The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 70 of 128

Evolvingwith Envolve O WHAT'S NEW n July 4, when Envolve Winery opened the doors of its long-awaited tasting room in Sonoma Court Shop's Vine Alley, just off historic Sonoma Plaza, nearly 600 people showed up. Most ever let define me. It's just a little story to tell my grandkids. But it was good because it brought a lot of attention to what we're doing with wine." In fact, these three men have spent their lives planning to make wine. They learned about wine growing up together in Sonoma Valley, where Mike's family owned biodynamic wine leader Benziger Winery. They scattered to attend college and see the world, but the pull of making wine eventually brought them home and led to Flajnik and Benziger founding the winery in 2008. From left to right: Danny Fay, Mike Benziger and Ben Flajnik at the Envolve Tasting Room on Sonoma Plaza. were young wine enthusiasts, members of the so-called Millennial generation. Ranging in age from 21 to 34, they are—at 79 million strong—the fastest-growing segment of wine drinkers in the nation. It's hard to think of another winery as perfectly poised to capture the allegiance of Millennials. To begin with, 29-year-old winemaking co-founders Mike Benziger and Ben Flajnik, and Managing Director of Brand Development and partner, Danny Fay, model the demographic. Add to that the frenzied national celebrity brought about by Flajnik's star turn early this year as ABC television's The Bachelor. Free advertising at its finest, it turned Flajnik, his winery and fellow bachelors Benziger and Fay into familiar names for millions of Millennials. "Believe me," Flajnik says today. "Being 'The Bachelor' is not something that I will 70 / the tasting panel / august 2012 As winemakers, Benziger and Flajnik take a non-interven- tionalist approach. They believe first and foremost in sourc- ing the best organic (and sometimes biodynamic) grapes in Sonoma County, such as Bordeaux varieties from Puma Springs Vineyard, on the Alexander/Dry Creek Valley border, and Chardonnay from Sangiacomo's Family Vineyard in Carneros. "We believe that great wine is made in the vineyard," Benziger said. "If you're attentive to the vineyard and fruit, 90% of the battle is won." Envolve produces six organic/biodynamic wines retailing from $20–$50: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah/Grenache Rosé, Old Vine Primitivo, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux-style Red Wine blend. Their value label, Epilogue—geared to a $12–$15 price point—currently includes a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Red Wine blend. Epilogue is sold in many chain stores and also internationally in certain Canadian provinces. NEW WINES MADE FOR MILLENNIALS photos and story by Suzie Rodriguez Envolve 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley ($19.99) Crisp and bright, with a wonderful zing of acidity and grapefruit aromas, this wine pops right out of the glass. Great depth and character. Drink all by itself or with lighter meals. Envolve 2010 Red Wine, Puma Springs Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($49.99) Rich, complex, well-integrated, smooth and soft tannins, notes of dark fruit and touch of chocolate. Delicious now, sensational in five years. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc. Epilogue 2010 Red Wine, California ($15.99) A little short on depth but approachable, food-friendly and ready to drink.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - August 2012