On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…
- seven winning wine clubs,
- six gorgeous glasses,
- five organic wine guides,
- four wine books,
- three phone soaps,
- two festive wines,
- and a wine calendar from Wine4Me!
While alcohol sales at the grocery store have increased during the pandemic, that hasn’t;t translated to increased sale for smaller wineries that typically don’t have a wide distribution and instead rely on restaurant sales, hand sells at wine shops, or direct to consumer via a wine club or tasting room expereince.
As a wine gift, sending a memberships to one or seven wine clubs helps small wineries that are bearing the brunt of the industry pivot to virtual tastings and events according to Peter Mitham, who says that the pandemic is creating a more competitive market — and one where the smaller wineries, which depend on visits for sales, are struggling.
Further, Andrew Adams points out in a December 07, 2020 article that “Existing Club Members Drove Digital Sales Surge” in wine. Those larger wineries with healthy wine clubs and marketing departments who could reach out to members inc creative ways have done well.
So what are these seven winning wine clubs that my true love sent to me?
They range from the tiny 600 case Clos Des Amis to the slighter larger The Ojai Vineyard (6k) to mid-range Brooks (20k), Montinore, and Turley. We prefer smaller family owned and operated wineries with solid sustainability practices, and we especially appreciate biodynamic and organic certifications that Montinore and Brooks possess.
- Brooks Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- Clos des Amis, Ventura County, California
- Montinore Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- The Ojai Vineyard, Ventura County, California
- Rangeland, San Luis Obispo, California
- Scharffenberger, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California
- Turley, Paso Robles and Amador, California
Brooks Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- This biodynamic winery is a leader in sustainability. Their estate wines are biodynamic. Read about their Rastaban Pinot Noir here. Brooks is also famous for their riesling; read about their white wines here.
- As to be expected of a 20k case winery, they have an extensive wine club with events and other cool stuff.
- If you’re not ready to join one of their wine clubs, sign up for their newsletter which I always look forward to reading and you can find out about all the great activities they have available even during COVID.
Clos des Amis, Ventura County, California
- This is the very small, 600 case winery where I’ve been a cellar rat for two years and writing about my experiences monthly.
- I love the people, the place, and most importantly, the purity of the wines.
- While not certified organic, they do the best they can, operating out of a solar powered, hand made adobe winery.
- The wines are super affordable, and they just started up the Clos Des Amis “Inner Circle” wine club. Support them!
Montinore Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- Montinore offers the Pinot Noir you’d expect from an Oregon winery, but because of Rudy Marchesi’s Italian heritage, they also have some interesting Italian wines which you can read about here.
- They make a fun sparkling wine which you can read about here.
- Montinore is one of the largest producers of biodynamic wine in the country, and certainly a leader in biodynamic wine in Oregon and beyond; more on that plus three Pinot Noir here.
The Ojai Vineyard, Ventura County, California
- The Ojai Vineyard’s winemaker Adam Tolmach is a pioneer in winemaking in Santa Barbara county who happened to set up his winery near Ojai in neighboring Ventura County.
- Tolmach is a master of restraint especially when it comes to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah; wines are elegant, subtle, yet powerful and long lasting (read about older vintages here).
- Wines are generally grown organically, and some are biodynamic. While most fruit is purchased, he has a small experimental plot of Pierce’s Disease resistant vines which you can read about here. Read about Ojai’s Roussane here and Ojai’s Grenache here.
Rangeland Wines, San Luis Obispo, California
- They’re a ranch and a winery selling both wine and meat!
- Sue visited them, and loved them so much she joined the wine club.
- We most recently wrote about Rangeland in this “Festive Wine” post here.
Scharffenberger, Anderson Valley, California
- Bubbles. Bubbles. Bubbles. Everyone needs a wine club with bubbles like these.
- Originally founded by John Scharffenberger, now it’s part of the Maison Louis Roederer family of wineries in 2004 which is a leader in biodynamic sparkling wine.
- Sue is a member and she has graciously shared some bottles with me! Yum. Amazingly I couldn’t find where we’d written about them! Goal for 2021!
- Certified organic Zinfandel is king, queen, and most of the court from this iconic California winery because Larry Turley never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like.
- Turley makes 47 separate wines from over 50 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s including this one from Pesenti which we wrote about in November.
- They make big, bold, but balanced zinfandel from classic, older vineyards around California which you can sample in tasting rooms in Paso Robles and Amador.
What are some of your favorite wine clubs?