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Grafting Stories

Keeping the Old Ways in the Family: Bacigalupi Vineyards

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Charles and Helen continued with the older approach of training vines via head training that their Italian workers started, but they applied new vine training to young vines they planted, adding a unique technique of their own. Nicole and Katey have redesigned the Bacigalupi bottle label, but they made sure to carry over the same elegance and positioning of the name to name to highlight the importance of being growers given that their bottles were part of an early series of grower designate wines. In this way, the label continues to nod toward their history of being first and foremost growers (or farmers) and land stewards of the land.

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A Familial Taste of Place in an Urban Space: Waits-Mast Family Cellars

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Brian and Jen know that it’s better to toe-dip rather than dive in when it comes to owning a winery, and that takes honesty and understanding, a page that they may have taken from their growers. Many people who live in a city might not think it’s possible to own and operate a winery and have a family and life outside of it, but it is possible. One need only take baby steps and check in with their partners, their growers, etc. to make sure that all decisions best benefit everyone involved.

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A Grape & Soil Less Traveled: Harrington Wines

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Starting a winery is a brave, crazy and some say, “stupid” thing to do. But in reality, what’s crazier is to ignore others who want to be a part of your winery adventure – folks who can share spaces, ideas, equipment, and fruit. Bryan knows that listening to growers is wise and listening to grapes, essential.

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Local “Dock Wino” August West & Sandler

There are currently a lot of folks reviving the urban winery scene that was once thriving in San Francisco from the late 19th century on up until the quake and fire of 1906. When I first met Ed Kurtzman of August West and Sandler Wine Co., it was at a Pinot trade tasting. I remember him being very kind and humble and somewhat quiet, but he was a force nonetheless. But it was at Dave’s and my manager’s Christmas party a few years back where we bused in on our own private urban wine tasting tour that I really got to see Ed in action. Cut forward to a year or so later and Dave and I find ourselves interviewing Ed for our San Francisco vintners page on our website for Vine Graft and we have a really lovely and personal tasting and interview with him. And a few months ago, I reached out to Ed to see if he might know anyone in need of a harvest intern. Turns out, he did. And so, now I’m doing my first crush. I love how stories build so communally in this way.

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