How do you break into the wine industry when you have no chateau, no big company to back you and no impressive pedigree of winemaking ancestors? Like many stories of triumph, the road to success started out with a simple idea, in this case, two guys in a garage and some pinot. Micah Wirth and Adrian Manspeaker had a lot of raw talent, a serious passion for wine and a ton of energy. In 2006, weather conditions had created a beautiful crop of pinot noir, and they knew the time was right. They carefully chose some excellent Russian River Valley grapes, invested in two French oak barrels and a small basket press and quietly produced 50 cases of a very elegant yet intense pinot noir.
The wine was a hit. Friends, family and local wine industry professionals who tasted the wine couldn’t get enough and soon the 50 cases were gone. Micah and Adrian decided they needed to get serious about starting a winery. Since they had no chateau or fancy winemaking relatives to name the wine after, they created their own pedigree by combining their middle names (Joseph and Jewell) and labeling the wine with a noble-looking coat of arms.
Since then, they’ve thrown their determination and creativity into several distinct wines, including their Russian River Valley Appian Way Pinot Noir, Dry Creek Valley Grist Zinfandel, and Alexander Valley Redwood Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, all exhibiting their unique elegant style of California winemaking with European finesse on the palate. Their passion for Pinot Noir is, however, still king. Micah and Adrian still don’t have the chateau, but they do have a collection of well-balanced, delicious wines that can stand up on their own.