Deciderio Hernandez

Born and raised in Chupicaro Mexico, Deciderio Hernandez grew up with big dreams and aspirations.  A sugar cane worker by the age of 14, he labored long hours chopping and processing cane in the state of Morelos.  In 1968, Deciderio immigrated to the United States in search of better opportunities.  For the first four years, he worked as a day laborer, harvesting cucumbers and peppers, and later processing them in a pickling plant.  In 1972, the opportunity arose for Deciderio to move to San Benito and start working for Joe Mattos of the San Benito County Cattle Ranch.  His job was breaking young foals and making them saddle ready, a dangerous occupation that led to many broken bones and injuries.  Still, he was happy being in the pastures and working with animals.  The better pay enabled Deciderio to bring his wife Maricela over from Mexico in 1973 while she was pregnant with their first child, Joseph.  By 1977, he was able to afford his very first cow.  Over the next thirty years Deciderio grew his herd from one to 200 cows, all while managing herds of up to 4,000 heads of cattle at a time. Deciderio has worked on Spur Ranch since 1974.  In 2002, The Hernandez family was offered the opportunity to plant eight acres of Cabernet and Syrah on Spur Ranch, and these plantings have since grown to 15 acres.  Spur Ranch is situated on a steep slope at nearly 1000 feet above sea level on chalky, limestone soils – a rarity in California.  In 2012, the Hernandez family decided to start their own label using their estate fruit.  With the help of consulting winemaker Ian Brand (P’tit Paysan, La Marea), they bottled small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah in 2014.  With Dedicerio’s son Benny Hernandez at the helm, there are plans to plant new vineyards and grow production.
“My father, Deciderio, first crossed the border in the sixties to find work. He was eventually able to bring our family to California. We grew up on a ranch in the Gabilan Mountains, working at his side with the livestock and in the vineyards. We make these wines in tribute to the land that has allowed our family to thrive.” – Benny Hernandez, Winegrower

Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. Sourced from a block of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the late fifties near the dry San Benito riverbed. Planted on the much reviled (in Napa), classic AXR-1 rootstock in rocky alluvial deposits on the colder edge of Cabernet’s comfort zone, this block was thankfully off the radar of the many modern Cab producers who wanted high Brix and early ripening. Hand-harvested, whole berry fermentation, 3-5 day cold soak, 20 day maceration. Aged 18 months in 15% new French oak.

Cabernet Sauvignon San Benito

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. 96% Cabernet & 4% Petit Verdot. Soils- limestone mixed with clay. Sourced primarily from the Hernandez’s 8-acre estate vineyard deep in the southern foothills of the Gabilan Mountains, the 2015 Deciderio Hernandez Cabernet Sauvignon shows the tension of the vintage, the fourth of the historic drought. Picked in three lots, fermented whole-berry in open top tanks and aged in older casks for 10 months on lees. Racked for bottling, unfined and unfiltered. 1500 cs produced.

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