After years of seeing the potential of SoCal wine making, San Diego sommelier Mark Valin partnered with the Loosen Family in De Luz, California to identify unique sites dotted along the South Coast. Emphasizing the harmony of attentive farming practices, deliberate varieties and amenable terroir, this new project has plantings at high elevations, along coastal ridges in unique soils.
Situated in the mountains West of Temecula, the principal vineyard sits at 1,500 feet along the Southern face of the Santa Rosa Plateau. This distinct geological formation is composed of various volcanic soils such as Scoria, Pumice, Granite, Basalt & Gabbro. The eroding cliff face creates a wonderful admixture of metamorphic rock, sand and DG. In order to enhance the soil of this geological upheaval, Loosen Family Farms has turned to composting nearly every organic input on the ranch. Cover crops of red clover and alfalfa are used to enrich the soil and retain the water table. Goats, horses, pigeons, chickens and pigs are used to maintain their extensive composting regimen.
In addition to organic grapes, Loosen Farms & Made by Light have an extensive certified organic avocado grove. Between the maritime influence, breathtaking landscape and holistic approach to farming, Made by Light’s 30 acres of Rhone & Sicilian varieties have real promise to put Southern California wine growing on the map.