Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

A wise winemaker once said

By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, May 15th, 2006 at 4:50 pm in Uncategorized.

I spoke with Warren Winiarski the other day, the world-renown and incredibly wise winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. I asked him what he’d like to say to young or emerging wine enthusiasts, to us Corkheads, and he said he think we are incredibly luck. Lucky to have such a wide variety of wines to choose from these days. It’s a much broader horizon against which wines are made than when Winiarski was apprenticing under André Tchelistcheff of Beaulieu Vineyards back in the 1960s.   

He also created a beautiful metaphor about old and young wines as children, so I thought I’d share that quote with you:

"One’s children as they grow up reveal things at different times. Each age sort of has it’s own benefits as well as challenges.
The things that young children are loved for are different than older children. Same is true of wine. As it gets older it gets different, not always better. But the maturity and unity and harmony of the various elements is what makes it stand out. Wines are always
losing and gaining."

Winiarski’s last name, by the way, means ‘winemaker’s son’ in Polish.


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  • Mary C. O’Shea

    I am so glad that your original post was correct in spelling Warren Winiarski’s wine cellar as Stag’s Leap. Unfortunately, the CC Times mispelled it as Stags’ Leap (Food and Wine Section, 5/24). This might seem trivial were it not for the fact that Winiarski and Carl Doumani of Stags’ Leap Winery went through a decade-plus legal fight over the right to the name. The issue was finally resolved in 1985 in court with a decision that each had to use the apostrophe differently. Winiarski’s winery has never been called anything but Stag’s Leap. Interestingly, the accompanying New York TImes article made the same error!