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Snooth User: Daniel Petroski

Another New Wine?

Posted by Daniel Petroski, Jun 4, 2009.

It’s June 2009.  I ventured off four years ago this month to pursue my interest in wine.  It was a curiosity and a possible career change then, now it is a daily passion that, not only, fills my heart, hands, nose and mouth, but also pays my bills.  In just a few short years I have been fortunate to make the successful transition from wine drinker to winemaker.  Along the way I have seen a proliferation of new wine labels enter the market.  Some have screamed to success, some are starting off strong but inevitably won’t endure - not for lack of passion or entrepreneurialism, but for a market that has been exponentially flooded during the boom years of increasing wine appreciation. From what I can tell and what research has told us, wine appreciation has not waned, but it has become a sad state of affairs for committed winemakers as the current economy is hovering somewhere between purgatory and nuclear destruction.  The market now seems to be sputtering, spitting, trading down, dining out less, and BYOB’ing when splurging was once a status symbol of the wine (drinking) strivers. Only the strong will survive, no?  Only the realists will realize that a simple drink marketed as an elixir of ancient times modernized will weather the reduction of profits, the refinancing of loans, the sale of family businesses, the savage shake of waking from a lifelong dream.

Amongst the ascent of financial chaos, another wine will come to market in the late Spring of 2010.  It will be a white wine.  It will be a risky endeavor.  On one hand it will not be a wine for novices.  On the other hand, it will be a blend of grape varieties with the hope of promising a new, unique approach of what white wine could be - modern, stylistic, spirited, sharply focused, textured, nuanced; different - taking the best of what California vineyards (and terroir) has to offer and approaching the winemaking with intellectual verve and passion.

I am starting my own label, Ladies and Gents.  I will be sourcing my fruit from a handful of California’s preeminent appellations and some lesser known ones.  My goal is to bring in as many grapes as I can weather and let them tell me what to do next.  My approach is to mirror the burgeoning success of the new-wave of white wines coming out of North East Italy with a Californian winemaker’s bend.  I adore the new world approach of producers Lis Neris, Volpe Pasini, Terlan and Venica & Venica and their use of classic and new world grape varieties, blended and vinified.  My hope is to channel their wines on Californian ground.

It is a risk.  But one worth taking. The economy has nose-dived and many producers are pulling back, down-sizing or shuttering completely because of the arrival of the financial Four Horsemen.

But in each and every thing, one must find the essence.  And the essence of this financial zeitgeist should be opportunity.  Take a look at the markets.  Find an opportunity.  Fill a hole.  The hole I am filling is in myself.  I reared my pursuit on a love of unique, memorable and affordable wines, and I hope that the 2009 vintage can satiate my goals to add a wine of said descriptors to the mix.  In previous posts over the last year I have offered an insight of winemaking techniques and processes.  In my future posts I hope to do the same, but with personal insights on the process.  Wish me luck (and buy my wine upon release).  Details to follow….

Dan Petroski is Assistant Winemaker at Larkmead Vineyards in Napa Valley. Dan has an MBA from New York University and worked as an Ad Exec in New York for several years, before switching it up and trading his suit for a move out west


Reply by dmcker, Jun 4, 2009.

Good luck, Dan, in realizing your dream. Will be looking forward to hearing more.

Reply by corskier, Jun 5, 2009.

Hope all works as planned. I always love to try new blends and see how they work (or don't.) I'll be sure to look yours up when it hits shelves.

Blog comment by Jasmine Kuan, Jun 5, 2009.

Good luck Dan! You aspire me to follow my dreams!!! Can't wait to hear more and hope to see you in NYC sometime soon!

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 5, 2009.

Best of luck, Dan. Sign me up to buy a few!

Blog comment by sis/Sue, Jun 5, 2009.

We are east coast proud of our west coast brother. Follow your dreams. We wish you luch, success and wealth.

Blog comment by David Cordeiro, Jun 6, 2009.

I am writing this e-mail representing a group of 4 Portuguese students of Management who are doing their MSc thesis about wine, particularly Port Wine.

We would like to ask your help, sending, if is it possible, our survey about this kind of Wine to all of your UK contacts, clients, suppliers or mailing list (even personal friends and people outside the company). Your help will be crucial for us, since we really need answers from UK consumers. Moreover, we would like to ask you to complete our survey, as we believe it will be very interesting to you.

The URL link for the survey is the following:

As a reward for your contribution we are able to send you the results of our investigation in the UK market. If you have some questions, you can also contact me via e-mail.

We highly appreciate your support.
Thank you!

Blog comment by Joe Fonti, Jun 7, 2009.

Danny...You're the pride of East 2nd Street...Blessings of success...Cin Cin...Cent'anni, fratello mio!

Reply by Philip James, Jun 9, 2009.

Dan - best of luck, we're all looking forward to trying the new wine

Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 19, 2009.

Heck yeah, after reading that, I have to try this wine. Great story, inspiring.

Reply by John Andrews, Jun 19, 2009.

Dude ... if you need any help with the blending trials ... let me know I'd be happy to volunteer!

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