One of Girard’s biggest bottlings is its Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which is sourced from several vineyards in a smattering of different regions. Taking that approach to sourcing helps keep volume relatively high and price points relatively modest, head winemaker Glenn Hugo said.
Girard grows about one-third of the grapes it uses on its estate, but the remainder are sourced from growers with whom Girard has long-standing relationships.
“We have always had a focus on trying to over deliver for our price point, and as Napa has become more well known, there’s been an increase in pricing and we’ve tried to manage that,” Hugo said. “This helps us because the wine continues to help us be a big part of the restaurant scene. Owners and buyers feel that it is at a price point that they can afford to do it by the glass and I love that.”
Doing it that way also promotes versatility, Hugo added.
“We’re sitting down with dozens of samples to make these blends,” Hugo explained. “If one sample is more fruit forward, we can go to another one to get the tannin structure we need. Having all of these different vineyards to work with means there is more we can use to get the style we’re working toward.”
The brand’s focus on its place at the dinner table is a big part of the brand’s identity, and Hugo said his restaurant background contributes to Girard perpetuating its reputation.
“I feel like when we’re making our blends, I’ve got a sense of that,” Hugo said. “The most important part is to be a part of food. In France and Italy, wine is considered a part of the cuisine. As we see that more in our own country, it’s equally important here to make sure the wine doesn’t overtake the food — that it is the accoutrement to the meal.”
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