I didn’t get into the wine business until I’d been on this earth for 25 years. I’ve spent the last 29 years trying to steer Edmunds St. John through the maelstrom of the marketplace while simultaneously attempting to bring something new to the landscape of California wine. Who knows what’s next? I just might have a few more tricks up my sleeve!
Winemaking isn’t Rocket Science; it’s an ancient, relatively straightforward process that should yield, in any wine, a precise expression of the vineyard and the season that produced it.
Given grapes farmed attentively, with vines in optimal balance, the key to producing a wine that is an elemental, unfettered expression of its origin in place and time is being able to pick at that point closest to the moment when the flavor in the grapes has come fully into focus, a moment that is usually also when that flavor is most energetic. The window is fairly small. After the grapes are picked, I’m trying not to add or subtract anything from the raw material.
In 1987 a wine grower from a venerable domaine in Southern France visited our cellar, and tasted a number of wines from the harvest just past. When he came to the one from my favorite vineyard his response was dramatic: he raised his nose from the glass, slowly rolling his eyes upward in reverie. He sighed, and whispered, “la terre parle” (the earth speaks). If I have done my job well, when you taste our wine you may be similarly affected; this is a voice one longs to hear.
It is our goal to produce wines of the highest level of quality, integrity, and authenticity, the hallmarks of which are balance, nuance, and elegance, wines that express their origins in place and time, wines through which “the earth speaks” in a clear and strong voice. As a winemaker, for me there is no other voice.
After three decades, there are still many people who have not heard of us, but of those who have, most of them seem to say “Oh, yes; Edmunds St. John–they make great wines!”
Steve Edmunds, 2015