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Napa Winemakers’ After-Hours Passion Projects Fuel Creativity and Community

Wine Enthusiast contributing editor Virginie Boone reports on a growing movement of after-hours passion projects among winemakers in the Napa Valley. Boone explains that while the Napa Valley has plenty of outstanding wines, the grape prices have become exceptionally high. Some winemakers to create smaller “personal wine labels” that allow wine professionals to make a wine they truly enjoy to drink. These wines are different then what you might normally find in the valley, “they can highlight unusual varieties that might not please the masses or pay all the bills. It’s an opportunity to explore other sites and grape varieties and make experimental, affordable bottles that combine adventure with the avant-garde…” 

The feature features an interview with winemaker Jason Driscoll, who launched his personal company, Tilth – Driscoll Wine Co., as a part of an “after-hours passion project” in 2014 while he was the assistant winemaker at DeSante Wines. Driscoll started with 300 cases of Tilth Lake County Zinfandel. A few years in, he and his wife, Hilary, have expanded to source grapes from throughout Northern California, including Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

To learn more about Tilth and this growing moment in Napa, read the full article HERE.

 

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    Jason and Hilary Driscoll met in Washington State and discovered their love of wine through Jason’s work as a chef and their determination to find the perfect wine pairings. What was supposed to be a brief once-in-a-lifetime harvest opportunity in between kitchens, turned into a passion and full-time job as Jason worked his way up through the cellars at Hunnicut Wines before becoming the Assistant Winemaker for David and Katharine DeSante of DeSante Wines. “DeSante University” immersed him both in the vineyards and the cellar. He learned everything from pruning to pump-building. Jason was exposed to lesser known vineyards, both old and new, that produced spectacular fruit. Inspired by the quality wines these vineyards produced, Hilary and Jason conceived Tilth Wines.