Insights

Why make sparkling wine?

Most often, the first question a curious visitor will ask after taking their first sip of our sparkling wine is, “Why did you go into winemaking, why sparkling wine?” “Isn’t it hard to make?” The answer is always yes, it is and it takes a lot of time and patience and costs twice as much to make which is exactly why we do it.

For Barry Jackson, the winemaker and driving force behind Equinox, it’s all about the challenge. To take something that is intrinsically unbalanced, tart and undrinkable and transform it into an elegant, sleek balanced wine that can stand alone or compliment food by using the time honored French Method (Methode Champenoise) it is the biggest thrill when you get it right.

As a geology student at Fresno State University, Barry’s curiosity was piqued by friends in the fledgling winemaking department which seemed to combine hard science with the intuitive art of making wine. Barry was inspired by two of his instructors, one a German born professor with extensive knowledge of European and American wines who became a mentor and friend who exposed both Barry and Jennifer to an expanded esoteric view of wine beyond the California jug wine offerings in the early 1970’s. The other professor, head of the new program also mentored Barry with practical insights into the unforgiving demands of winemaking that come with the unpredictable nature of agriculture. He and his brother-in-law who ran a bulk winemaking facility in Madera taught Barry about hands-on winemaking logistics. They also personified the “old school” principles of implied and real ethics and integrity that Barry would need to develop as a professional winemaker.

Those high standards are as important to us as using the best grapes or the best products to make our wine. No shortcuts, no excuses. Year after year we strive to build on our knowledge to make outstanding sparkling wine. We have been making Equinox for over 30 years for ourselves and for a number of other Northern California wineries who do not have the facilities to make their own. We believe that Equinox is one of the best made sparkling wines in California. We also believe this is true of our Bartolo label, a line of light to heavy Mediterranean Reds we began to make when we opened our Santa Cruz facility seven years ago. We are so proud to offer them to you with the hope that all the love for what we do is reflected in the flavor and quality in each bottle we make for your enjoyment.