"It's not about making great wine, it's about making memories and bringing people together. If our wine ends up great, that is just a bonus.
It's all about the journey here, not the destination."
Naughty Vines was established in 2009 by wine makers Craig Allen and Mitchell Greenblatt. Their love of drinking and their passion for fine things meant wine making was destined to occur.
Here is the short story that brought it all to life.
Mitch was living in Sacramento, California in 2008. He spent many a weekend touring Napa and Sonoma experiencing what the California wine country had to offer. This alone, however, didn't spark his interest in making wine for himself.
One nondescript weekend, Craig was visiting from Seattle and while leaving from Mitch's home they observed neighbors in their garage making wine with a group of friends. They were equipped only with a basket press, bins of fresh grapes, and an entire garage of aging barrels.
The neighbor invited Mitch and Craig over to help and after much consumption, interest from other neighbors, laughter, tiresome press duty, and even more tiresome cleanup, Mitch and Craig stumbled back to Mitch's house and ordered a pizza. While eating, they looked at each other and said simultaneously "we must do this" and as they say, the rest is history.
The very next weekend Mitch flew to Seattle to meet Craig, they drove to Eastern Washington to visit the Colombia Valley AVA and an obscure "you pick" grape farm their first grape harvest--Viognier and Syrah varietals. After renting a simple basket press and buying basic equipment they thought they'd need, including a "How to Make Wine" book from Barnes & Noble they started work on their first vintage to be called 'Naughty Vines.' As of this writing, they are (surprisingly) still enjoying that 2008 Viognier and Syrah. Not the best wine ever produced but certainly not bad for their first go from Craig's garage in Seattle.
As of 2020, Naughty Vines produces, on average a very limited 350 cases in total per year when they operate. "This will be the most we'll ever produce in a single production year," says Mitch--a commitment to maintaining quality and exclusivity.
Wine for Craig and Mitch and the Naughty Vines label isn't about money, it is about spending quality time with family, friends, and fellow enthusiasts. It is and forever will be about engaging in the art (and consumption) of, not the science and business of wine making.