The Fruit that Makes Florez Shangra-li Mendo So Good
In the words of winemaker James Jelks, Florez Shangra-li Mendo uses “really good fruit”. When Jelks learned there was Sauvignon Blanc available from Feliz Creek he jumped at the opportunity. Most commodity farmers would have taken one look at these grapes and ripped them out. Jelks knows better. These types of vines are also the ones that produce the most intense, distinctive wines.
The Vineyard for Florez Shangra-li Mendo
Located just outside of Hopland California. Feliz Creek sits in an oak woodland. The vineyard for the Florez Shangra-li Mendo is in decline. Yet, it is these older “declining vines that make this vineyard so special. The intense concentrated fruit they produce makes Florez Shangra-li Mendo a complex, beautiful wine. Additionaly, the Russian River deposits fertile soil into the vineyard. This soil helps these older vines produce high quality grapes despite their age. The vineyard is organic, dry farmed, and it is not tilled.
About the Vinification
First, the fruit for Florez Shangra-li Mendo goes through the destemming process. Then the juice macerates overnight on its skin. This process brings out Sauvignon Blanc’s aroma and structure. Next, the juice ferments in stainless tanks. Florèz use some grape solids and native yeasts for fermentation. They also stabilze the Florez Shangra-li Mendowith native malolactic fermentation. It is then racked off of fermentation lees at about 6 months, and once more before bottling.
About The Winemaker
Florèz Wines Founder James Jelks grew up in the Santa Cruz area and attended UC Davis. He worked in wineries all over the world for 10 years before returning home to Santa Cruz in 2017 to make a wine of his own.
Jelks uses his own grapes as well as grapes from organic, sustainable vineyards in the area. Florèz’s own vineyards are always dry-farmed. Jelks only produces wine with native yeasts. He does not use additives in his wine. The only exception is a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling. And he does not filter any of their wines.