Stories Make For
Novel Wine

A winemaker’s discovery that kept her going

The role of the winemaker has an integral part in the story of a bottle of wine. Every winemaker is faced with different challenges, blessed with different creative ideas and driven to make an amazing wine. Here is the story of winemaker Sonja Magdevski, as she journeys into creating her single vineyard series wine.

<b>An Inebriant’s Mecca</b> 
Casa Dumetz Winery was established in 2004 and has been showcasing wine made from locally sourced premiere vineyards in Santa Barbara County Calif. since 2008. It is a small production winery producing 1000 cases a year of Rhone varietal wines. Conjoined is Sonja’s other business, Babis Beer Emporium. 
<b>The Serious Winemaker</b>
Sonja Magdevski, Winemaker and owner of Casa Dumetz Winery, is strutting like a boss behind the bar of her adjoined beer emporium, located in Santa Barbara County Calif. When it comes to winemaking, “my focus and vision is purity of flavor. And single vineyard, single vintage, single varietal, which offers that vision and that experience. And that’s what I find most pleasurable, that piercing clarity”, Sonja said.   
<b>Sonja’s Suds</b>
If you notice closely. You may recognize the face on the label. That’s right. Sonja is looking a lot like ‘Rosie the Riveter’ on a bottle of her sparkling wine. She is always down to try something different, like releasing a bottle of suds. But since 2010, her love has been Grenache. “I never worked with the varietal and hadn’t tasted it that much before. I thought that this was such a unique flavor. Everything about it was just fascinating”, She said. 
<b>The Grenache Dilemma</b>  
This is a photo of Sonja manning the tasting room. In her 2014 Vintage, she got to work for the first time with five different vineyards of Grenache. When she was going to make her blend, she kept getting kind of bogged down. “My thought always was to just blend it all together to make one Grenache.” But she felt her blends where all tasting sort of the same. “For me, if I’m not excited what I’m doing, then it doesn’t matter. I can’t sell it to you and I can’t talk about it”, she said.
<b>the Wine Factory</b>This is a photo of Brewer Clifton Winery, where Sonja makes her wines. During her Grenache dilemma in 2014, she sought out for some input from a trusted Colleague.  Her colleague pointed out that each varietal was super unique and asked if she ever thought about doing a single vineyard Grenache. “It opened my eyes to not just new possibilities for Grenache but to the whole reason why I started making wine in the first place”, she revealed. <b>Single Vineyard Series</b>
This is a photo of Sonja’s 2014 Grenache single vineyard series wine. It consists of a total of five Grenache wines, all harvested on the same day, and made the same way, with the sole differing variable being the vineyard. “As a small business owner and winemaker, running everything, you sometimes can lose sight of the creativity. So, it came back around for me in so many ways where suddenly it’s like I saw clarity that I just had blocked out”, she stated. 
<b>The Creative Dream</b>
Brit Zotovich, owner of DreamCote Winery, is much like Sonja and every other winery owner in Santa Barbara County, where they embody the creative culture of this areas wine industry and focus on the artistic nature of winemaking. She produces around 500 cases a year and is seen here hanging out in her tasting room, located in Santa Barbara County Calif., “This is just a creative outlet for me. This is my way to try to challenge myself to make different things and try new varietals that we may not have had any experience with.  I want this to be fun for people. It’s hanging out and being able to ask questions in a non-threating environment”, Brit said. 
<b>The Fruity Essay</b>
This is a photo of one of several articles, written by Sonja, in Edible Santa Barbara magazine, discussing Santa Barbara Counties wine region. “I always say that winemaking is like writing a story. You may have an idea of what your last line is going to be but you don’t know where you’re going to meet along the way. I may have started off with a whole different concept in the beginning, but along the way the story veered left and right until I got to the end. It’s the discovery that keeps me going”, She said. 
<b>The Chief’s Wine</b> 
Directly next door to Casa Dumetz Winery is Bell Street Farm restaurant, which offers a menu complimentary to any of the areas best wines. Surrounded by some of California’s best wineries, Bell Street Farm restaurant just launched its very first wine. “In many ways I feel we are delivering an experience more than we are delivering a lunch. So, I want people to feel the way I felt when I first explored the wine country. It’s much more than just feeding people. We are trying seduce them into a wine country experience” said by Jamie Gluck, owner of Bell Street Farm. 
<b>A sign</b>
This is the sign that you first see, seducing you towards Casa Dumetz Winery’s tasting room where all the fun is waiting to be had. “Being in the winery and working at harvest is magic and that’s the only reason why all of this happens. And it’s like your there, your lost in the process and it’s the most beautiful thing. It’s super hard, but it’s amazing.” Said best by Sonja.

Brand storytelling’s integral role in the wine industry

Jason Carter, general manager of Zotovich Cellars, discusses the synergistic relationship between brand storytelling and wine. Along with the importance of how those in different facets of the industry (winemakers, general managers, tasting room sales teams, distributers etc.) utilize storytelling to feed the intangible hunger that drives consumer loyalty.

Stories that stand apart

Here is a trifecta of two wineries and one restaurant’s story that brands them apart from others in Santa Barbara County’s highly competitive wine country. Just hover over a hotspot and click-away.

Food and wine pairing

There is a long-standing idea that wine and food pairing is too complicated. But I say nonsense. In fact, it can be entertaining. Below is an example of one way you can approach food and wine pairing in a fun, creative way.

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“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”--Galileo