Doing Time in The Big House

I was lucky enough to have been invited to a private wine tasting presentation lunch with the lovely Georgetta Dane, winemaker and personality behind the Big House Wine Company.  I along with my wife, Romy, the name behind her own very successful blog RomyRaves were invited to a private sit down with Georgetta to have her walk us through her history, wine philosophy, and of course to sample her lineup.

Georgetta’s story is inspirational.  Coming to America direct from Romania after winning the US green card lottery that she and her friends entered on a whim, she and her family settled in the Monterey Bay area of Central California.   Unlike many winemakers I’ve met with, Georgetta didn’t dream of someday making wines and living a wine lifestyle.  She and her husband both have food scientist backgrounds, and when she landed in the States, at harvest time, she found  her calling.

Georgetta uses her food science background and her keen sense of smell to create and blend wines based on the varied aromas of each varietal.  She explained the process in terms of making perfume, beginning with the base, middle and finally the top note.  She starts with the base varietal, and depending on the aromas and “notes” she finds, she continues to blend and add notes until the final wine is a nicely balanced wine.

The Big House, located down the street from an actual “big house”, the Solidad State Correctional Facility.  Georgetta keeps things playful in her naming convention and wine styles, opting for very drinkable and affordable wines.  The grapes are the stars across all of her offerings.  All of the varieties are priced at only $9.99 (750ml bottle) or $22 (3lt container).  Georgetta makes wines to be enjoyed today, any  day, not to be stored and aged with the hope of one day being worth all that extra rack time.   She’s an unconventional winemaker in a sea of “same”, making both her and her wines stand out to me.

I’d suggest trying the Big House Red (a blend of everything red, that actually works together amazingly well), Unchained “Naked” Chardonnay (the anti-California Chard that simply showcases the grape rather than the oaks of more traditional California versions), Cardinal Zin Beastly Old Vines, and The Slammer Syrah.

As always, check this one out and let me know your thoughts..

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