So Many Wines, So Little Time

That’s fundamentally the biggest problem facing the wine industry today. In a sea full of fish, how do you choose the right one?

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All the progress in viticulture over the last 30 years, has made it much easier for fledgling winemakers to start their personal labels. The shifting economics of wine production has been particularly responsible for kicking off a modern-day wine renaissance. Nowhere is that more keenly experienced than California. The common practice of sourcing grapes and making wine in the absence of an estate vineyard has allowed California winemakers to take risks that might otherwise be too great for an estate producer. Sourcing has allowed small producers like SLYD, Levo or Paix Sur Terre to get off the ground. The experiments and adaptations taken by boutique producers like these have revitalized a practice that has remained largely stable and arguably stagnant, for thousands of years.

As a wine lover, I couldn’t have gotten any luckier by landing in Santa Barbara when I did. I’ve been a part of this rising wave of boutique wine production for a little over 6 years now. For Geena, it’s been even longer. We’ve had the benefit of learning about wine from, and alongside extremely talented producers that understand the nuances of making exceptional wine. So, I’m simultaneously grateful for the experience and sympathetic to anyone who begins to feel overwhelmed when confronted with the sheer volume of vintages to choose from.

Breaking down the barriers to production means more great wine for everyone to share, but it also means more bad wine. So, how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? Geena and I have the benefit of our proximity to the Santa Ynez Valley, or Santa Barbara’s wine country. We can travel easily to taste and explore. We also have the help of a social network, built over the last decade, that helps keep us informed of any up and coming winemaker that’s breaking barriers in the wine world. On top of that, we have a process. We taste many different wines throughout the month looking for specific varietals or styles of production that we think are a step above the rest.

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We started Riviera Wine Group to offer this experience to everyone, without the hassle of even leaving your couch. We saw an opportunity to put our knowledge and our relationships to work to bring unique wines to people who otherwise wouldn’t have necessarily had the opportunity to enjoy them. We have so much passion for this industry and we want to share that with you!


So, to answer the question, “With so many to choose from, how do I pick the right one?” Join WINECULT and let's get your journey into the wine industry started.