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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

David Hopkins

Winemaker Bridlewood

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Early in his career, Bridlewood® Estate Winery Winemaker David Hopkins noticed that the AVAs he was sourcing grapes from in California’s Central Coast gave him distinctly different styles of wine. Today, while many of his contemporaries focus on smaller regional designations, Hopkins broadens his vineyard selections to blend different flavors and characteristics and achieve a “house style.” He takes full advantage of the diversity of flavors and from vineyards throughout the extensive Central Coast winegrowing region to make his world-class wines.

“I get the best of the best ,” Hopkins says of his grapes, “from Upper Paso, Lower Paso, Monterey, Templeton Gap, Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, Santa Rita, Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Cat Canyon, even some nameless places 3,000 feet up in the mountains over Santa Barbara, and then I’ve got my own grapes on the Bridlewood Estate. I figured I’d search for distinct flavors and blend to the flavors rather than the name of the place”

Back at the ranch, Hopkins works on the almost 40 acres of estate Syrah vines to show “exactly what our home vineyard is capable of, the south facing hills, the limestone pebbles the size of baseballs, the complete terroir of the Bridlewood Estate itself.” He says the Syrah from his Estate vines are fuller in the mouth, round, with violets, blueberries and white chocolate, with vanilla tones from barrel aging.

“We got in about 1,500 new barrels,” Hopkins says, “everything from France, Europe, the U.S., to help support the idea of flavor-based wines, to keep the whole process of winemaking consistent with the theory of the flavors. I use oak as a backdrop to the flavors, and the oak has to change to support the differences in the wines.”

Hopkins will tell you about his personal theories of making great wine. He’ll take you right into the vineyard and tell you what he wants when he tastes grapes to “call the harvest” every year. With more than 20 vintages behind him, Hopkins still visits vineyards and winegrowers every week to taste grapes and begin to formulate his blends. And each harvest still has its surprises, or, as Hopkins observes, “it’s a vintage year every year in California, just not in every vineyard.”

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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
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7556 Trade St.
San Diego, CA  92121

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