Winemaker Spotlight

Interested in learning more about this months shipment? You've come to the right place! Each month, our Winemaker Spotlight highlights the 3 new and exciting producers you'll find in your WINECULT shipment. Their stories, photos, tasting notes and fun anecdotes are captured here, so you can learn a little more about the diverse collection of farmers, artisans and mad scientists that make up the California wine industry. 


2014 Tantara Cabernet Franc

95% Cabernet Franc 5% Petite Verdot
Appellation: Los Olivos District

Since 1997, Tantara has been a well respected producer of Pinot, Chardonnay and Syrah. Their 2014 vintage of Cab Franc however was a clear signal to us, that it’s time for their brand to expand. Winemaker Rick Hill started at Tantara in 97’ as a volunteer before being elevated to winemaker. in the 2014 Cab Franc from Mateo’s Vineyard, Rick has crafted something that is simultaneously bright, with vibrant flavors of blackberry and plum, and spicy. With powerful flavors of jalapeño on the finish. Geena and I love Cabernet Franc and are constantly on the lookout for bottles to stash away in our private collection. When we find a vintage that we can enjoy now but will also stand the test of time, acquiring as much as possible is immediately in order. This was a two case purchase for us, so we’ll be enjoying Rick’s work for years to come.

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2017 Grassini Sauvignon Blanc

100% Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Happy Canyon

Northwest of Santa Barbara lies the 40-mile-wide Santa Ynez Valley. At the valley’s eastern edge lies Happy Canyon, an area blessed with warm days and cool marine influences with few variations. Nestled among the quintessential ridge and valley of this rarified wine-growing region is where you will discover Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery—a tranquil refuge where all the conditions necessary for great wine happily converge. It’s a specially exciting for us to feature Grassini given their meteoric rise to prominence atop the Santa Barbara wine scene (Winning best winery & best tasting room from both the SB News Press and the SB Independent in 2018). We also have a special place in our hearts for Grassini as it’s where we will be officially tying the knot this May!

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2016 Joyce Merlot

90% Merlot 5% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Monterey County

The Joyce story begins in 1986 when Francis Joyce, father of now Winemaker Russell Joyce planted a few small acres on a 36 degree sloped hillside in the small village of Carmel Valley which is located just 12 miles inland from the beautiful yet rugged Carmel coastline. Now winemaker Russell Joyce who grew up working amongst the vines at the small estate has followed passion championing Monterey County while relentlessly pursuing unique vineyard sites throughout the county with a focus on showcasing the potential of the Terrior in Monterey’s Coastal climate. Tucked in the heart of Steinbeck Country, Joyce produces and bottles all of their wines at a facility in Salinas California. Working hard to create wines that showcase balance and maturity with the right amount of attitude.