WE ♥ BROC CELLARS & BROADSIDE
"True asphalt winemaking, in an urban winery."
Berkeley is usually home to a set of polarized, yet eclectic, class of people: the affluent & non-so-affluent, the retirees & their college students, a smattering of liberals, perhaps some homeless, a large collection of artists, ‘the trustafarians‘, scholars, bikers, elitists, musicians & families. Despite its known diversity, ‘winemaker’ would not be one I’d have readily added to that list — until I discovered Broc Cellars.
Let me preface this introduction with one note: although timid, I’m confident in my ability to sustain a discourse about wine yet, start to talk of the dichotomy between terroir & its resulting effects on the fruit or palate &…well, theeeen that’s when one might notice I’ve become VERY interested in polishing the bar glasses (read: I’m no Ali Carscaden.)
Thus, upon invitation to visit one of the Bay Area’s most notable & ‘up-n-coming’ wineries, I was just a teeny bit nervous. Broc Cellars may be more familiar to some, because of their partner company, Broadside ( whom, in turn, owns Giornata Wines.)
Luck would have it that Harvest was underway the winery held a feeling of chaotic immediacy that left me breathless; giving me just a taste of the excitement that goes along with the artistry of winemaking. Especially one like Chris Brockway– Brockway is what some refer to as, uh, well… O.G. The mantra of Broc Cellars is about bringing it back. And when I say back, I mean waaaaaaaaaay back. I’m talking Dionysus back. Like, let’s-get-barefoot-and-stomp-some-grapes back.
The dharma behind this enterprise is about re-establishing the traditional and romantic idioms of wine making vÍs a vÍs the enigmatic natural processes of wine, or as so aptly put on the website, in “the alchemy of wine.”
Or something like that. Who knows. What I can tell you is the wine tastes…real, natural, palatable. The fruit used by Broc Cellars is either from vineyards that specialize in biodynamic, organic, or sustainable growing processes– letting the grape naturally develop without the weighing it down additives, etc.
The goal here is to “produce naturally-made wine with character” –wine that has endured the harsh struggle of raw nature and THRIVED – giving the wine a unique, sumptuous, and for lack of a better word, organic character.