Everybody likes a story

  

 

    

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. In a little east bay suburban town, at least at the time it was a little suburban town, called San Ramon. My parents were wine drinkers and connoisseurs, so wine was a staple in our home. I have many memories of visiting wineries in Napa and Sonoma as a boy with my parents when things were a little "looser" and the crowds were a little sparser. Back when we could run and play amongst the barrels and tanks and the person pouring for you was probably the winemaker. The smell of the cellar was imprinted on my brain.

 

Fast forward a bunch of years and through a winding route I found myself working for a small winery in Santa Maria in Northern Santa Barbara County. A little place called McKeon-Phillips, which sadly is no more. I had the Pinot bug as most wine people did back then. At group wine tasting with other cellar rats, I tried a barrel sample from a newly planted vineyard in Ballard Canyon. It was some Grenache. A varietal that I had heard of but was not familiar with. It was love at first swig. I can't say it was that day, but sometime shortly thereafter I had an idea. To some day, if everything went right, I would start a label that treated Grenache Noir with the same dedication and appreciation of site and terroir that so many producers treat the nobel grape, Pinot Noir. We get back into our time machine and fast forward several years. With a few pit stops in Saint Helena and Sonoma.

 

 

So 2013, while working for Obsidian Wine Company here in Sonoma, where I still work to this day, I was able to start this little dream of mine that I had at that tasting in 2002. With a few credit cards and what little money, I had I started my own wine company. And true to that original idea, I would focus on the varietal I am most fascinated by still to this day. Grenache Noir. I started with one ton of fruit from my friends Dave and Lara Mounts up in the Dry Creek Valley and away we went. Since that first lot of wine, I have evolved in both my winemaking and my general ethos of what we do. In a sense, I've gone back to the earth. I make wines that I want to drink. and in that journey, I've found some great spots that I feel showcase what various clonal selections and terrior can do for this ever so versatile grape. With 100% whole cluster fermentation on all red my wines. Native yeast, no to little intervention and clean, balanced, thought-provoking wines made in a balanced style. And I've found subscribing to trends and fads in anything is inherently not authentic. I am still a one man show. And THAT is authentic. I do it all here. I drive the trucks; I crush the fruit. I answer the emails, the phones, I run the books, write invoices, everything. I cold call brokers and distributors, hoping that we can get just one more account. I write the text, built this website, designed the labels, run the social media and all the nitty-gritty things that go on with running a small business. There is no part of this company that I have not built, and my hands have not touched. And I hope someday, this damn company will pay me. But that's not why I'm here (although it would still be nice). I'm here because I love it. I am a wine crafter.