"Once and Future Wine Company is a return to the original vision I had for Ravenswood so many years ago. A project that specializes in wines from special vineyards made with a sensitivity to place and in a style that I personally love and believe in." - Joel Peterson
An exploration of three special vineyards, each with their own personality, crafted in a style which focuses on purity rather than heavily extracted and oak driven. These are powerful yet balanced wines which focus on showcasing the incredible old vines and the unique soils on which they're grown.
There’s a good reason that, until the 1960s, Petite Sirah was the most widely planted grape variety in Napa Valley. As demonstrated by the few remaining examples, grown in the right places it produces something quite special, making lovely, evocative wine even darker and spicier than Zinfandel, that other “California grape” from Europe.
If Napa had only had the guts to stick with Petite through the renaissance that transformed Californian wine, it would have been a more distinctive and interesting choice upon which to hang one’s regional hat than today’s dictatorial monarch, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Deeply coloured with a perfumed nose of sandalwood, clove, cinnamon, black pepper and smoke lead. Bright mouthfeel with refined tannins and a long complex finish.
Merlot from the Sangiacomo runs deep in Joel's blood, having previously made wine from this vineyard for Ravenswood since 1989. However, in the early 2000s, Ravenswood's owners decided to stop producing Merlot to focus more on the ever popular Zinfandel.
A few years later, Joel's son Morgan discovered that the vines still exist and the owners were willing to sell some of the block's remaining Merlot fruit. The combination of the gravel clay-loam soils and strong Carneros winds (which tend to reduce yields), results in what we think is one of the most delicious Merlots in California.
Rich fruit, herbs, vanilla, and cedar. Velvety texture and full cherry berry flavours, accented with hints of tar and mineral. Tannins are ripe and there is a bright acidity.
The incredibly sandy soil of the Oakley Road vineyard is key to the survival of the over 100 year old ungrafted vines. The Phylloxera inhibiting properties has kept the pests away, leaving these beautifully gnarly vines intact and producing an almost unrivalled intensity to the fruit.
Joel believes that picking the fruit earlier produces much more enjoyable, interesting, complex, and finer wines; we certainly agree. The combination of old vines, deep sandy soils and cool afternoon breezes results in a truly graceful Mataro.
Perfumed pure cassis nose. Full smoky, soft cherry, plum and pot-pourri flavours. Good concentration balances a backbone of acidity and soft rounded tannins.
After nearly 45 years in the wine business, Joel Peterson has returned to his roots with Once & Future, a small, hands on project focusing on pure expressive wines from unique historic vineyards in California. Some of the sites he works with are over 100 years old, and many are ungrafted.
Zinfandel is a passion of his, he helped found ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) and supports the Historic Vineyard Society. He's returned to many of the original vineyards: Oakley, Sangiacomo and Teldeschi that he became familiar with while at Ravenswood. These are joined by the acclaimed Bedrock vineyard which he bought with his son Morgan to avoid it being ripped up.
Joel describes the project best: “Once and Future is the return to the original vision I had for Ravenswood so many years ago - a small project specialising in wines from unique older vineyards, made with a sensitivity to place and in a style that I personally love and believe in - wines that force me to dust off the old redwood vats… wines that dye my hands a harvest shade of black/purple and sometimes force me to take an additional Ibuprofen in the morning. In short - wines of sweat, commitment, and love.”