Hank Beckmeyer is a vigneron in Gold Rush country, the Sierra Foothills. Though a winemaker for others, he entered the commercial wine scene with his La Clarine Farms 2007 vintage. At the time, he and his wife Caro balanced cheese making and wine. Now the commercial cheese biz is laid to rest, but the goats remain as well as the vines and wines.
I've been a supporter from my first taste of LCF. He was a reader of my blog and asked me if he could send me some samples. I was nervous. I liked this man but would I feel the same about his wines? They came. I gave them a week to settle. I sat on the floor and sampled.
To my taste, Hank, along with Duncan and Nathan (Arnot-Roberts) and Abe Schoener are among the finest of the new generation of US winemakers who are forging forward with bravery, talent and thoughtfulness. They are recasting the paradigm of modern Californian winemaking and so with this in mind, I posed some questions to Hank, and he was kind enough to send along some answers.