Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow, Harlan, Willams Selyem, Kosta Brown… Even a gal from small-town Idaho knows those big names, but I have a knack for seeking something adventurous and unknown, wine or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, you can find good taste by following the crowd, and my personal cellar is crowded, but style — whether in music, art, or wine — contains a level of creativity and originality that dares one to seek the unknown. Plus, everyone loves a great discovery, and I believe that is what drives us when seeking new thrills. So, when a warehouse worker named Chris Strieter pulled me away from a droning inventory project back in 2012 to secretively show off his own wine brand stashed there, I was intrigued.
“Hey, come check this out,” Chris said, taking me over to the bottom shelf of a towering gorilla rack that reached two stories tall. He began to tell me of this dream he and his two friends shared as children playing in the vineyard together, “And so that’s how my best friends and I decided to craft Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast.” And from a dusty, indistinguishable box, he pulled a bottle of Senses 2011 Pinot Noir. There, through the excitement of our shared ambitions, I made my first discovery amongst the icons of the wine industry: Senses Wines.
Isn’t that what wine is all about? Any of us can head on down to the corner market and pick up a bottle of — insert your go-to $20 bottle of wine — and head off to our friend’s birthday party. But what drives us to, instead, reach into our coveted personal stash? Regardless if it’s a torn-up box in the back of the closet, or a custom build cellar with vintages dating back decades… I’d bet my bottom dollar the reason is driven by the desire to share a discovery that gets you stoked, and intrigues your friends.
And that’s my mission as General Manager: To make those discoveries with each of you. I invite you to come out to Occidental! Let’s raise a glass, laugh, humble ourselves, and fall in love with the gorgeous setting Chris, Max and Myles call home. Because at the bottom of each glass of Senses, there should always be good times shared and a story to tell.
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