It’s been an exciting couple of weeks around The Wine Company, as our portfolio continues to expand with more and more producers that fit our company philosophy.

Sidenote: Some question why we continue to expand our already comprehensive portfolio. It’s a fair question, but it’s a question that assumes wine sales are a zero sum game: that bringing on a new winery results in the loss (or less attention) to another. When you’re talking about commodity wines that may be the case, but for wines of integrity, stunning quality, and family ownership (like every wine we champion), the possibilities are limitless.

So without further ado, we are proud to announce two great new additions, the Graziano Family of Wines and the wines of Gary Wooton.

The wines of Greg Graziano (pictured above) are the newest addition to our burgeoning Mendocino book.The Graziano family is a grape growing institution in Mendocino very much like the Parduccis of McNab Ridge. In fact the Grazianos started growing grapes (before Prohibition) a few years before the Parduccis (although the Parducci’s have been bottling wine longer).

The multiple labels and tiers of Greg’s portfolio show his interest (and abilities) in a wide range of styles, and if you’re not familiar with this portfolio you’ll be amazed at how they consistently over-deliver.

“Enotria” is Greg’s label for Piedmontese grapes. We will be starting with the Moscato as well as the tasty Dolcetto. These wines show the true essence of these grapes, but with the added benefit of some California sunshine pumped into them. Stunning wines through and through.

“Monte Volpe” is Greg’s label for Italian grapes without Piedmontese origins (originally this was supposed to be for Tuscan varietals, but it’s grown beyond that particular boundary). The drivers in this line are the Primo Rosso and Primo Bianco blends.  Think of these as Italian varietal kitchen sink wines, with obscure grapes in them that you didn’t even know were planted in California.

“St. Gregory” is Greg’s label for all things Pinot. We will be starting with the Mendocino Pinot Noir (he also does a St. Gregory Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Meunier).

“Graziano” is Greg’s label for “everything else”.  The clear driver here is the Mendocino Zinfandel. We are also bringing in the (very tasty) Petit Sirah as well as the Chenin Blanc. Greg also makes a Single Vineyard Zin which we will present when it is released.

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Gary Wooton is really “the guy” in hoisting the flag for California/Napa Cabernet Franc. He makes Cabernet Franc with California ripeness of fruit which simultaneously maintains a real “franc-y” aromatic and flavor profile.

He was and continues to be a very important mentor for our friend (and also very important Cabernet Franc producer) Gabrielle Shaffer at Gamling & McDuck, as well as John Skupny of Lang and Reed.

With the addition of Gary Wooten’s wines, The Wine Company now clearly has far and away the best domestic Cabernet Franc portfolio in the entire Upper Midwest (don’t forget the Corvidae “Keeper” Cabernet Franc from our friends at Owen Roe – the 2012 is a tasty steal). In addition to the Wooton Cabernet Franc, Gary makes a Petite Verdot under the same label.

Gary also makes a Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon under the Croze label. The Cab and Cab Franc are the biggest drivers for the winery. He will also be introducing a Chardonnay soon which he hopes to grow meaningfully. There are a few periodic special/limited bottlings as well.

Be sure to check out a great little article from Heavy Table on tasting the wines of Croze and Smith Wooton.

Welcome Greg Graziano and Gary Wooton to The Wine Company family! We feel this is a perfect fit and are thrilled to offer these wines to the great state of Minnesota!

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