With more time spent at home, what's stopping you from having wine with lunch every day, or as warmer weather comes, enjoying a new ritual of happy hour on the deck? (Because coronavirus Zoom Happy Hours are definitely a thing.) So in light of our new drinking habits, we asked Jill Bernheimer, owner of Domaine LA in Hollywood, which California wines we should buy now. The answer? Look to micro-winemakers.
The reasons are two-fold: Firstly, these dedicated men and women lovingly hand-craft fewer than 10,000 cases of wine a year, spending more time and effort on creating a quality product than any big corporation. Secondly, these primarily younger winemakers typically lease vineyards and buy fruit—they don't own the land like more established brands. And they usually rely on restaurants for distribution but because these eateries aren't operating, they need the cash flow from their already released wines to help them make it through the next vintage (because without the cashflow from restaurant sales, they won't have the financial ability to access their raw materials). “It's very important that we buy from these wineries, either directly or through retail,’’ Bernheimer urges. Here's a look at some bottles she thinks are worth seeking out and stocking up on right now. Note: These wines are available from the makers listed below, or via phone or email at Domaine LA (323-932-0280 or email@example.com).