By Shannon Torres
I had the great opportunity to discover a new winery from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Left Bend Winery. My first question was "where did the name come from". I was told that the name Left Bend originated from the slight leftward bend in the San Andreas Fault, which helped form the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Winemaker Gary Robinson's career prior to winemaking was as a hydro geologist working with soil, rocks and groundwater. Learning this helped me to understand the origination of the name. Gary and his partner Richard Hanke had a common love for bicycling and wine, bringing them together to start this venture we are all grateful for.
Gary began his winemaking roots by planting a small vineyard in his backyard in Los Gatos and making wine out of his garage. He continued his passion by studying at UC Davis, helping with pruning and harvests at local vineyards and spending two harvests with Testarossa Winery. When asked why he started Left Bend his response was "I founded Left Bend Winery to produce distinctive wines from the many small mountain vineyards scattered throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains."
Richard Henke joined Gary Robinson in 2013, after retiring from a high tech career in the Silicon Valley.
Richard had fallen in love with the wine industry and was impressed by the amount of vineyards he discovered while cycling in the Santa Cruz Mountains. His favorite climb while bicycling was Montebello, home of some of the most famous fruit in the region.
Left Bend has a annual production of about 250 cases. They produce handcrafted small lots of wine that capture the mountain terroir of the many small vineyards scattered throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA.
While tasting through their line up of wines I can honestly say there was not one that I did not enjoy. I hope you enjoy discovering this wine as much as I did!
Their Syrah will be introduced in our June 2015 Shipment. If you would like to receive your bottle JOIN NOW!
Shannon worked as the Director of Operations for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower’s Association for approximately 13 years. Shannon has brought wine events of all kinds to the area in an effort to excite interest in the local wines and food. She loves watching people from all over enjoying the region’s wine and witnessing the local vintners businesses grow and prosper.