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Gran Fondo Wine Co was established in January of 2013 as a result many internal dialogues where the essence of dialogue is: There’s so much wine out there- so many established brands from all corners of the globe, particularly my area’s of deepest experience- France & Italy. Will I be adding to the US Wine Lake by starting my own Import/Distribution operation? Can I really make a difference in a marketplace that has become divided into David & Goliath factions?
Then I went for a bike ride.
In doing so, I realized the great beauty of these people places and vineyards deserve a place in today’s U.S. hyper-competitive wine market.
In fact, it is really hard to make a difference and you have to have a definite strategy and guiding principles so that you don’t ever compromise those, despite all the talented producers abound in the exhaustive world of wine year 2019.
You’ve got to be inspired by the products you represent and then dig deep down into the pain cave in an effort to bring them to market.
First of all, I look for wineries that are small and feel that they are making pure wines with integrity and above all, respect for the traditions of the native region.
Other things that appeal to me in the context of wineries are those that use Wild Yeasts and practice Hand Harvesting. Natural yeasts are a step towards making natural wines. And they better express terroir. Use of no enzymes or hormones in their wines is also a must for me.
I think that winemakers with character are always looking for lower yields and old vines, which allow for a greater natural extraction of wines.
In today’s age, certifications are tangible proof that a winery works to a certain standard. But everybody is different and many idiosyncratic people do not want bureaucrats summing their intense laborious vineyard efforts up with a mere stamp of approval. Natural viticulture encourages growers to plow their vineyards to keep the eco-system alive in their soils and to use natural methods in tending their vines.
In the winery, I am looking at wineries that are making honest wines so non-chaptalized wines are preferred as well as Non-Interventionist winemaking. Terroir must come first not flavors of oak. Minimal use of SO2 is encouraged as well.
The current wine industry favors wines that verge on “Over the Top” due to excessively oaky wines or wines that are over-extracted/over-oaked, over- designed etc.
I try to make sure that there are energy forces that can be felt and transmitted through the wines I work with. Above all, wine is an amazing beverage that has the ability to transport us to other places- in the way a great cinematic work can. If we’re lucky, we can capture some of that energy deep in souls and the world just might be a better place.