Wine Made Easy
Become a vintner with Wine Country’s posh new wine club.
Photos by Jasper Trout
Imagine having your very own boutique wine label. Now, imagine you don’t have to purchase the land, harvest the grapes, or source the award-winning winemaker.
That’s what you get with Carteirra, an exclusive, international wine club in Napa Valley and Sonoma.
“People want access to what they can’t get,” says founder Peter Stuart, a former tobacco farmer from Zimbabwe, who started the company’s first custom-crush facility in South Africa’s Walker Bay wine region in 2008. He took the concept global by assembling teams in France, Sonoma, and Napa Valley, with Italy and Argentina on the horizon.
Membership in Carteirra gives would-be vintners access to two of Napa and Sonoma’s top winemakers: Tony Biagi on the Oakville AVA Cabernet Sauvignon side, and Matt Courtney on the Sonoma AVA Chardonnay side. Formerly, Biagi worked with Duckhorn Vineyards, Plumpjack, and Cade Winery, while Courtney has experience with the legendary Helen Turley brand Marcassin.
Fees range from $9,750 for a half-barrel (12.5 standard, 12-bottle cases) of Chardonnay, to $17,850-$20,250 for different ranges of the Cabernet. The 2013 wines will be released in 2015, and labeled “not for resale.”
Carteirra also lets members give input on wine-making decisions as well as the opportunity to custom design their own labels. But unlike many other custom-crush facilities, Carteirra lets the experts take the lead, instead of encouraging clients to make decisions that might result in less-than-solid product.
Really, the biggest reason to buy into the club is getting access to winemakers and grapes that would be, as Stuart says, “otherwise unattainable.”
Proof that membership does, indeed, have its privileges.