Fortune Magazine (Julia van der Vink)

California Wine Gets Back to its Roots: Fifty miles northwest of Napa’s bright lights and gilded estates, a California flag hangs from the ceiling inside an old apple-processing plant. Led Zeppelin plays from the speakers while a Jack Russell named Jim darts around the fermentation tanks. If you’re looking for a trophy Cabernet, you’ve come to the wrong place. Forgoing Cabernet Sauvignon for grapes like Trousseau Gris and Valdiguie, a handful of renegade winemakers have begun experimenting with heirloom grape varieties from many of California’s oldest vineyards to produce some of the most compelling wines to come out of the state in decades…. Within this grassroots movement, the winemakers would rather keep their wines accessible than rake in a bigger profit margin. Most of their wines ring in between $20-$30. “Wines should be on the table. They should be part of life,” says Dan Petroski, winemaker at Massican. With bootstrapped operations across the board, “having a model hinged on direct sales is the only way to keep business viable.” The goal of these wines is to have consumers experiment with them. “Wine shouldn’t be put on a pedestal,” says Petroski. “Wine should be personal.”

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