LIOCO was built on an idea that might seem obvious: it should be possible to make wines that are both terroir-driven and yet still highlight the brilliant California fruit that everyone knows and loves. On the surface, this seems like a simple proposition, but it’s muddled up by endless complications. The vineyards need to be in the right climate, with the right vines, and have the right owners. The winemaker needs to resist the urge to mess with the wines, despite years of training and education that stress the need to manipulate. And the winery’s total production needs to be kept at a manageable level, so that the necessary focus can be given to each individual parcel and barrel.

It sounds simple, but bringing those competing factors into harmony is a delicate balancing act, economically, technically and logistically. And yet LIOCO has managed to pull it off year after year since Matt Licklider and Kevin O’Connor joined forces (and names: LI + O’CO) to produce their first wines from the 2006 vintage. Along with winemaker John Raytek, Licklider (a veteran in the wine import and distribution trade) and O’Connor (sommelier at Spago) continue to produce wines that are focused and graceful, and convey a distinct sense of place, while at the same time delivering undeniably Californian fruit and pure deliciousness.

Wines:

LIOCO Sonoma County Chardonnay

LIOCO Estero Russian River Valley Chardonnay

LIOCO Laguna Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

LIOCO Indica Mendocino

LIOCO Indica Rosé Mendocino

LIOCO Sativa Old Vine Carignan

LIOCO Sativa Old Vine Carignan

LIOCO Michaud Vineyard Pinot Noir

LIOCO La Marisma Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

LIOCO Hanzell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

LIOCO Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

LIOCO Saveria Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

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