In 1973, Geraldo Méndez’s father purchased a plot of land in Rias Baixas that became Do Ferreiro. “They really bought it because of the house,” said Manuel Mendez, who now works with his father Geraldo. “When they began to clean the whole area, they realized that they had those great vineyards. They didn’t know that. It was very lucky.” Very lucky indeed, as the tiny plot besides the house turned out to be Cepas Vellas (“Old Vines”), 1.5ha of 200+ year old Albariño vines. Read more
“When you’re an interventionist, you’re changing the profile of the vines,” said Iría Otero of Dominio do Bibei, in Ribeira Sacra. “We’re not exactly biodynamic, because there are some things in biodynamics that we don’t completely love, so we started to work organically. We try to be very respectful. There has been no intervention since the beginning, but for the past four to five years, we’ve gotten more into organic farming. I think it’s an idea of balance and respect. It’s a way to respect Mother Nature. To try to not take too much from the vineyard, just what it gives. The quality is better. The production is lower, but we don’t mind. We get better quality and more balanced wines.” Read more
When June Wine Bar first opened at the start of 2015 on Court Street in Brooklyn, it was an industry destination. But it didn’t take long for June to settle into the streets of Cobble Hill, where it quickly became a neighborhood haven. “Here, the audience that we’ve captured is really into natural wines,” said Chef/co-owner Tom Kearney. “But I don’t think it’s because we’re a natural wine bar, but because of the neighborhood we’re in. People are pretty open-minded. I think it’s a refreshingly informed group who are coming here,” he continued. “We were really surprised by the amount of people who were conversed on the vernacular of natural wines when we opened.” Read more
We are thrilled to welcome Kristina Sazama to our family at T. Edward Wines. Starting this month, Kristina will manage our book of Billecart-Salmon, while supporting our French Portfolio in the market. Welcome Kristina!
“Billecart-Salmon farms a large chunk of the vineyards that make up their wines,” said Kristina Sazama, our new Billecart-Salmon Director at T. Edward Wines. “And even as a marques house, they are family owned, not owned by a giant luxury goods company or the like. The Billecart family is involved – I’ve spoken to Antoine Billecart and he knows the wines, he knows the technical details. He doesn’t just happen to have his last name on the label,” she added. Read more
It was some 15 years ago that Phil and Phoebe Devenish first visited our office here at T. Edward Wines. “At that point,” said Phil, “TEW was a pretty small operation; it was basically just Tom and Nick, and maybe a couple of other guys, Patrick and Jorge.” Devenish Wines had not yet been established and Phil was looking to Tom to learn about the business of distribution. “I liked the way Tom obviously had long-term connections with people. He was very conservative in that sense,” added Phil. “There was a lot of civility.” Soon thereafter, Phil returned to Hancock, Maine with a book that favored French selections from T. Edward Wines. Read more
Calluna, by Bonney Rowley
On the last day of our T. Edward West Coast Tour, the bus wound its way up to Calluna Vineyards to meet with winemaker David Jeffrey. In 2001, David left behind his career on the East Coast and began to pursue his passion for wine, enrolling in Fresno State’s Enology program. Shortly thereafter he lived and worked in Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux with Dr. Alain Raynaud, whose own family has been making wine on the Right Bank since the 15th century. Through his work abroad at Chateau Quinault, David began to draw comparisons between the climate in California and Bordeaux and was compelled to plant Bordelaise grapes back home. David’s experience working with Dr. Raynaud was hugely formative and would come to influence his winemaking style. In 2004, David purchased 80 acres in Chalk Hill and Calluna Vineyards was formed. Read more
This week’s post features a continuance of reportage from our sales team who took part in our TEW Tour of California!
Enfield Wines, by Ryan Looper
Heading up to the Heron Lake vineyard in the Wild Horse AVA of Napa our bus got stuck and couldn’t continue up the hill, so we had to jump in the back of John Lockwood’s pick up truck to make it up to the vineyard. This is not the Napa that most think of. There are not vineyards and tasting rooms everywhere. This is decidedly off the paved road—the undiscovered Napa. There are only a few vineyards in the AVA, and the high elevation topography is framed by sweeping vistas of mountains and hills. The light here is brilliant and clear, and the wind is cool and persistent. It feels a lot like the set of an old cowboy movie, minus the tumbleweeds. The Heron Lake Vineyard originates with the first planting in 1980, and has been bottled as a single vineyard by John Lockwood of Enfield Wine Co. since 2011. John was working as a woodworker when he serendipitously met winemaker David McCaffrey at a woodworking shop. John then worked with David and was soon bit by the wine bug. Read more
The T. Edward team is recently back from a whirlwind tour of our winegrowers in California. Here’s a few excerpts from our team, beginning with Forlorn Hope by Danielle Hilty.
It would suffice to say that the team was extremely excited to get off our 80s-era school bus after a bumpy 2 hour drive from Sacramento into the foothills of Calaveras County, farther east than most wine tourists ever tread. The property was purchased in 2013 by Matthew Rorick and his family as the new home of Forlorn Hope Wines. And it is massive. With 80 acres planted to about 20 varieties, Matthew has plenty to do, as he is a one-man show all but during harvest. And even then, he explained to us at the top of the property, a red mountain of volcanic clay soil hiding gray schist and quartzite deposits, he works around the clock. It’s this element (pun intended) that makes the undertaking worth it to him, a rare deposit of limestone in northern California. For winemakers looking for good grape soil, limestone is as good as gold, that soft yellow medal discovered only 20 miles north a California-lifetime ago. Read more
When Peter and Orenda Hale of Maine & Loire decided to move to Portland, Maine, neither one of them had been to the city. But then again, they also met while working at Reynard and “married on a whim in the downtown Brooklyn courthouse, on the coldest day in January last year,” said Orenda, after dating for just seven months. And though they intended to wait to start a business until their son Luca was born, the universe had other plans. “We hadn’t yet figured out the pieces to the puzzle [here] to look at real estate,” said Orenda, “but, we met up with the landlord and luckily he wanted a wine store in this community complex that he’s building here, and he was really instrumental in helping us get into the space and getting it started.” Read more