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At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Time:2020-04-12 02:08wine - Red wine life health Click:

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By Fran Endicott Miller Apr. 7th, 2020

At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Photo courtesy of The Wine Foundry

Custom crush facility, wine making facilitator and educator, and producer of world-class, direct-to-consumer wines: The Wine Foundry, a boutique Napa Valley winery, does it all. The company’s innovative model offers a full range of customized wine services: create a barrel yourself or with a group, launch and market your own brand, wow clients, friends, and family with a custom label, join the wine club for unprecedented access to their ultra premium, small lot Foundry and Anarchist wines, and/or take part in a series of virtual tastings. 

Founded by Philip and Valerie Von Burg, The Wine Foundry is a dream fulfilled. Valerie, a California native, and Philip, a New York City native, both pivoted from legal and business careers, respectively, to wine, when in 2012, they purchased the assets and wine inventory of a failed Napa Valley winery. Their combined past experiences, and the counsel of a few key staff members from the former winery, such as winemaker Patrick Saboe, set them on a course for success.   

At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Foundry line-up. Photo courtesy of The Wine Foundry


For each of The Wine Foundry’s offerings, seasoned winemaker Saboe takes the lead. A graduate of the University of California at Davis’ Enology & Viticulture program, Saboe first served as harvest enologist for Hanna Winery before becoming the assistant winemaker at Keller Estate. In 2006, he became a winemaker and vineyard manager for Petroni Vineyards as well as Consulting Winemaker for Verismo Wines. In 2008, he accepted the Director of Winemaking position at Pezzi King Vineyards. And in 2012 he joined The Wine Foundry team. Saboe’s winemaking philosophy is simple: exceptional wines are made from exceptional fruit with exceptional care. He collaborates closely with the numerous growers who partner with The Wine Foundry, assuring that quality is paramount.

At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Anarchist line-up. Photo courtesy of The Wine Foundry


BESPOKE WINEMAKING: The Wine Foundry has been described as an incubator for luxury brands, and while their team does work behind the scenes for several cult labels, their core mission centers on crafting custom, high-end wines for individuals, groups, companies, and non-profit organizations. Clients capture the rarely attained dream of creating their own wine and sharing it with family and friends. Many choose to start at the very beginning, selecting from the extensive vineyard and varietal options for the upcoming vintage. Some clients prefer to select wine already in barrel from a prior vintage, an offering called an ‘adoption barrel.’ Clients on a short timeline may choose a custom-designed label on already bottled ultra-premium wines without a label known as ‘shiners.’ Regardless, clients acquire a world-class bottling that stacks up against the very best.

Here’s how it works for those interested in a start-to-finish bottling:

Choose a Vineyard: Browse through The Wine Foundry vineyard guide and pick your favorite. Each features unique character traits; the best way to decide is to sample commercial wines made from the vineyards of interest. Alternatively, discuss with the team the style of wine you enjoy and they will help choose the property best suited to your goals.

At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Patrick Saboe. Photo courtesy of The Wine Foundry

At The Wine Foundry, You Are the Winemaker

Pulling samples. Photo courtesy of The Wine Foundry


Construct a Plan: Every wine begins with a series of decisions that shape the aromas, flavors, and structures. Consult directly with the winemaking team about the style of wine you prefer, and they will create a plan to achieve your goals. They guide through every step of the process, from vineyard and varietal selection down to the details of corks and capsules.

Monitor the Vineyard: Throughout the growing season, the team shares weather updates, vineyard photographs, and interviews with growers to offer insights on the vintage and to follow development of the fruit on the vine. As harvest nears, they will share estimates for the window of when your grapes likely will be ready for harvest. 

Create the Wine: After the grapes are harvested, you are welcome to join at the winery for sorting, crushing, fermenting, and pressing your wine. If you can’t be there in person, the winemaking staff will always handle every step of the process, as guided by your wine plan.

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