Named after the forces of nature that shape the wines, Pamela & Pax Mahle established Wind Gap Wines in 2006 with a tiny release that included a wild skin-fermented Pinot Gris, a savory Sonoma Coast Syrah and a zesty coastal Chardonnay that drinks beautifully to this day. Seeking out vineyard sites impacted by coastal wind gaps, the focus is to bottle classically styled wines.
Wind gaps are breaks in coastal ridgelines that draw fog and cool ocean air inland. California features six such wind gaps, hosting a variety of coastal vineyard sites. These sites are ideal for producing provocative wines that are focused and fresh, with low alcohol content and high drinkability. Wind Gap sources much of their fruit from the Sonoma Coast and Petaluma Wind Gap, as well as vineyards all along the coast of California.
All of the wines are foot-stomped and fermented using natural yeasts. Foot crushing is an imperfect process that contributes complexity and depth of flavor, while ensuring that the whole-cluster fermentations are crushed gently while keeping the stems intact.
Wind Gap allows for the natural yeasts that ride in from each vineyard site on the skin of the grapes and that fly around the winery to ferment the wines. Most likely each vineyard has it’s own diverse yeast populations, resulting in a complex cocktail of yeast varieties that they hope makes every wine that Wind Gap produces a complete and unique experience.