Darek Trowbridge has made wine at Old World Winery for 20 years. He sources from old families he knows and respects, many working organically and biodynamically. He is a deep believer in the concept of re-purposing and his vineyard choices reflect this.
In many of the vineyards he works in, you can find interesting blends from vines planted 80-120 years ago; rare varietals for California like Abouriou and Alicante. In the cellar, his passion is in inviting nature into his winemaking instead of manufacturing or chemicals. Nothing is added to the wine except a minimal amount of protective sulfur in barrel. Pressing is done solely under foot. He only employs wild yeasts for his fermentations, and does not use temperature controls. Darek especially feels that using yeast from the vineyard is the best way to express the natural beauty in that wine. And he is widely regarded as a leader in the Calfornia natural wine scene.
The overall goal of Old World Winery is to make wines that embody the three most basic elements in the making of wines: the grapes, the land and the spirit and skills of the winemaker. This ethos goes back decades for Darek to the time of his grandfather Lino Martinelli. Lino simply wine without industry or technology, simply the “Old World” way. Darek has carried this forward in all of the decisions he makes at Old World…a return to the old world.
Darek primarily works in the greater Sonoma Coast and the Russian River, althought he will head Northward here and there if there are great vineyard sources to be found.
Darek: “All of our wines are fermented with native yeasts only. We add nothing to the wines except for a small amount of sulphur which protects the wine during the ageing process. We believe letting the wine make itself is the only way to truly express the vineyard through the wine.”
Darek ferments his wines with native yeasts in stainless. The wines are then racked to French oak barrels. Darek tends to like to work in new French oak for elevage. He then purposefully chooses to bottle early and let the wine continue its natural elevage in bottle for quite some time before release to market.