Wine – A Family Affair

Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending the FamilyWinemakers of California wine tasting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Several hundred family owned wineries, some producing many, many thousands of cases per year, others producing only a few hundred cases showcased the fruits of their labor.  Time and time again the folks pouring the wine started their pitch by saying, “When my mom and dad started this winery…”  You could taste the love and dedication and hard work in the wines.
We met Dorie Seavey whose father started Seavey Vineyards after a successful legal career and a stint as the mayor of Coronado, California.  As Dorie poured the beautiful and delicious Seavey Merlot, she spoke of her father’s devotion to excellence and to keeping the business in the family. And she talked about the challenge of growing the business at just the right pace, to just the right size.  Sometimes we forget the struggles behind the creation of these fabulous wines!
The Farm
We enjoyed wine from The Farm.  Started by two couples that met at Stanford University, The Farm’s Cardinal and The Big Game are an homage to the place the collaboration began. One partner in this team is the legendary Santiago Archaval, famous for the extraordinary wines he produces in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  While pouring tastes of The Big Game, Jim and his wife Azmina shared the story of a trip to wine country with their friends Santiago and his wife, Mercedes some 25 years ago and returning together to open their winery, The Farm, twenty years later.  This is a tiny winery, producing a small number of bottles carefully crafted with a deep understanding of the precious soil of their Paso Robles vineyard.  Add The Farm to our list of new favorite wineries!
Lucky enough to get our hands on a couple of bottles of the 2011 Martinelli Zio Tony Grace Nicole Pinot Noir, we were even luckier to see that the folks at the Martinelli Winery table were pouring this very same wine!  We were able to taste this gem without having to open one of our own precious bottles.  Now we can cellar ours for a few years allowing the wine to get (if it’s possible) even better.
Coquelicot Sangiovese
We scoped out some Santa Barbara area wineries for an upcoming trip.  At the Coquelicot Estate Vineyard table we talked with (once again) the son of the winery’s founder Bernard Rosenson and learned that the Coquelicot is the name of the beautiful red poppies from Mr. Rosenson’s native France.  These poppies are featured on the wine labels.  The Coquelicot Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc were my personal favorites.
These were but a few of the passionate and talented family winemakers we met.
Meeting these members of the winery’s family, or members of the tiny winery staff really provides a connection to the wine and enriches the experience of drinking it.

© 2013 Mocadeaux

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  1. […] year, that something new will probably be The Farm.  We first discovered this wine at The California Family Winemakers event last spring. Once again we had the chance to visit with two of the owners of the winery, Jim […]

  2. […] March I wrote one of my first posts about wine, recounting our visit to the Family Winemakers of California Tasting Event. We loved meeting the winemakers and hearing the stories behind their […]

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