What is Ojo Brilloso? That’s a question our Viticulturist Geoff Hall found himself asking when he joined our team in 2017. As he began learning about our estate vineyards and the talented 25 person in-house vineyard team that farms them, Geoff would often hear the team say ‘Ojo Brilloso’ (ō-hō bree-ō´-sō), which translates to ‘shiny eye’ or, loosely, ‘nice observation.’ Geoff quickly realized that it was these ‘nice observations’ made by people who were inspired and had intimate knowledge of each block of our vineyards that are truly the building blocks of Argyle’s success. Celebrating this passion, respect and dedication is what the Ojo Brilloso concept is all about. Our people.
Announcing — the 2019 Vintage Ojo Brilloso Collection!
For the second year of the Ojo Brilloso program, we highlight our three Vineyard Supervisors: Francisco Ponce, Jose Sanchez and Hector Cabrera. Each was asked to select a small Pinot Noir block in their vineyard that they recognized could be coaxed to make a wine that was reflective of their connection to the vineyard and pride in their work.
Francisco Ponce, Spirit Hill Vineyard
With Argyle since 2004
Francisco chose a parcel of Pommard clone Pinot Noir was the one of the last plantings at Spirit Hill Vineyard in 2014. Located in the southwest section of the vineyard and at 750 feet of elevation, this parcel sees consistent winds, but maintains a degree of elegance due to its deep Jory soils. Sleek and spicy, this wine was fermented with 15% of its stems showing for layered structure, dark cherry, blood orange, and savory length.
Jose Sanchez, Knudsen Vineyard
With Argyle since 2008
Jose chose a parcel this parcel of Pommard clone Pinot Noir was planted in 2008 and sits in the upper reaches of the vineyard at 850 feet. Beautifully leafed and well-positioned, this wine shows the density and elegant structure of the 2019 vintage: violets, raspberry, and spiced cinnamon are highlighted by the deep volcanic Jory soils of the Dundee Hills.
Hector Cabrera, Lone Star Vineyard
With Argyle since 2012
Hector chose a parcel of Clone 2A Pinot Noir that was planted in 2002 and sits in the South facing ‘panhandle’ of Lone Star Vineyard at an elevation of 325 feet. This block’s tiny clusters were cultivated by Hector to ensure that they were perfectly open and spaced, allowing them to soak up all of the early morning Cascade sunshine. “These blocks are my favorites. They are on a piece of land on a hill. It is a beautiful landscape. The plants are all different, but the berries and clusters are almost identical. We are able to observe the different branches, but the same fruit. I get goosebumps every time I see it. The Ojo Brilloso project is a way of reaching people and letting them know a little about our team.”
The original artwork featured on the labels was created by Eduardo Soto, who is one of the 2020 Argyle Art of Sparkling scholarship recipients. Eduardo is deeply influenced by the artwork of the Mexican Muralist Movement.
Spirit Hill, Knudsen, and Lone Star Vineyards are portrayed in Winter, Harvest and Spring seasons. Throughout these rolling hills there are many differences within the soil, sunlight, and humidity which can present themselves to the workers of this land. The communication between the workers and the earth is crucial to the practice of growing wine, an ability that is gained through wisdom and experience.
Contributions from the Ojo Brilloso program are being made to ¡Salud!, AHIVOY and The Roots Fund. In addition, Argyle will be working with Executive Directors of the AHIVOY and The Roots Fund organizations to identify opportunities for qualified participants to have access to Argyle programs and people with the underlying objective of creating more opportunity for people of color in the wine industry.