La Boutanche is a world-wide project of several nations participating in a program to make natural wines everyone can afford. This version comes straight out of Sonoma, California. Chris Brockway used a blend of whole-cluster Zinfandel plus Grenache, Sangiovese, and Valdiguié, all farmed organically and produced without sulfur.
Flavor Profile: Lighter medium-bodied, dry. Crunchy brambleberry, sage, and earth with balance and quaffability. It can take a chill if you like.
Chris Brockway came to call Berkeley home (for his cellar anyways) by way of Omaha, Nebraska, where he was born and raised, Seattle, and finally Los Angeles, with a couple short stops in between. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he began working in restaurants around the city before decamping to the Pacific Northwest, where he ultimately became interested in wine. After a friend joked that he should learn how to actually make it, he packed his things and enrolled in winemaking courses at UC Davis. Before finishing, he made the move to Cal State Fresno, which has its own functioning winery, and this is where he became an expert, as he says, in everything he does not use.
He finished his studies and quickly landed a job at JC Cellars, by all means a conventional winery. At the same time he began to frequent Terroir, San Francisco’s first natural wine bar, and began to think a lot about experimenting with the wines he liked to drink. And so, with a few small experiments, Broc Cellars was born.
His facility comprises two warehouses, one with multiple stainless steel, concrete, and wooden tanks, the other a dedicated barrel and concrete egg room. All fermentations are done with native yeasts, and for the most part he forgoes the use of sulfur. If needed, he will add a few milligrams about four weeks before bottling so that it fully integrates into the wine.
The first run of Boutanche was back in 2012. As you may remember, it had a bright pink label that read ‘La Boutanche’ with pig in a Hawaiian shirt polishing off a glass of wine above that, and not much else. The juice inside was what mattered (at the time it was Gamay made by Maison PUR), and the juice inside seriously overdelivered for its low retail price. It was an immediate hit. Flash forward to today and there are many different Boutanche: the grasshopper (Andi Knauss), the fish (Frantz Saumon), the pig (Olivier Minot), the French bulldog (Quentin Bourse), the gorilla (Martin Texier), you name it. We are committed to expanding the line and having Boutanche be the first bottle you reach for around $20, either if it’s your daily go-to wine or if it will be your first natural wine experience. Boutanche is now synonymous with high-quality natty juice at a fair price, so stay tuned for new releases under this label.
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