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...
Empowering Wine Lovers’ Health Choices and Tasting Adventures
For years, sommelier Leslee Miller observed that clients and friends were seeking healthier wine options, but they were perplexed by wine’s most recent buzz words (vegan, natural, green, clean + organic); frustrated at the lack of retailers that offer healthy, affordable and delicious wines; and confused about or disappointed by bulk-labeled wine clubs.
They genuinely wanted to drink well, learn more about their palates and wine, and support the farmers behind the actual labels. But they struggled to find a brand that was a champion for these interests.
And so, Leslee created Sip Better: Better for All Wine. Better for you, better for the planet, better for wine growing communities.
Sip Better: Feel Good, Do Good and Drink Smart
Sip Better is a national wine club dedicated to Better-for-You wine. Sip Better supports only family owned, small, international wine growers, who are committed to farming via sustainable,...
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...