Larkspur sommelier heads to the vineyards |

Larkspur sommelier heads to the vineyards

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyLarkspur sommelier Kevin Furtado combs through grapes during a harvest in California. Furtado is heading back to Santa Barbara County this week to spend three months making wine.

VAIL, Colorado ” Larkspur sommelier Kevin Furtado will be heading to wine country this week to push up his sleeves and immerse himself in the annual harvest. This will be his third year moving to Santa Barbara County, Calif., in September to get to the roots of winemaking.

Through friends, Furtado had the good fortune to meet the owner of Cuatro Vientos vineyards, a six-acre vineyard where syrah and viognier grapes are grown. “Cuatro Vientos” means four winds and describes the climate of its location in Los Olivas. Furtado has lived on the property during each of his winemaking stints.

“That’s where the romance ends,” Furtado said, laughing. “The truth is, wine-making is agriculture. It’s long hours and hard physical labor.”

Once the grapes are harvested, smaller vineyard owners either sell their grapes or make wine within a co-op.

The co-op is a custom crush facility for small wineries that don’t own their production equipment ” fermenters, a bottling line, barrel storage, crush pads, filters and a variety of other specialized tools. Some of the wineries that share the facilities at Central Coast Wine Source include Red Car, Bonnacorsi, The Hitching Post (made famous in the movie Sideways), Arcadian, Point Concepcion, Lane Turner and several others. Furtado has learned so much from watching and helping these winemakers with their operations, he said.

Furtado’s efforts will come to fruition this spring with the release of his first vintage ” a 2007 Syrah. The grapes were sourced from Alisos and McGinely Vineyard and the wine was made at Central Coast Wine Source under the tutelage of Seth Kunin.

“We are all striving toward the same goal of development of a great tasting wine and pride in the endeavor,” Furtado said.

As a test run, Furtado made a rose of Syrah and entered it into the Orange County Fair this past June. The rose won the gold medal in the amateur competition. When the Syrah is released it will be available on Larkspur’s wine list next summer and also in local wine shops. You can e-mail for more information.

For more information about Larkspur, visit

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