• JTF

Americana Design: Turnbull Wineries


Complete with its red Ford truck, Turnbull wineries is an American farmhouse meets architectural digest. The landscape of the entire space is beautiful and consciously deliberate in design. The barn structure features a triangular roof. With red painted wood, it works both as the processing facility of the winery and the perfect frame for the gravel road that directs the eye into the vineyards and the Mayacamas mountain range in the distance.

Upon meeting my host, I ratify my feeling of architectural order and deliverance. He explains the original design of the vineyard was the creation of a New York architect; he and his partner decided to found the winery.

Besides the clear and recognizable design of architecture and decor, Turnbull is a representation of American winemaking for its quick adoption of new techniques and its bold, bright, and fruit-forward offerings. There are no limitations for winemaker Jose Ortiz. The majority of his team has a long tenure at the winery, and it consists of mostly family members of the staff. It offers a look into an often ignored backbone of the valley, which is the legacy of entire generations of Latin American farmers who are the heart and soul of the valley. They are the hands that pick and care for the grapes, process the run, and ultimately deliver the vision of the winemaker to the table. Ortiz's team tenure is, on average higher than 15 years; such longevity is a testament of both the commitment and conditions on which he manages the winery.

There are no rule books on what can be achieved, such liberty allows Turnbull wines to draw from many different inspirations. A perfect example is Turnbull's Sauvignon Blanc 'Josephine,' the wine is blended using several differently processed batches, including wine rested in Italian clay vessels that impart the wine the lightest tones of mineral notes. The technique completes the vision of a more European style sauvignon blanc ideally, and it is a departure of the now ubiquitous citrus and grapefruit New Zealand offers.

The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon as well, and its different iterations show the variety and character of a rich tapestry of soils that Turnbull has 'collected' along the Silverado Trail and Highway 29 including land in some of the most prestigious sub AVAs in the valley. All of the wines are accessible, age-worthy, yet balanced enough to be ready to drink immediately. Turnbull is a family affair, and its wines are likely to be best enjoyed in the company of family.