Like many winemakers, Ed Kurtzman crafts wine under his own label as well as his major label employer
(Freeman). Ed is a laid-back guy who has had extensive winemaking experience including
stints at Bernardus, Chalone and Testarossa. His interest in wine began as an undergraduate at the
University of Massachusetts in the late 1980s, when he worked at a large wine shop. He subsequently
moved to California and worked as a wine wholesaler, but realizing his calling, enrolled in the enology
program at Fresno State University. In 2003, Ed joined Freeman Vineyards & Winery to pursue his interest
in handcrafting cool climate varietals.
August West is a partnership between winegrower Gary
Franscioni (Garys’ Vneyard, Rosella’s Vineyard and ROAR
Wines), winegrower Howard Graham (Graham Family vineyard),
and Ed that began in 2003. The name, August West, is
derived from the Grateful Dead’s song, Wharfrat, in which the
lyrics rhapsodize about August West who is down and out and
drinks a lot of Burgundy. Two vineyard-designate Pinot Noirs
are produced from Rosella’s Vineyard and Graham Family
Vineyard, as well as a Chardonnay and Syrah. The wines are
crafted in a similar style to the Freeman wines and using 40%
new French oak.
August West wines are sold to an allocation list and through limited retail channels. The website is
www.augustwest.com. Syrah and Chardonnay are also available.