About This Winery
Just off rural Highway 227 near the miniscule township of Edna is a straw-bale winery building that houses the unique Alsatian wines of Claiborne & Churchill.
The 16-inch-thick walls, made of rice straw encased with plaster, help maintain a constant cellar temperature for their dry-style Rieslings and Gewürztraminers. Winemaker Clay (Claiborne) Thompson and his wife Fredericka Churchill left academic life in 1981 and switched from being “old Norse and German language scholars” to becoming Edna Valley winemakers.
Entering the property, you notice a large oval 2,000-gallon oak wine barrel that shades a few picnic tables, as well as the vines of their small demonstration vineyard. A newly planted vineyard flourishes behind the winery. Once inside the building you discover that you are in the very midst of the wine-making, with stainless steel fermenting tanks and oak barrels all within arms’ reach of the tasting bar. A few wine accessory items are for sale, including attractive bottle bags, biscotti and dipping oils. A couple of European “throne” chairs along with large brass rubbings of sinister-looking Nordic knights complete the eclectic nature of the place.
Claiborne and Churchill’s grapes are sourced from the local area; the wines are made using traditional European methods, including barrel-aging and fermentation of even the Rieslings and Gewürztraminers. The winery also produces small lots of Pinot Gris, Dry and Sweet Muscat, and an Edelzwicker. A Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, dry rosé and a sparkling wine round out the offerings of this unusual and interesting winery.↑ Less
Winery InformationHours: Open 11-5 daily
Fees: Tasting fee is $5, credited to purchase
Price Range: $12 to $20 per bottle
Vineyards: 3 acres
Production: 10,000 cases
Discounts: 5% discount on 6-11 bottles, 10% on case purchase
Unique Amenities: Straw-Bale winery building
Winery URL: http://www.claibornechurchill.com/
- "Green" Technology
- Casual & Relaxed
- Family Run
- Kid Friendly
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir