Birichino was founded 2008 by two friends, Alex Krause and John Locke, both winemakers who met whilst working at the Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, California. Between them they have four decades of wine-making experience under their belt, not only in California, but in France and Italy too, and even India! Birichino are also based in Santa Cruz, but do not own any vineyards themselves – the grapes for their wines are sourced from a number of family-owned vineyards with ungrafted vines that were in the main planted in the 19th and early 20th century and, on the whole, are located in moderate ocean-influenced sites. They hand-harvest and hand-sort all their fruit, and take a minimal intervention approach promoting native yeast fermentations, minimal racking and fining, avoid filtration where possible and if oak is seen at all it is from neutral old barriques and demi-muids. Their emphasis on old vineyards yields some extraordinary vines - Cinsault in the Bechthold vineyard was planted in 1886; these are the oldest Cinsault vines in the world! The Enz vineyard has centenarian Mourvèdre and the Besson vineyard centenarian Zinfandel and Grenache. In the Oasis vineyard there are some Malvasia vines that were planted in the early 20th century that were brought over from Calabria in the south of Italy. The great diversity of soils, climates and the quality of fruit provided by such a variety of vineyards provides the ingredients for Bichino's astonishing portfolio of wines that, given the grapes pedigree, are outstanding value for money. Alex and John named their enterprise Birichino because they shared a passion for perfumed, elegant but rather mischievous wines, and Birichino is Italian for “mischievous”!