About 10 miles away, the tasting room at Lightpost Winery in Morgan Hill can be found in a ho-hum office park. But what it lacks in pastoral ambience, it made up for in intellectual heft. There I met Sofia Fedotova, an electronics recycling entrepreneur who made money in tech before becoming a vintner. In 2018, she opened Lightpost and teamed with Christian Roguenant, who grew up in Burgundy and is Lightpost’s head winemaker.
Lightpost planted a vineyard in Morgan Hill seven years ago but, for now, mostly gets its wine grapes from growers in the Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Russian River and Paso Robles regions. Ms. Fedotova poured me a taste of her favorite cabernet sauvignon. We talked about what to serve it with (she said steak, I suggested rack of lamb) and, for another 20 minutes, we discussed the area’s weather patterns, soil chemistry and the challenge of farming in today’s climate.
Of course, you would expect a winemaker to know more about the terrain than the average guest. But the staff was equally knowledgeable. Vivian, the tasting room manager, gave us an impromptu lesson, too, with a side-by-side comparison of how grapes vary by vintage. A larger, more corporate tasting room would be hard-pressed to take the time. Already the young winery is attracting attention; its 2018 reserve cabernet sauvignon from Paso Robles has won state competitions. A friend and I stayed for nearly two hours and, between us, left with three bottles of their La Grande Sofi sparkling rose from 2018 ($44 each).
Special thank to Laura M. Holson who is an award-winning feature writer and visual editor who has chronicled the intersection of money, power and celebrity in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond. She explores the lives of powerful cultural figures and has written extensively about creativity. IG: @lauramholson / Twitter: More about Laura M. Holson