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Santa Cruz, CA


Ryan Stirm


practicing organic


Grapes Grown:

riesling, cabernet pfieffer, zinfindel, pinot noir, chardonnay

Ryan Stirm is pioneering the future of old-school California viticulture and traditional wine in the Pajaro Valley. It's our belief that authentic wine is a direct reflection of the specific patch of earth it comes from. This ethos drives us to work with the most unique and rugged vineyards found on the central coast. The fundamentals that we follow are old-school; dry-farmed, organic viticulture . We spend the majority of our time working in the vineyards, with our harvest season spent between monitoring natural fermentations to picking grapes and the overtime hours dedicated to fixing broken gear. The results are singular, authentic wines that represent a region, a site, and are a piece of living California history. Ryan has a degree in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly and has become an expert on soil science, sustainable agriculture and plant protection science. Stirm worked for Justin Willett of Tyler Winery as the assistant winemaker at both Tyler and Lieu Dit Winery. In between harvests at Tyler, Stirm traveled to work abroad in Margaret River, Western Australia and in Austria (Wachau, Weingut Tegernseerhof) before moving up north to work for the classic Santa Cruz Mountain winery Thomas Fogarty. Stirm Wine Co. is now located in southern Santa Cruz County near Watsonville. Stirm jokes that he could just give the obvious answer on he makes Riesling, because he loves it. But also because this terpene-rich grape is the most dynamic, transparent and exciting white wine grape in his view. Stirm’s focus has shifted to include historic varieties from the central coast including Cabernet Pfeffer, Zinfandel, Negrette, and Mission from the 1800’s to the newer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (since the early 1900’s) from the historic plantings.
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