Certain gifts are given to the winemaker in California: the fruit will always ripen, it will never suffer from a lack of depth of character, of power. It is not my nature to lean away from these gifts or try to deny them by picking excessively early or by overcropping the vineyard. I choose instead to lean in, to meet the fruit where it is. The goal with the syrah, as with all Lillian wines, is to work with these historical, noble varieties in a sun-drenched place but work with the fruit in such a way to give the wines levity and lift. A certain transparency and fineness of detail. The syrah, as a result, is not particularly syrah-like. It doesn’t scream out the usual cocktail of blackberries, bacon fat, and lavender. It always feels a bit more about the people and the places than the variety. The wines are lavish, but there is refined rocky quality in them that defies description.
The label is a representation of a feather. It has, for me, two meanings. When I was first talked into making my own wine, it felt a bit like being pushed out of the nest as a fledgling. It is a reminder that even the impossible is, in fact, not just possible but instinctual. It also serves as a reminder of all that we’re hoping to achieve with these wines: levity, flight and a fineness of detail.