Sonoma-based Sosie Wines is gearing up to take the next step in its development, partnering with a winemaking team to allow its founders to focus on continuing to grow the brand.
Scott McFiggen, who co-founded the winery in 2015 with Regina Bustamante, opened their first tasting room off the square in downtown Sonoma last year.
The boutique French-inspired winery has partnered with winemaker Philippe Melka and his team, Atelier Melka, a St. Helena-based wine consulting company that specializes in small production wines that are family owner and operated.
McFiggen said the time was right for he and Bustamante to get away from the production side and focus on giving the growing brand the support it needs.
The owners said Melka — who is from France — and his company were a natural fit for Sosie’s Old World-style wines.
“Since our founding in 2015 we have been focused on our core values of quality, low intervention winemaking, and transparency,” McFiggen told Vintner Magazine. “As you can imagine it was a difficult decision to trust this aspect of the brand to a partner. With a solid portfolio and a clear philosophy, we knew we could find a good partner that would appreciate what we have built but also bring us to the next level.”
Atelier Melka joined Sosie for the 2021 harvest in preparation for the new partnership.
“Scott and Regina set the direction and we embraced their goals, including continuing to source from cool sites, focusing on minimum intervention and eventually moving production to 100% organically farmed fruit,” Melka said. “It is important for us to capture the personality of Sosie, respecting their past as well as the future vision of the brand.”
Sosie started making wine in 2015 but did not craft the branding until 2017, allowing them to tell a story based directly on what they had been building, McFiggen said. The identity they’ve developed led them to their choice to partner with Atelier Melka.
“Sosie means ‘look-alike’ in French and is a nod to old world winemaking philosophy and history. The logo shows the California bear representing California terroir and the French rooster representing our winemaking philosophy. With that as our core, it was critical to find a partner that would embrace these ideals,” McFiggen explained. “We discussed our needs with many friends and colleagues in the industry and built a short list of potential partners.
“After speaking with Philippe Melka and his team we knew it would be a good fit. Not only did they understand what we are trying to accomplish, they also have an impressive track record and command a lot of respect in the industry. This means they will also be great partners in helping us source premium organic vineyards going forward as we continue to expand.”
With the winemaking taken care of, Sosie’s ownership will split its focus on growth and continuing to take care of its current partnerships and wine club members, whom McFiggen responds to personally.
“For 2022, we plan to continue meeting many new friends through our tasting room in Sonoma as well as expand our footprint through wholesale relationships throughout California,” McFiggen said. “Longer term we plan to build distribution partnerships in a few key states. At the same time we will keep the attention to detail that has been a characteristic of Sosie Wines as well as maintain our personal relationships with our club members.”
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