My mission is to recreate the great wines of Livermore’s past for our time. When I founded Occasio in 2008, I thought this would be easy. I only needed to supply the talent, and our fabled terroir would do the rest.
But, I was wrong. Although much, indeed, is owed to our terroir, I was to discover that the wines of our past were special because they were made slowly. Our valley’s early winemakers were traditionalists, and understood the fundamental formula for producing great wine:
TIME = FLAVOR
Flavor requires time to develop. Time is why that artisanal loaf of bread, kneaded by hand, and leavened with a fermented sponge starter tastes, for many, better than mass-produced bread. Time is why a traditionally cured ham is more flavorful than a brine injected ham. And, time is the secret behind the great wines of Livermore’s early years. Is it any wonder, then, that our logo is the Pocket Watch? Give our watch a close inspection and observe that its mechanism is built from traditional winemaking tools. This is to signify that it is the act of winemaking that governs time at our winery.
Time defines the wines of Occasio. Pass through our cellar door into the winery proper and you will notice we aren’t stacked floor to ceiling with barrels moving in and out throughout the day. Instead, you will see that our production is limited so that we can take our time with each step in the winemaking process. Time moves slowly here; once filled, our barrels remain motionless until racking, letting gravity and time do the work of chemicals, filters, and centrifuges.
Notice our press, sized in proportion to our production needs. Not so small that we must hurry to run multiple press loads, yet not so large that we cannot control the pressure with precision. Notice also our bottling line, a state-of-the-art instrument that allows us to bottle according to the wine’s calendar, and not the calendar of a bottling company.
At Occasio, our integration of modern technology with traditional winemaking practices allows time for the wines to develop naturally, letting the purity of our Livermore fruit stand out. It is the age-old formula, time equals flavor, that defines winemaking here. And I know our wines are the better for it.