Catching up With Bob Cabral
There is good reason Bob Cabral’s name is synonymous with great Pinot Noir. With decades of experience in Sonoma County, Bob’s passion, experience and the following for his work with the varietal is second to none.
A lucky few of you have had the opportunity to meet Bob, who joined the Three Sticks team as Director of Winemaking back in January 2015. Before coming to Three Sticks, Bob spent 17 years at the helm of the formidable pinot powerhouse, Williams Selyem. After what can only be called reaching near-perfection with the Williams Selyem portfolio, he was itching for a new challenge and looking to get back out into the vineyards, getting his hands dirty in the grape growing and winemaking process.
"Williams Selyem was an amazing experience," Bob said fondly. "But I had taken that position as far as it could go, and I found myself looking for a new challenge."
Luckily, this is when he received a call from our founder and proprietor, Bill Price. The two sat down for dinner and tasted through an impressive swath of amazing wines, enjoying their shared passion for the process. It was pretty clear from the start that Three Sticks would be a good fit for Bob's next adventure in wine.
Since Bob joined us, he has gotten his wish to be out in the vineyards - a LOT more. "I'd say since I started I've actually spent more time in the vineyards than I have in the cellar," Bob shared.
When Bob arrived on the scene, the 2014 wines were just finishing malolactic, and the 2013s had not yet been blended & bottled. Fortunately, he had the help of his right hand man and our new Winemaker, Ryan Prichard, who arrived in the cellar the same week as Bob. "Ryan and I got to know the Three Sticks wines by working hands-on in blending the 2013s. It was a great way to get to know how these wines had come to be and how they express their vineyard site and reflect the vintage, while having the opportunity to put my own imprint on the final blend."
Bob has since seamlessly integrated his signature style into the Three Sticks winemaking program from berry to bottle, making subtle changes to the nuance, timing, and sequence of the process to further refine how we capture our estate vineyards in the glass.
"Gap's Crown is such an iconic vineyard," Bob said. "Just 15 years ago people would have said this site was too cold to grow Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. But now, we see how this amazing fruit reflects the soils found on that side of the valley. I have already found a few blocks I'd like to keep for Three Sticks wines, and I'm excited to see what these vines will give us at harvest time."
Before joining the Three Sticks team, Bob hadn't worked with our estate vineyard, Durell, but he knew it by reputation:
"I've tasted a lot of wines from Durell over the years so I was incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with it. This site has such a unique personality in each individual block, it's hard to believe all the wines are from the same vineyard. I'm looking forward to getting to know the blocks that have long been included in Three Sticks wines... and I have my eye on a few additional cooler Pinot blocks, as well as a Chardonnay block with Wente clones.”
Now with six years under his belt at Three Sticks, Bob has instilled his philosophy of sourcing and farming the best fruit possible with minimal intervention in the cellar and the beauty of these wines speak for themselves. Join our mailing list to gain first access to Bob’s latest chardonnays and pinot noirs.