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Bedford Winery

Bedford Winery There is a reverence for the past in Stephan Bedford and it is evident in the wines he makes. He strives for the best expression of each varietal through hands-on, time-honored techniques, being cautious of passing trends, but allowing for effective innovations. His wines make a confident statement of bold flavors and deep concentration, yet with an underlying refinement.


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9303 Alisos Canyon Road, Los Alamos, CA, US, 93440 Email:
Phone: 805-344-2107 Web:
Fax: 805-344-2047
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  Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc, the parent variety of the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon, has better success in cooler soils. It is usually not as rich as its off-spring and in Bordeaux, used as a blending component for its raspberry-like fruit and leafy, floral components. In Santa Barbara County, Cabernet Franc takes on a richer, deeper, more complex personality than many other winegrowing regions worldwide. With our longer growing season, the extra hang time on the vines allows the grapes to develop additional dimensions. The south facing, steep slopes in the hills of the Los Alamos Valley means excellent sun exposure and drainage for complete ripening and best possible flavors. Though he is able to blend up to 25% and still have the varietal name on the label, winemaker Stephan Bedford prefers to extol the true expression of the varietal from a single source and all the attributes assigned to it, by allowing these wines to be entirely Cabernet Franc. At 100 percent Cabernet Franc, the wine is intense with immense fruit reminiscent of ripe blackberries, blueberries and spice supported by a toasty vanilla component from approximately 20 months barrel age, 33% percent new French oak. It has a supple, full body and a rich, lingering, elegant finish.
This rich, full-blown Chardonnay doesn't hold back. Abundant tropical fruit flavors and voluptuous texture are typical of Chardonnay from the Los Alamos wine region, and we embrace it. The 2002 harkens back to our 2000 vintage that scored 90 points in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. The wine shows the flavors of quince, pineapple, lemon, coconut, butter and mineral tones. A complete barrel fermentation (38% new French oak) and malolactic fermentation gives rise to a creamy texture, flavors that are expansive, and a long finish. Nine months in French oak provides a toasty vanilla component.
Particularly when made dry, this varietal needs meticulous farming to access the complete range of flavors. That means the finest quality grapes are not inexpensive. Alisos Vineyard insists on growing a distinctive Gewürztraminer and we would not have it any other way. Low yields in the hilly terrain provide intense fruit of exemplary character. We applaud them for doing the right thing. The wine, produced in the Alsatian style, showcases the juxtaposition of elegance and bold fruit flavors we prefer. Though bone dry, the high volume of exotic fruit character suggests otherwise. Generous, classic flavors of lychee nut, jasmine and pear along with mineral notes are backed by bright acidity. The wine was barrel fermented and aged nine months in seasoned French oak barrels adding another dimension that enriches the palate and lengthens the finish.
Usually blended with other Rhone varieties in France, the generous upfront fruit character and complex layering of flavors from the Thompson Vineyatd earns this varietal its own bottling every year. We consistently produce an uncharacteristically well concentrated, rich, ruby red Grenache. The 2000 vintage was an exceptional year for the Thompson Vineyard. Cold soaking the fruit for 36 hours along with a 14 day, open top fermentation expanded the extraction. An 18 month stay in French oak barrels, 25 percent new, toned the fruit character creating a wine of strength and grace. It is very aromatic with a fragrant, spicy nose of ripe raspberries, plums, candied dark cherries, clove, rose hip, mint tea, and an earthy peatiness that carries through to the palate. A mosaic of tannins supports the lively fruit and creates a supple, full body and lingering finish. Serve with herb crusted roast lamb, stuffed pork chops, wild game, or even an oak grilled, medium-rare hamburger.
Seldom seen as a varietal on its own, the Thompson Vineyard produces a Mourvedre so good, it deserves its own bottling. In 2000, it was one of the stars of the vintage. We gave the wine all the care needed to maximize its best attributes. Harvested on October 28th, we cold soaked the fruit for 24 hours prior to an open top fermentation for 28 days. During this time we employed “delestage”, a procedure by which red grape juice must is pumped over to promote aeration for a uniform fermentation. It is also known as “pump-over” or “rack-and-return”. The process deconstructs the fruit to eventually construct a wine that optimizes the aromatics, flavor and texture. When fermentation was complete, the Mourvedre was put to barrel for 18 months, 25% new oak. Dark, opaque and dense, the rich black currant, plum fruit character is enhanced by a spicy, clove fragrance and an intriguing forest scent. Perhaps its finest feature is the incredible texture with silky tannins unfolding delicious flavors.
  Petite Sirah
Our Petite Sirah has a dedicated following and this wine will only increase the numbers. Those who enjoy blockbuster fruit with dense concentration and inky, purple color are in for a treat. This wine is HUGE, but it is also balanced. The cool climate of the Los Alamos Valley allows for a longer hang time than other wine regions, and consequently this variety takes on a greater depth and refinement than when grown in a warmer climate. After a long, cool growing season, the grapes were harvested mid-November, at the tail end of the season when there were barely any leaves on the vine. A variety that easily produces, we kept it at three tons an acre to ensure complexity and intensity. The delestage method was employed with extended maceration and open-top fermentation completing in 31 days. The wine was then transferred into a combination of French and American oak barrels, 28% new, for 18 months aging. Our Petite Sirah has a deep, dark color and exudes aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries and plums with balanced notes of allspice and clove. Its outright inky, rich, complex, amazingly intense fruit character is not for the faint of heart. If you can resist the temptation to open it, further aging is recommended. Production is extremely limited. Serve with lamb, filet mignon, cassoulet, and other hearty dishes.
  Pinot Gris
The Italian rendition of Pinot Gris (Grigio) is a light, racy wine meant for summer picnics and uncomplicated meals. The Alsatians take it up a notch increasing complexity while retaining the varietal’s fresh fruit character. These wines seem to be more inspiring, contributing other flavor dimensions that complement their amazing, regional cuisine. It’s a style Stephan finds intriguing and leans toward, although his wine may be even more pensive. The key is balance. We prefer to accent the fruitiness by barrel fermenting in seasoned oak barrels and completing malolactic fermentation. This increases the richness in the palate without the oak being overbearing. Flavors of pear and intoxicating melon are judiciously backed by ginger accents achieved through barrel fermentation and extended lees contact. Eight months barrel aging enhances but does not overwhelm the multifaceted character. It is a dry, elegant white that is quite versatile.
We are most fortunate to have had great Syrah to deal with from the first harvest in 1994. Once again the Syrah comes entirely from the Thompson Vineyard in Los Alamos. The south facing hillside location along with low tonnage produced grapes of excellent concentration, robust, dark crimson color, and equally rich flavors. We used our usual protocol for reds: cold soaked the fruit for 24 hours prior to an open top fermentation for 28 days, and employed “delestage”, a process that aerates the red grape juice must, which in turn, optimizes the aromatics, flavor and texture. The Syrah was put to barrel to age for 20 months, 25% new oak. The wine is intense with a generous fruit character suggesting blackberry, mulberry, and Oriental spices. Its rich, lush quality, smoky, berry bouquet is joined on the palate by a touch of to asty oak. This big, juicy wine is well matched with red meats and any hearty cuisine.


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