Localism Wines: Real Grassroots
Localism: an authentic network of connections and relationships established by living, working and being local to Napa Valley.
In 2008 we had a joint epiphany while enjoying the wine country life on a weekend trip to Paso Robles: we needed to leave our current careers behind and somehow get into the wine industry! With our backgrounds in biotech and marketing we felt confident that we had the basic skills needed for learning to make and sell wine. We moved to Fresno to attend Fresno State’s Viticulture & Enology program and as they say, the rest is history.
As soon as we arrived in Napa we decided to start our own brand before really even establishing ourselves with careers in the industry. It was just a passion that needed to be fulfilled immediately – we wanted proof that what we had sacrificed and given up to get to the epicenter of the wine world was already paying off.
We came in with no investment to speak of – Localism’s beginnings were really grassroots. We talked to everyone we knew to get connected with what we needed to start out. We've really embraced the closeness of this industry and the valley in general. Everyone is very collaborative and willing to help out. It's really refreshing and means a lot to us because we left everything behind in pursuit of this kind of culture. One connection leads to the next and this is what defines Localism. We've not only created this network for ourselves but for those who have become part of it with us. It's much larger than wine- its art, music, food, the land, family and the list goes on and on. The wine is what brings it all together- wine is life. This philosophy is what drew us in initially when we first decided to begin this adventure.
The foundation of our Localism network goes like this: in sourcing grapes for our first ever Cabernet vintage (2010) we found a couple living on a beautiful property in Coombsville who were interested in selling the grapes growing on their 1 acre vineyard. We happily took over the farming for this parcel and have done so for the past 7 vintages. We met the owner of the winery where we make the wine at the first ever Bottle Rock event here in Napa. He has been supportive of our brand ever since. The artist whose incredible art adorns our labels we found by searching for local artists in the area – she is now a great ambassador of Localism. Our designer is a former coworker and friend whose incredible enthusiasm for what we are doing inspires us. The owner of the warehouse that stores our wine also hand waxes our bottle closures for us – his artistry embodies the Localism spirit. Only with this network of individuals are we able to exist in a very competitive industry where new brands come pop-up (what it seems like) on a daily basis. Localism continues to move forward organically year after year as if we are following a path that was already laid out for us.
We source our Cabernet Sauvignon from the Schwartz Vineyard, located in Coombsville, Napa Valley's newest AVA. Officially recognized in January 2012, grapes have been growing here before the 1870's. The Coombsville AVA has a cooler growing season than many in Napa Valley; its proximity to the San Pablo bay provides a more moderate climate and frequent fog. These factors combine to create a long, moderate growing season. Based on the cooler climate and volcanic soils, this appellation is known for making elegant, perfumed Cabernet, with fresh red and black fruit characteristics that carry crisp acidity and velvety tannins. We have had the unique opportunity to directly manage the Schwartz vineyard, implementing organic processes, and sustainable practices. Being in control of the vineyard allows us to fine tune each vine, producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, reflecting the cool climate and terroir of Coombsville. Our current release is our 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. This wine was aged 20 months in French oak barrels.
Our current release 2015 Sauvignon Blanc features fruit from two of Napa Valley’s premiere appellations: Yountville and Calistoga. The Yountville appellation boasts a rich history; the first vineyards in the Napa Valley were planted by George Yount in the mid-1800s. This is a classic “warm days and cool nights” appellation with sunny afternoons and often foggy mornings. The Yountville AVA is one of the coolest wine regions in Napa Valley, which helps contribute to a long growing season. This Sauvignon Blanc is comprised of 100% Sauvignon Blanc (50/50 Sauvignon Blanc & Musque clones). Frequent lees stirring and sweet oak, help to round out and complement the naturally bright acidity of this wine
We look forward to the continued evolution of Localism as new and exciting opportunities present themselves by crossing our path.
Cheers! Ryan & Nicole of Localism Wines