Lindsey Otis, owner and winemaker of Lotis Wines, is our guest on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. She attended UC Davis for enology and then worked in the southern and northern hemisphere, in order to do two harvests in one calendar year. The she worked for Williams Selyem from 2007 to 2010, then worked for Big Basin Vineyard rising as a winemaker. After making wine for so many other people for so long she wanted to express her own creative process so Lotis Wines was born in 2019.
Dan Berger tells how Greg La Follette suggested Lotis Wines. Dan describes purity of flavor in wine, which depends on good acidity. They taste a 2021 Rosé of Grenache from an old vineyard called Eagle Point Ranch, which lies at 2000 feet of elevation. The vines are 50 years old. The color is very light. Dan says it has the flavors and personality of Grenache. Lindsey explains that she wants the vineyard expression to show first, and for her to speak second. This wine is light and delicate because she did whole cluster press at minimum pressure, which minimizes the phenolic extraction and the color extraction.
Lotis Wines has produced four types for 2022, Grenache, Rosé of Grenache, Vermentino and new this year, a Counoise. That is a rare grape variety from the Rhone Valley, with very little acreage in California.
They taste the 2021 Vermentino. This is a white Italian varietal very little planted in the US. These grapes came from Carneros. Francis Mahoney grows these grapes and Dan considers it the best Vermentino vineyard in California. The flavors are delicate yet powerful, says Dan. Carneros gets sea breezes so growing conditions resemble Liguria, which is the northwest Italian coast around Genoa.
Dan Berger sums up his appreciation of Lotis Wines this way: so many new winemakers have the ability to buy new barrels and impress people with those flavors. This wine has no barrels. The wine is all about the vineyard and the fruit.