Q: How many years have you worked at Gainey? A: In September it will be 9-years.
Q: How did you get into winemaking? A: When I was 18, I found out I was going to be a father and needed a job. I was living on the central coast at the time and my dad suggested I get a job in the local wine industry. In 1997, I had my first job at Fess Parker Winery. It was sometime in my second year that I caught the winemaking bug. I discovered I had aptitude for and passion for it. I can so clearly remember the day I came to realize that winemaking was what I wanted to do with my life. Almost twenty years later I am still pleased with that decision.
There are a variety of ways to ferment and store wine nowadays: oak barrels, stainless steel tanks, glass containers, and plastic. Historically, before the 1600’s, wines were stored and sold in wooden barrels because glass bottles weren’t around yet
John Falcone is our General Manager & Director of Winemaking at Gainey He oversees all operations at the winery and provides crucial direction to the winemaking team.He began making wine in Santa Barbara County in 2001, following a 13-year winemaking stint in Napa Valley. Having garnered consistent critical acclaim for his wines over the years, John remains focused on “making wine in the vineyard.” We like to joke that he has a PhD in wine because his knowledge of wine runs a wide depth and breadth.
With 100% estate-grown wines, our vineyards receive a lot of attention. Good grapes equal good wine. Grapevines don’t continue to produce quality fruit decade after decade, so it’s imperative to replant as the years move forward. This year, we’ve been busy replanting some of our acreage.
Harvest has begun here at Gainey. It’s when we turn from farmers into chemists. For most of the year, we are farmers, ensuring the grapes have the best chance at growing successfully and creating premium fruit. Ample amounts of sunshine, water, soil amendment, pruning, and some good luck all play into it. But once the grapes are ready to be picked, we turn into scientists trying to manage the fermentation process, keep the pH levels correct, test for acidity, and more.
What used to be a grimy part of town filled with industrial businesses has now been transformed into where all the cool kids go to drink wine and beer, eat good food, visit art galleries, and shop surf shops. The Funk Zone is not your grandmother’s wine tasting experience. Most of the tasting rooms have a bar atmosphere that encourages people to hang out. You’ll see groups walking from tasting room to tasting room to sample various wines from Santa Barbara County.