Escalar Wines, a family-owned and operated winery; is a boutique winery that explores Spanish varietals and more. Owner/Winemaker, Eric Symonds’ travels around the world, with his wife Michelle, and love of wine really showcases his passion for winemaking.
Eric’s great grandparents are from Asturias, Spain, and immigrated to the USA as young adults. Asturias is known for pork production and Tempranillo grapes. He specializes in a small production of wine each year; averaging less than 500 cases annually, primarily Spanish varietals. By producing such a small amount of wine, it allows him to really concentrate on his skills to make the very best wine.
Eric never thought to make wine. One day a local vineyard asked him for assistance on a computer issue they were experiencing. In lieu of payment for his services rendered, they asked if he wanted cash or fruit. After much thought, Eric accepted one ton of two grape varietals: Tempranillo & Tannat. At first, the thought was to take the grapes and ferment them into wine for his family and friends to enjoy; hence, the winemaking adventure began.
Eric’s travels through Spain and Uruguay led him to fall in love with Tempranillo and Tannat. Even though Tannat is not a Spanish varietal, he became enthralled in its flavor profiles; big and bold. In his mind, Tannat is the Cab of Paso. The love for Tannat is what brought the decision to produce a flagship wine. Each vintage, ‘Piel Del Toro’ will be a variation of Tannat. In Spain, Eric noticed huge billboard-like black bulls on the hilltops of the motorways.
He questioned the tour guide about this large bull structure. The guide explained that bull is the Osborne Bull; a landmark of Spain. In thinking about the wine fermenting back at home, he asked the guide, “How do you say ‘skin of the bull’ in Spanish?” Piel Del Toro means, “skin of the bull.” In his mind, the Tannat being produced is full bodied and rich; it is the backbone, The Skin Of The Bull, of the reds. Another flagship wine will be a Tannat Rosé. The first vintage 2020 Tannat Rosé was hand picked with his son, Wyatt.
Eric says he glanced over at Wyatt picking grapes, pushing bins, cleaning the muck, never giving up; a true inspiration to keep climbing up. Escalar!
Be on the lookout to enjoy the flagship Tannat wines each year and watch as Eric goes on the adventure of including many other Spanish varietals in the wine lineups.