It’s clearly a blessing for winemakers who love exploring the edges, as Channing Daughters’ Chris Tracy does. Muscat, Lagrein, Dornfelder, Ribolla Gialla, Refosco, Malvasia… they’re all fodder for his investigations. Tracy is a hyper-articulate advocate for the sort of inspired mad-genius winemaking made famous by Randall Graham, at Bonny Doon of Santa Cruz, California. Tracy’s interest is “in pushing the envelope for what’s possible in our region.” Experimenting with varieties and styles is paramount in this.
“Aliveness, minerality, texture are super exciting,“ he enthuses, and these are precisely the elements so thrillingly at play in his wines. He is as much an experimenter with technique as with variety. He was way ahead of the curve on skin-contact wines and lately he’s gone full throttle on pet-nats, with 10 different traditional method bottlings made in the 2016 vintage alone. Now you’ll find them infiltrating by-the-glass pairings at more than one top New York restaurant.