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Wren Hop

Wren Hop

Wren Hop

Delve into the story of Wren Hop Vineyards: what started as an "experiment" ended up being limited production, pow-in-yo-face Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  From organic winemaking, to each vintage's own "book cover," Wren Hop shows us perseverance and attention to meticulous detail crafts the greatest wine legacies.

We have a story- it’s called "mean something to someone." We like to say we make wine for "some of the people, all of the time." Wren Hop was crafted for hedons who like structured wines with big flavors. Inspired by our love of powerful European wines like Amorone, Cote-Rotie and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, we set out to emulate this rich style from the sometimes delicate and always moody cultivar Pinot Noir. Not to be outdone, we pursued the infamous "Wente Clone” for our Chardonnay program. This grape shines in marginal and not so hospitable cool weather sites of Sonoma County. You can actually taste the struggle and adversity in the glass. While not exactly pandering to the masses, we knew there would be other obsessed fiends out there just like ourselves. It didn’t take long to find them. 

Our philosphy is pretty simple. Organic farming practices, specific clonal selection, detailed sorting, extended cold soaks, saignees and a 100% new French oak barrel program.  These all play a role in the intense color and lingering finishes of the wine. In pursuit of balance? Yep, but more importantly... in pursuit of darn tasty.

Wren Hop's tiny mascot actually has quite a fabled past. Strangely enough, the eagle is not the king of birds. That title was conferred on the clever and resourceful wren back in ancient times. We named our brand in it’s honor and the wren’s small but crafty legacy. Our labels showcase a story connected to the secretive bird. Names like Omens & Prophecy, Flight Risk and Royalty in Exile start conversations and create mystique. Which, of course, works well over a bottle of wine. The labels are created in the form of a leather bound book that resembles an eternally “borrowed” edition from your college library. This creates texture, dimension and connection to the bottle. It also leaves you with a collectors item- labels change art with every vintage.

Wren Hop wine labels are in the form of a leather bound book

Wren Hop wine labels are in the form of a leather bound book

It’s almost ludicrous how much we love the details. From spec’ing type for our vineyard row markers to agonizing over the perfect hand peeled wood table for our tasting room- presentation is what drives experience. Riedel stems, Cornetto decanters, Laguiole openers, these things make us downright giddy.  After 14 months of hard labor and extreme standards, this wine is not showing up in an off the rack polyester suit. We’re also careful to remove any pretension with our rough luxe brand voice and personal pourings. Or as Don Henley calls it-  “a deadhead sticker on a cadillac” We host private, sit down tastings at the vineyard one group at a time. It’s bespoke wine tasting at it’s most casual non-snootiness. 

Our production is small and personal and that’s how it will stay. Many people ask us about growth, but we really just want to stay limited and nimble. We’ve made many friends and have shared even more bottles with them. Yes- there is exhaustion that no amount of caffeine will cure, but that late night glass and the sound of coyotes yelping in approval is worth it. Here’s to the eternal howling. Slainte- Jim McDonough/Wren Hop

#WineBuzzin': #Winetasting Extravaganzas!

#WineBuzzin': #Winetasting Extravaganzas!

It's every winelovers dream: imagine one large room, with 100 wineries pouring over 500 incredible wines to taste. With a limited window of time, where does one start? And how does one pace themselves? 

Family WInemakers SF - #Taste15 via VAULT29

Throughout the year, we have the privilege and opportunity to attend such wine tasting extravaganzas. Typically, there is an underlying theme: a specific varietal (Pinot Days); a specific region (Taste of Mendocino); or Family Winemakers of California. 

We love these events because it gives us the chance to reconnect, catch up with our winery friends, and taste newly released vintages. But most of all, it's a great opportunity to discover new smaller, lesser known brands who are just starting out in the industry. Many of these wines won't be found in your local grocery store or wine shop because they don't yet have representation behind them. Not to worry, though. We've got you covered with a few of our favorites! 

  • Center of Effort (Arroyo Grande, SLO County, CA)- Located in Central California, the wines are crafted with Edna Valley grapes. Don't miss the refreshing Pinot Noir Rose for long, summer days! #CenterofEffort
  • Wren Hop (Windsor, Sonoma County, CA)- We love everything about this newcomer! The wines are excellently crafted with care and Jim's passion shines through as he walked us through the tasting. Bonus points for the creativity behind their labels which are designed as book covers. #WrenHop
  • Mattina Fiore (San Luis Obispo, SLO County, CA)- Andrea and her husband Scott got the wine "bug" after crafting 2 barrels of Syrah, and quickly expanded their portfolio to include their popular Albarino and GSM blend. It also helps to have one of California's hottest winemakers, Robert Hensen, at the helm! #MattinaFiore
  • Barber Cellars (Petaluma, Sonoma County, CA) - Be on the lookout for Mike and Lorraine's tasting room in Petaluma coming soon, thanks to their cool Kickstarter campaign! Passion packs a punch with their awesome Zins! #BarberCellars
  • Flying Goat (Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA)- Kate is a gem and owner of Flying Goat Cellars., along with her husband/winemaker Norm. Their focus is on making vineyard designated pinot noir and sparkling wine. Tasting room in the "Lompoc Wine Ghetto."
  • Pech Merle (Geyserville, Sonoma County, CA)- We loved meeting Bruce and hearing about his passion about these small lot wines, like his 2012 Laguna de Santa Rose Pinot Noir. 

Download the VAULT29 app to see more of our experiences at the 2015 Family Winemakers of California event. Simply search by location ("Palace Hotel"), hashtag "Taste15", or by winery hastag (ie #WrenHop). If you're interested in attending future events, feel free to reach out to us for more information.