So a mad apology is needed from myself to my tireless vinopanion known as David Cole, AKA @ColeDavid. I first started this interview NYE of this (last?) year and it is now finally seeing the light of the interwebs. Thank you for your patience David, here it is in the pixels! Actually, this interview coincides quite nicely with some exciting news from David’s joint family winery, James David Cellars (Twitter). They are launching a new website, have just put out some new wines and are of course, currently tackling the very challenging 2010 harvest from their home base in Paso Robles. Following the interview, I’ve listed all of the tasty wines from David’s wine labels mentioned below that I’ve had the fortune to taste over the years. Onward!
1. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): You’ve had an interesting history in wine already in your life, what with the great wines you turned out with Redline Wines (the ’04 Blue Oaks Syrah is one of the best I’ve ever had and the best from Paso & garenered an AwesomeWK #WKBadge!) and now James David Cellars. How did you get your start in wine?
David Cole (Twitter)/James David Cellars (Twitter): My Uncle and Aunt Purchased a Vineyard in Paso Robles in the early 90’s. I was already interested in wine as my Father was a collector and enthusiast of wine as I grew up. I also owned a Limousine business in the Sacramento Area in the early 90’s and took many trips to Napa & Sonoma. So I dreamed of owning a vineyard and winery, but the capitol out lay was more than I could do. As I learned more about the business, I realized I could start my brand without the winery and vineyard. So my plan is to grow into that later. I purchase grapes from my family and make my wine at a custom crush facility PRWS in Paso Robles, CA.
2. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): Your Muscat is a wonderfully dry expression of that varietal, but definitely a unique and exciting choice for the first release from a new winery. What’s the story behind this wine?
David Cole (Twitter)/James David Cellars (Twitter): When I started to develop my business plan part of my strategy was to buy grapes from family. I also felt I needed to have a white wine and we grow Muscat really well on Penman Springs Vineyard. Knowing that I didn’t really want a desert wine at this point in my business. My Uncle Carl and his winemaker Larry were already talking about doing and Alsatian style wine for his brand. I loved the idea as I really like some of those dry Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines from Alsace area.
Not a lot of people have done this wine in the US, so I was excited to do it.
3. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): Social media has hit big in the wine biz over the last three years, such as with the first three Wine Bloggers’ Conferences in the US and EU. You are clearly dialed in to this movement, actively involved with your Twitter, Facebook, [former] WineQ sales and many other wine social media outlets. Have you seen clear returns from all of this activity and would you recommend using social media to other boutique wineries?
David Cole (Twitter)/James David Cellars (Twitter): I have seen some return as far as direct sales. I have also been able to get dealers to take my wine because of my activity within social media. I think besides sales it allows Customers service, visibility and a way to communicate with the general public. If also allows you to see and hear about trends or desires from wine drinkers. So I would clearly recommend it to others.
4. Ward (Twitter)/Vinopanion – WineLog (Twitter): Since it’s it was close to turn of the New Year and last (or first) year of the decade, let’s have some fun. Five years from now, where do you see the wine biz as a whole? Do you see better or worse access to wines across the nation, social media playing a larger/smaller role, new varietals making a new prominence, etc?
I think people that make good to great wine will rise to the top, I know this seems simple but there are a lot of bad wines on the market. I am surprised at some of the releases to be quite frank. With that said peoples palates are getting better, their expectations are better and from a wineries view we know we have make great wines at a better value. Will people still buy $100 California Cabernet, sure there will always be that group of folks.
I also think that our biggest issue in the Government as far as regulation of wines, shipping across state lines and general access by the public. I am of the belief that the people need to speak up! We need to open up states and allow these wines to be shipped and it will only be done when the people have their voices heard.
As far as varietals, I really think Petite Sirah will get popular within 5 years as well as proprietary blends like the Prisoner, Optimus, Saxum etc. One thing I am hopeful about is people wanting to cellar and store wines for longer periods of time. This simple pleasure of collecting and sharing with friends and family is just an awesome experience that I hope catches on.
David Cole (Twitter)/James David Cellars (Twitter): This year I will release a 2008 Pinot Noir from Monterey, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from Penman Springs Vineyard our families vineyard in Paso Robles, 2008 Dry Muscat Blanc but with a proprietary name, and another red blend with proprietary name. I’m looking forward to 2010!
Wines I’ve tasted from David Cole: