Little Wings wines are produced by Ian Brand in his Salinas, CA facility, just east of the Monterey Bay. As of Fall 2021 we produce two wines: our flagship single-vineyard Syrah, and our Central Coast rosé. 

The following excerpt from Ian’s website succinctly summarizes his approach and what you can expect from these wines: 

 

  We are not in “wine country” nor do we have trophy wineries. This is farm land, desolate hills, and solitude. What we do is simple, without artifice, and we enjoy it. 

 

All the fruit that goes into our wines is either organically, or at the very least, responsibly, and sustainably farmed. Ian takes environmental and sustainability issues very seriously and reflects this priority with his vineyard management and winemaking practices. 

2019 Little Wings Syrah, Rodnick Farm, Chalone AVA 

In its fifth vintage, our cool-climate, traditionally-styled Syrah has really taken on a personality of its own. Picked in early-September, half of the fruit was fermented whole cluster before spending 19 months in neutral French Oak barrels. Being joined by 8% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre in the final blend truly rounds out this balanced, terroir-driven, bright Syrah. Shy at first, the wine blossoms with air and explodes with violets, plums, cracked pepper, raspberries, and salinity from the Monterey-Bay breeze. On the palate the wine is fresh, delicate, but present – there’s notable weight with great acidity. Drinking beautifully with some time in the glass, this wine will evolve beautifully for decades to come. For the first time, magnums will be offered for sale. Total production is 72 cases, including 60 magnum bottles. 

2020 Little Pink Moonbeams Rosé (Sold Out)

Returning for its third vintage, the 2020 Little Pink Moonbeams rose has become an important member of the family. Even more Mourvèdre went into the 2020 bottling at a stout 75%, followed by 18% Grenache and 7% Cinsault. This bright, refreshing, fruit-forward Central Coast rosé is packed with a nose of watermelon, strawberries, and hints of white pepper. The palate is a light, mineral-driven wine with predominantly candied fruits and a gorgeous long finish. Take it with you everywhere. 

2019 Little Pink Moonbeams Rosé (Sold Out)

Little Pink Moonbeams was such a hit, we had to bring it back for 2019. This time the base was predominantly Mourvèdre, coupled with grenache and a dollop of cinsault. The Mourvèdre from comes from two vineyards, one in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Gilroy (rocky, alluvial soils), the other is Spur Ranch in San Benito (limestone). The Grenache is from Arroyo Seco (granite), as is the Cinsault. Monterey/San Benito/Santa Clara Counties. Truly Provencal in style, this wine begs to join you at the park, by the pool or lake, our on the patio. Quickly becoming one of our favorites. 

2019 Little Wings Stardust Chardonnay, Monterey, Central Coast (Sold Out)

In 2020 we released a small lot of Old Vine 2019 Monterey Chardonnay as a bit of a pilot project. The old vine (about 35-years old) Chardonnay was pressed whole cluster with only half of the juice seeing neutral (used) oak barrels while the other half went straight into stainless steel tanks. The result is an intense, laser-focused, aromatic chardonnay with loads of minerality. Stardust turned out to be a more “serious” wine than we anticipated, and truly drinks above its weight. We’re looking into ways of making this a long term project, as it truly over-delivered. 

2018 Little Wings Syrah, Rodnick Farm, Chalone AVA

2018 marked what Ian considers a perfect growing season: cool, sunny, stable temperatures with minimal spikes, and just a little bit of rain at all the right moments. Our little organically-farmed 2.6 acre plot received a nice summer breeze from Monterey Bay, and it further benefited from the cool microclimate of our relatively elevated site, which was balanced by the warmth of its northwestern exposure. We harvested on August 31st, fermentation was mostly destemmed with about a quarter of the fruit going in whole cluster. The Syrah spent 18 months in used French Oak barrels prior to being released in Fall 2020. The 2018 Syrah is the most structured and dense Little Wings to date and should age extremely well; but don't be afraid to open one now with just a little bit of time in a decanter (or big pitcher, whatever).

2018 Little Pink Moonbeams Rosé (Sold Out)

After putting our third red wine into production, we were thrilled when we had the opportunity to bottle a Rosé for 2019! Made from Grenache and Mourvédre grown in Spur Ranch's limestone-rich clays and Grenache and Cinsault from the granitic bluffs above the Arroyo Seco River, the wine sings with bright natural acidity, and incredible freshness. The wine was bottled in late 2018 and sold to our list in 2019

2017 Little Wings Syrah, Rodnick Farm, Chalone AVA (Sold Out)

In 2017, the famed Antle Vineyard changed hands and was purchased by the Rodnick Family. The Rudnick’s are known for their earth-focused farming practices, keeping irrigation to a minimum, and applying common biodynamic farming practices. We’re very excited by the vision they bring, and how well it jives with Ian’s beliefs and style. 2017 was a very warm vintage, marked by a heat spike as we approached harvest. Remember the fires in 2017? Luckily, our fruit came in before it could be affected by these fires, but the same conditions that caused the fires (dry, hot, windy, etc.) shine through in the wine. These conditions resulted in the ripest Little Wings vintage to date. Ian has done a wonderful job of bringing out the beautiful character of this wine, and I’m excited to see everyone’s response to it as I expect it will be one of the most crowd-pleasing vintages of Little Wings. The wine was blended with a dollop of pretty Grenache prior to being bottled in April of 2019. It’s riper than our two previous vintages, but it tells an honest story of the vintage and is a truly bright wine. Alcohol is an even 14%, and 80 cases were produced.

2016 Little Wings Syrah, Antle Vineyard, Chalone AVA (Sold Out)

The 2016 vintage was what Ian refers to as “typical for the past 5 years in Salinas” – meaning it’s been warmer than usual, and it hasn’t really rained much. Ian was a bit creative with the 2016 vintage, deciding to harvest about half the crop a few weeks early and ferment it using carbonic maceration – a centuries-old technique designed to bring about low-alcohol, light, fruity, enjoyable wines. The remainder of the crop was harvested in mid-August, with the fruit more fully-ripened. Most of this fruit was fermented whole-cluster, and the two harvests aged independently for the better part of a year in used French oak barrels. The two lots were then blended and aged a further 6 months in those same barrels. The wine was bottled on March 20th, 2018 after a little over 18 months in barrel. The harvest produced 74 cases, with a nice, low, balanced 12% abv. The 2016 is a very approachable, classically-styled, fruit-driven wine that drinks more vibrantly than the 2015 and is very reminiscent of a femininely-styled wine from St. Joseph.

2015 Little Wings Syrah, Antle Vineyard, Chalone AVA (Sold Out)

In August 2015, we harvested just over one ton of Syrah from the Chalone AVA's Antle Vineyard, a cool-climate limestone vineyard with some nice elevation, overlooking Monterey Bay. The vineyard is organically farmed and masterly managed by Bill Brosseau. Half of the fruit went into fermentation whole cluster and the other half, whole berry. After a three-week maceration, the wine was pressed. It settled for a day and Ian moved it to a used French oak barrel (yes, just one-- and some went into a keg). Total production is 57 cases, and alcohol came in at 13.3%. The wine was racked before being bottled on February 14th, 2017 (Happy Valentine's Day!), after 17 months in barrel.