Vintner Profiles is a post series that puts a spotlight on one of our East Bay Vintner Alliance winemaker members.
About Irish Monkey Cellars:
Irish Monkey Cellars is the brainchild of winemaker Bob Lynch who began monkeying around with the fruit of the vine in 1996. A visit to his winery is to enjoy the good life and the company of true wine enthusiasts
In California we are blessed with a great variety of microclimates, each capable of producing grapes of extraordinary quality and style. Irish Monkey seeks out these extraordinary vineyards with their unique microclimates, and working closely with the winegrower, strive to optimize the fullest potential of each property. From the heart of the Napa, Sonoma, to the Alexander Valley and Lodi, each vineyard that Robert Lynch, the vintner, purchases grapes from is blessed with a unique terroir.
To showcase the efforts of the wine grower, Irish Monkey strives to produce wines that exhibit wonderful balance. Irish Monkey wines are often referred to as having an Old World elegance and sophistication. Irish Monkey Cellar’s style of wine making is to emphasize the fruit and employ vilification techniques that will capture and accentuate the fruit expression unique to each vineyard. Along with fruit, balance is vitally important, and at Irish Monkey they strive to find the quintessential balance between fruit, acid, oak and tannin, in producing their wines.
About the wine:
The Irish Monkey Cellars style of wine is fruit forward, moderate oak, varietal character in abundance, and the full body, flinty, and earthy aroma of handcrafted grapes underlying the palate.
Their winery in Oakland produces red and white wines of the highest quality. Their white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. Our red wines include Sangiovese, SyrBec (a originally created and trademarked variety), MerBec, Merlot, Syrah, Primitivo, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, and Touriga Nacional. They are known for producing wines that have fruit-forward style, moderate oak, varietal character and the good, flinty, and earthy aromas of hand-pressed grapes. Wine tasting at their winery is held every Saturdays and Sundays.
Most everyone asks, “Why Irish Monkey?” Wine maker Bob Lynch, one with Irish ancestry, began monkeying around with the fruit of the vine in 1996, having successfully made dozens of competition-winning beers with friends. There was an appeal to make wine that benefits the patient soul: when wine is left relatively undisturbed (yet attended to) for length of time, it improves markedly. And so it was.
For his first production he thought “Not so bad”. He had read dozens of books, studied the world’s winemaking techniques, and with all that knowledge he determined he had a better way of making wine. He realized and admits now that it wasn’t. It was his first lesson in humility (but not the last) taught to him by the venerable grape and the world’s mystic practitioners. In 1996 he first 150 pounds of grapes were made into wine. By 2002, the winery grew to more than 4,000 lbs. of grapes for production. To Bob there is no truer statement than “80% of a good wine is due to the grapes and 80% of the bad wine is due to the winemaker”. It seems worrying and always working with a mind to those two 80% factors results in wines from Bob that result fine bottles from Irish Monkey Cellars for nearly 20 years.
Public Tasting Room Hours:
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: 12:00PM – 5:00PM