Precedent Old Vine white


It’s a classic San Francisco experience - you’re leaning in towards the bone-chilling fog and wind, trying to get down some wind tunnel of a street when you finally round the corner to find…. warm, sunny, bliss. All you did was turn onto a side street, but it’s as if you entered a different city! You find yourself breathing one long sigh of relief - you might even forget where you were rushing off to!

And that’s just how I felt when I discovered this wine. I was tasting through tables and tables of different producers on a cold wintery day, trying to find the perfect wines for our spring collection and all of a sudden, there it was, springtime in a glass. With aromas of fresh-cut grass, white blossoms blooming all around, and the faintest aroma of salty ocean air in the morning fog - it’s a beautiful moment of bliss in a bottle.

This wine is pretty, it’s refreshing, and it will make you forget what you were doing before you took that first delightful sip. It’s a wine that benefits from a good chill and that doesn’t like to be open for too long before you finish it, so grab some friends, pour a few glasses, and cheers to the arrival of spring!

Pairs beautifully with:
~ Alison Roman’s Little Gems with garlicky lemon and pistachio
~ Chopped herb salad with farro
~ Sugar snap pea salad
~ Sheet pan toasts with spring vegetables and mashed peas
~ Tamarind shrimp with coconut milk
~ Pasta with ramp pesto and guanciale


Curious to learn more?


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

One of my favorite aspects of traveling abroad is food. It’s the experience of tasting regional dishes - like warm fondue in the Alps, fresh sushi in Tokyo, or the perfect street taco in Mexico City - that despite your repeated attempts to remake them at home, always taste so much better “at the source.”

Contrast that appreciation for authenticity to the world of wine, where it’s all too common for producers and consumers alike to desire wines that mimic the style and taste of “old world” wine regions like France and Italy. If you’re making Pinot Noir, then you strive for a wine to taste as similar to Burgundy as possible. Cabernet? Bordeaux. And so it goes…

But Nathan Kandler, owner and winemaker of Precedent wines, might argue that while your California Cab can certainly be good, it can’t, and it shouldn’t, be the same as a Bordeaux. California has its own soil, its own climate, and its unique history of grape varieties and farming - and the best wines from California should reflect and celebrate that.



“We’re always comparing the varieties we grow with their old-world counterparts, but while looking to the old world for inspiration you can hamper yourself. Allow the voice of each site to shine through.”

Precedent is the first solo project of Nathan, who is also the winemaker for Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz mountains. The motivation for Precedent? Finding historic California vineyards with old vines and grape varieties that may not be the trendiest (or most profitable) today, but that date back to the state’s first foray into the world of wine.



“These old head-trained forgotten varieties are California - Riesling, Chenin, Zinfandel, and Carignan. ‘Precedent’ has evolved into my exploration of these sites. I’m not geographically focused, it’s more about what’s been leftover and forgotten.”

Speaking of leftover and forgotten, this wine is a celebration of California Riesling. According to Nathan, the Wirz vineyard is “one of the most unique and amazing vineyards in all of California.” Planted in the 1960s and located at about 1000’ elevation and 25 miles east of the cool Monterey Bay, it has gnarly head-trained, dry-farmed Riesling vines (with a few other varieties spread throughout). “The first time I walked onto the property, I couldn’t believe people weren’t throwing themselves to make wine there. It’s kind of like the land that time forgot.” Farmed by Pat Wirz, a true old-school farmer, who with his family tends to the vines himself, the Wirz vineyard has become a discovered treasure trove for winemakers in the know.

It’s a noble pursuit that Nathan has taken on, and one that I find inspiring for my own life. What would it look like if we all stopped trying to emulate someone else’s work and spent our energy fulfilling our unique potential instead? Would our outputs be more successful? More interesting for sure. But rather than going down some new age rabbit hole here, I’ll just say that I’ve never been more disappointed than the time I ordered a taco in Paris and was handed a lavash wrap with smoked salmon… So long story short, skip the replicas and order escargot in Paris, tacos in Mexico City, and drink the old vine Riesling in California to taste the sunshine.



Photos of the vineyards and producer are courtesy of Precedent Wines and Nathan Kandler.