Small, hands-on, family owned and operated wineries are a dying breed. More and more of us are getting gobbled up by big conglomerates utilizing their sales forces and buying power to grow these small brands to astronomical levels. The brands you knew and loved are no longer the brands you bought into. You notice a shift in the winemaking style. The communications and social media feed become less personal. The conglomerated brands market themselves as premium and sell bottles for hundreds of dollars.
Perhaps you could call brands like ours the new luxury. Or to borrow a term from fashion, Quiet Luxury: less austere than minimalism (natural wine) but more polished than “normcore.” (conglomerate owned high end wine) A look (or bottle) that will stand the test of time.
Some say wine is just a beverage. More often than not, that’s true. Much of what you see on the shelf is bulk wine purchased from a bulk wine broker, blended with an assortment of additives to create what most consumers are looking for in a flavor profile: sugar, oak, acid, tannin, color. All of this can be achieved almost to perfection with the help of a pantry (or lab) full of chemical additives. A pastoral story about the wine is printed on the label and carries through to the web messaging, painting a picture of a handmade product, making you feel good about what you are drinking. This happens at all price ranges. Not just the cheap stuff. Most people don’t know this. But if you are receiving this email, you are no fool.
So here is the truth about our wines.
All the farms we buy grapes from are owned and operated by the farmers. They are not financed by a slue of partners who are banging on the farmers to achieve certain status, scores or yields. Our farmers grow grapes that reflect the time and the place. They are not one size fits all farmers. They listen and observe rather than manipulate and obfuscate.
All of the grapes we work with are grown without herbicides or pesticides. All but one of them is certified organic but we know the owners and trust them and visit the vineyard regularly because we are friends. They are transparent about their practices and have their reasons for not certifying. We hope they will certify someday to support the growing movement and so that we can display the seal on those bottles.
Our boots are on the ground, in the vineyard doing the work. Of course we can’t do the work alone so we have 3 full time helpers and farm crews for bigger jobs when necessary. But these vines are like our children. And the surrounding eco system, including the people, the plants, the animals, the insects and the microorganisms under the soil comprise the village that helps us to raise them.
We make these wines with our own hands in our winery which sits on our land beside our vineyard and our home. To say we touch every grape is not far from truth. This land is loved and so much of that love goes into each bottle of wine we produce.