To Kalon Vineyard Company winemaker Andy Erickson was featured in Wine Spectator magazine. Read our favorite excerpts below, or go to Wine Spectator to access the entire interview.
On finding his calling in wine:
Most of his formative years were spent in rural Indiana, but his dad’s Ph.D. in molecular biology kept the family moving around, including periods in La Jolla, Calif., and Massachusetts. After studying political science at Tufts University, he moved to San Francisco and landed a job at an advertising firm with clients in Napa Valley.
“We’d be going over spreadsheets and calendars, and I’m watching guys pruning and digging holes in the vineyard and thinking, ‘I can do that, that looks more interesting than this budget,’ ” he says.
Erickson followed his interest and traveled to South America, spending five months in Chile and a year in Mendoza, Argentina, doing everything from pruning vines to working bottling lines. Then, as luck would have it, he crossed paths with winemaker Paul Hobbs, who had been exploring the wines of Mendoza. Hobbs helped Erickson get his first job in Napa, at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, in 1994.
After a short stint at Stag’s Leap, Erickson became a barrel salesman for Seguin Moreau, but he knew he wanted to be working in wine.
On his winemaking style:
Their winemaking approach favors minimal intervention, natural yeast fermentation and no fining or filtering. “Our goal is not to add anything or take anything away,” says Erickson. “If the vineyard is well tended to and from an exciting site, the rest is just quality control and making sure wines express the terroir.”...
“Andy is scientific and precise, and I tend to be maybe more … ” Favia trails off, and Erickson eggs her on. “Say it,” he says with a smile. “I operate more from intuition,” she finishes.
They share a doting gaze, and that brief interaction seamlessly describes their connection. They momentarily pause the conversation. “The temperature is perfect right now,” says Erickson. “Good ripening weather,” adds Favia. “Definitely good flowering and set weather,” continues Erickson, taking a sip of wine. He says they’ve always just made the wines they love, and then figured out how to get them to people who will appreciate them and their story: “It’s more about being here and taking care of the land, making the wines and, hopefully, people notice.”