This was taken last fall as we were helping our dear friends Bill and Lauren make their Chardonnay at Santa Rosa Junior College.
What does it take to become a winery? In Sonoma County you have to be zoned correctly and then for a small winery comply with regulations and pay around $6,000, mostly to the county. Last month we started paperwork to be a winery but found out we are in the wrong zone. Back to square one.
In order to sell the wine you do make, it has to be made at a bonded and permitted winery. (Of course, anyone can make 100 gallons per person of wine a year, a law leftover from prohibition, and drink it or give it away to friends.) So, we are in search of a good match for our organic grapes that can be hand crafted to make the best Pinot Noir possible.
We would like to find a winery that has the following traits:
– is close by
– we like the wine they make
– will give us a good price for our grapes
– will help us make wine to sell, either as “Custom Crush” or “Alternating Proprietorship”
– values organic grapes
– is fun to work with
Yes, this is a lot to ask, and it is only 3 months until harvest…but once they taste the wine we made last year, all will be good.
And if this does not work…will sell some of these high quality grapes to some nice folks and make more wine on the side for us to enjoy! Either way is OK…
Stay tuned to see where we end up this year.