Vintners Own: Custom Make Your Own Wine

As someone who enjoys pairing spirits with cigars, wine has been an increasing item of interest. Just this past year at the IPCPR cigar trade show, I discovered that indeed many of the manufacturers are enjoying wine as their pairing of preference as well. There is a curiosity factor for me to discover more, and with so many parallels between the making of wine and the making of cigars, the pairing seems to be very appropriate. I think the varieties and styles lend themselves to compliment the notes of a cigar and the cigar to compliment the wine. Naturally, what is most important at the end of it all is our preference and taste.

My friend, Jonathan Fiant, then introduced me to someone who focuses on just that- the individual’s taste: Vintners Own.

Vintners Own is a specialized custom crush facility making “small lot” barrel productions. Their grapes are sourced from California’s Wine Country and are cold-storage-shipped directly to their facility in Houston. They are very particular about their grape selections and maintain the highest quality throughout every step of the process.

This means you can visit their facility and become part of the wine making process with your very own wine. Select your varietal of choice and their master wine maker will assist you to find the perfect path to the creation of your own wine. And from crush, to barrel tasting, to the labeling of the bottles- you are involved all along the way. The result is a true wine to reflect your taste.

I had the pleasure of visiting their facilities and getting the full tour. Wow, they are very passionate about what they do! And after a few tastings, I can see their passion follows throughout their entire production. When you walk into their facilities, the first thing you will notice is this beautiful sorting table and conveyer belt.

This assists in separating stems, leaves, and any other MOG (materials other than grape), which is done all by hand. This is a step that generally takes placeĀ  only in premium wine making. Removing MOG produces clean grapes to then be crushed and create a better wine. Once crushed, it is on to fermentation, barrel aging, blend and tasting, then finally bottling!

One of the recommendations they make when you are beginning the creation of your own wine is to bring a bottle of your existing favorite wine for their master wine maker to taste. This gives everyone involved a solid point of reference and helps to maintain the qualities you are looking for. Part of the process also includes determining your preference of alcohol content, tannin levels, ‘oakiness’ and acidity you want in your wine.

Taste is very personal and intimate, and when you are making your own wine you want it to be as accurate to your preferences as possible. This is something that Vintners Own understands and respects, and one of the reasons they allow you to become as involved as you want with an expert by your side.

And this is just the preview- I’ll be following up with another visit including video of the process happening in action! (I cannot help but think of cigars the whole time- from sorting, to removing the stems by hand, fermentation, aging, and blending. There is much in common).

You can discover more about Vintners Own and their Barrel Ownership Program at:

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