Steve Rogstad - Cuvaison On Wednesday, May 1, 2024, we had the opportunity to meet and interview Steve Rogstad. Steve is the winemaker for Cuvaison. We covered his 2022 vintage wines. There were two Sauvignon Blancs, two Chardonnay’s and three Pinot Noirs. Check out what we learned from and about Steve.

Before we get to the wines, I thought I would share some tidbits that Steve shared in the interview.

  • Steve was born and raised in North Dakota.
  • He studied literature in college.
  • He fell in love with wine while traveling abroad and living above a wine shop in Paris.
  • Steve was in the masters of enology and viticulture program at UC Davis.
  • While in college, Steve worked at La Crema, where he gained invaluable hands-on experience making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with legendary winemaker Dan Goldfield of Dutton Goldfield!
  • After college Steve started at Saintsbury in his first full-time job.
  • He eventually was named the assistant winemaker at Rombauer. In that role he met a lot of influential people. Including Tony Soter, Mia Kline, and Ted Lemon.
  • Steve also worked for two years at Spring Mountain winery before Ted Lemon recruited him to Clos Pegase. He was the winemaker there for 6 years.
  • Steve started at Cuvaison in 2002 and has been the winemaker ever since.
  • Cuvaison was founded in 1969 by a couple of engineers.
  • From 1979, the winery started on its current path.
  • Cuvaison was one of the first wineries to pick at night. This was due to “delivery issues.”
  • Steve started the Sauvignon Blanc program at Cuivaison.
  • Their sister winery is on Mt. Veeder. Steve says the 2021 Brandlin’s red are in bottle and they are big wines! We cannot wait to cover them!
  • He was influenced by Hyde Vineyard across the street.
  • Their Chard vineyard neighbors are Red Shoulder Ranch, Hyde, and Hudson. Not bad company!!
  • They did a major replanting from 2015-2018. They started pulling from these plantings in 2021.
  • There are 12 clones in the “Estate” Pinot Noir
  • Their new winery was focused on making Pinot Noir.
  • “Micro Lots” are the winemakers’ projects. They are R&D wines to learn from for the future.
  • “Small Lots” are the scale ups of the “Micro Lots.”
  • Finally, an interesting tidbit. One benefit of using whole clusters is that the stems absorb some of the alcohol.

Below is a summary of the wine offerings from Cuivason that we covered with Steve. The links below are to our full reviews. If you are interested in ordering and trying these wines, you will find some of these wines via your favorite fine wine shop or on top quality wine lists. You can also purchase these wines directly from their website.

cuvaison Logo

  1. Cuvaison 2022 Sauvignon Blanc “Estate” $28 (KWGTP 92)
  2. Cuvaison 2022 Sauvignon Blanc “Small Lot Méthode Béton” $50 (KWGTP 93.5)
  3. Cuvaison 2022 Chardonnay “Estate” (Los Carneros) $35 (KWGTP 92)
  4. Cuvaison 2022 Chardonnay “Small Lot Kite Tail” $70 (KWGTP 92.5)
  5. Cuvaison 2022 Pinot Noir “Estate” $45 (KWGTP 93)
  6. Cuvaison 2022 Pinot Noir “Small Lot Spire” (Los Carneros) $80 (KWGTP 94)
  7. Cuvaison 2022 Pinot Noir “Micro Lot 90.1” (Los Carneros) $80 (KWGTP 93)

You can find reviews of past and future wines of the Cuvaison portfolio that we cover on their KWG winery page on our website.

Also be sure to check out their sister winery. – Brandlin Estates.

We interviewed the Brandlin winemaker Rebecca George back in March 2023. She works very closely with Steve.

We hope you enjoy these terrific wines as much as we did. Cheers! – Ken

By Ken

Ken launched KensWineGuide.com in November 2006.

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