RISING HIGHER ON THE VINE

BRYAN BABCOCK


I come from a family of winemakers. You might even say that wine runs through my veins. My mom and dad got into the business before me, honing the craft their own way. Not one to follow in anyone’s footsteps—or so I thought—I was determined to refuse the tradition in favor of higher education. Fortunately, my failed attempts at the Ivy League ultimately led me right back to the vine.

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When I embraced the family business over 37 years ago, it was a different terrain entirely. Winemakers were absolutely growing fantastic wine, but they were fighting the elements to accomplish their goals. Rather than partnering with the sun, wind, and rain, vintners battled those elements every step of the way.

Like always, I wanted to do things differently. I thought I could do things better. And lucky for me, I had an idea. What if we were to start our grapevines higher off the ground? What if instead of confining vines in trellises—forcing them to fight gravity—what if we guided the vines the way they naturally wanted to grow?

We decided to give my new approach a go. We let the shoots wind and weave where they wanted to go naturally. We’d guide the vines, helping them reach more air and sun—but we’d let them follow a natural path. And as it turns out, nature’s way worked wonders for us.

For 25 years now, we’ve been producing wine differently. Our method has produced successful Pinot Noirs to Pinot Grigios, and led to experimental Chenin Blancs and Psi Clones. We’ve done it all with a spirit of experimentation, the help of Mother Nature and the drive to move beyond the status quo.

At Babcock Vineyards, we believe in relentless experimentation and a commitment to excellence. We believe in moving on to bigger things. That’s suited our palate so far. Cheers to what comes next.

FIVE WAYS TO CONVINCE PEOPLE YOU’RE A WINE EXPERT

  1. 1. Store wine on its side. This keeps the cork from drying out.

  2. 2. Aerate your wine. It’s a living, breathing thing!

  3. 3. Swirl your glass before sipping. It doesn’t just look cool, it moves the aroma upward.

  4. 4. Give it a sniff. Smelling the wine will enhance the taste.

  5. 5. Use the right glass. Reds typically need ¼ of the glass to breathe while Whites need less.

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