Kobza Wines

Year Established: 2011
Location: Cienaga Valley, California
Varieties: Mourtaou (Cabernet Pferrer), Mourvedre, Carignan, Zinfandel, Riesling
Viticulture: Dry-farmed; no pesticides or herbicides

Ryan Kobza has access to vineyards about which most winemakers can only dream – ancient, self-rooted vines (some of which date back to the time of Teddy Roosevelt!) that are meticulously dry-farmed by Pat Wirz in the Cienaga Valley, which is in San Benito County southeast of Monterey. These antique vines include Mourtaou (aka Cabernet Pfeffer) and Mourvedre planted in 1904; Carignan and Zinfandel planted in the 1930s; and Riesling – the new kid on the block – planted in 1952. The San Andreas Fault splits the valley in half, so there’s an interesting geologic cocktail of limestone and granite for the vines to sink their roots into. Ryan makes three wines: a bone-dry Riesling, a lovely red from the Mourtaou grapes, and the Field Blend Red, which is a family portrait of all the old red vines. Because the yields here are small, sometimes less than one ton/acre, the total production is always very limited– never more than 200 cases total!