Steve Mathiasson – a wine craftsman and iconic viticuluralist. At his core, Mathiasson is a life-long, sustainable agriculturist who applies the ideas of balance, restraint and respect for the earth to the tradition of winemaking. He believes that production should be simple but careful.
A skilled viticulture consultant for a number of prestigious wineries, Steve methodically instructs how to get the best fruit from the vines. A “vine whisperer” so to speak. Clients include Araujo Estate, Spottswoode, Chappellet, Hall, David Arthur, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Long Meadow Ranch, Trefethen and Limerick Lane among others.
His philosophy of wine is that the fruit character is often overlooked in regards to wine balance. The core flavors for any great wine are the red fruits --red cherry, raspberry, strawberry and red currant are the most refreshing types of fruit. The red fruit is framed on the one side by ripe black fruits, which offer richness, and green minty flavors, which balance and lift the black fruits. “A balanced wine doesn't fatigue--it does the opposite. It refreshes the palate, resetting it, and beckons for another glass,” says Mathiasson.
Equally important, is the wine’s “appropriate intensity" which speaks to aromatic volume, concentration, length and seamlessness. Mathiasson believes there are no winemaking tricks that can achieve this. His magic is accomplished through meticulously sourcing incredible vineyards.
With an affinity for the grapes grown in the alluvial soil found in the Napa region, Mathiasson seeks the rockiest soil, allowing him to cherry-pick the best fruit. He understands how the combination of gravel, cobbles and silt, with the depth and uniformity of the soil allows the roots to reach very deep into the ground making a wine that is both concentrated and very aromatic. Hillside vineyards can make very powerful wine, and valley floor vineyards can make very pretty and fruity wine, but vineyard on alluvial soils make wines that have it all, and are the most naturally balanced and complete.
In the end, everything is carefully placed in balance with classic proportion. From tannins and acidity, to the rich character of the fruit, each component is truly… harmonious.