By John Concannon
I’m often asked to describe our family’s philosophy on viticulture and enology. Simply put, it’s “Tradition with Innovation.” While we utilize the most current techniques and technology, our daily practices remain consistent with those practiced by my great-grandfather in 1883. I think this is the main reason why our wines have been trusted on other families’ tables for 128 years.
Some examples of our winemaking philosophy include our practice of sustainability, organic and bio-dynamic farming, the utilization of solar energy, peristaltic pumps, low-force basket presses, aging of wine in hand-made 60- year-old Bordeaux barrels and the placement of our vineyards into a land trust ensuring they will remain agricultural for future generations. In many ways, what’s old is new and what’s new is old!
As a founding family of California wine, we are honored to be recognized for many firsts, such as America’s First Irish Vintner, America’s First Professional Female Winemaker, America’s First Petite Sirah and the Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon Mother Vine clones 7, 8 and 11 that helped replant much of the Napa Valley when it was devastated by phylloxera in the 1980s.
A recent innovation here at Concannon Vineyard involves being one of the first wineries to incorporate a QR or Quick Response code on the back labels of our wine bottles. The code allows a smart phone to play a nifty video of me describing the characteristics of that particular wine, thereby helping the consumer make a selection.
While my great-grandfather’s goal of offering quality wine at a fair price remains unchanged, we are always looking forward because the best way to predict the future is to invent it!