Photo: via The Real Review
G.D. Vajra is a family-run wine grower nestled in Vergne, the highest village in the Barolo region of Piedmont, Italy. The Vajra family tends 40 hectares of high-elevation vineyards, where breezy conditions produce complex and beautifully aromatic wines that are still distinctly Piedmontese in nature.
Aldo Vajra knew winemaking was for him from a very young age. In 1968, Aldo took over his grandfather's estate, putting his dreams of grapes and vines into action and bottling his first vintage in 1978. Since then, he has secured his place in the ranks of top tier Barolo winemakers, earned the region's first organic certification, and raised a humble and wine-loving family with his wife Milena.
The Vajra family believes in simply guiding (rather than forcing) the grapes into their full and truest expression in the wine bottle, and their respect for the land and sustainable farming practices are crucial features of this philosphy. Aldo personally derives great joy from dreaming up a...
Photo: via Melville
*This post is part of our Grower of the Month series, in which we spotlight a winery (or two) that we love!*
This month's Grower of the Month is a double feature! Enjoy this peek into two California wineries that embody the spirit of minimalist winemaking.
California's LIOCO winery is run by husband-and-wife duo Matt and Sara Licklider (pictured above), but it began as a dream between two wine professionals. In the early 2000s, Matt and wine director Kevin O'Connor set out to craft wines that favored nuance and sense of place over the more forceful and exaggerated winemaking techniques dominating the market at the time.
Their small operation is now run by Matt, his wife, Sara, and a teeny tiny team of winemakers and tasting room staff. Together, they purchase fruit grown primarily from Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties and then simply "get out of the way." That's it! The LIOCO mission is to let exceptional fruit take the lead, with just a little nudge here and there...
Photo: via Meinklang
*This post is part of our Grower of the Month series, in which we spotlight a winery we love!*
Meinklang winery in Austria produces the sort of low-intervention organic wines that practically burst with freshness and wild, floral, complex aromas. And the secret to their deliciousness? Nature. Gut feeling. Letting the land do its thing without getting in the way. Meinklang is a truly sparkling example of the power of organic and biodynamic wine growing.
The Meinklang farm is situated in Burgenland, Austria, just on the border with Hungary, and it not only supports a thriving wine business, but also a healthy and buzzing ecosystem of wild plants, vegetables, animals, insects, and people. Three generations of the Michlits family—who each have their own specialty when it comes to farming and winemaking—gently coax and nurture the natural elements around them into a self-sustaining cycle of life.
In fact, you might consider Meinklang wines a love song to the life that swirls around the...