitation techniques using the permaculture methods laid out by Masanobu Fukuoka, while formulating our own “chaos organics” method of re-enchanting the land. Truly unlike anywhere else in California, Scott Valley in Western Siskiyou County (not to be confused with Scotts Valley) feels like a cross between Switzerland and Montana, cut with a rain shadow from Mount Shasta that divides it starkly between high mountain prairie and dense alpine forests.
Finding ourselves in largely untested grape growing territory, with high elevations and a continental climate, we have turned Iruai into an exploration and celebration of esoteric varieties that flourish in the Alps of Europe. While we work to grow our Scott Valley estate vineyard projects, we purchase fruit and lease vineyards throughout the Shasta-Cascade, from the Trinity Alps of California to the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon.
We seek to make wine with a sense of place by employing no additives, and removing no character. Our goal in the vineyard is to let the vines thrive like they would in the wild, and in the cellar, to shepherd each ferment through its own natural development and evolution.
From the Winemaker:
"Born out of the mythical wine growing region I’ve taken to calling the Shasta-Cascade (from the Siskiyou Wilderness in the mountains of far Southern Oregon, down through the colliding cascades and Trinity Alps that give rise to the mysterious Mount Shasta). This wine is a love letter to our winery’s wild new home in Scott Valley, pioneering a sense of place that channels a vast mineral range, a savage elevation, and a generous beauty. Trousseau brings the blood orange tang, Monduese adds high toned black fruit and a peppery perfume, while the Gamay rounds things out with a bitter kick and savory structure."