When I asked Mark why he came to the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium,
he shared, "I have 12 wines in production. It's easy to get into the minutia of the wines.
Here, at the Unified, you get a wide angle view; a bigger perspective.”
I hear something along those lines from many wineries.
They can get stuck maintaining a business and pouring their wines.
It takes time and effort to taste other winemakers' wines and gather new information.
While at the Unified in Sacramento, Mark met with vendors. He was looking for, "Who's supporting Integrity Wines, vs. who's selling to Integrity Wines. One sells me barrels. One's my winemaking partner.”
There is a distinct difference.
With multiple French oak barrel suppliers to
choose from, Mark is looking for an extremely strong commitment to the keep quality he demands, while scaling up production.
Integrity Wines may be continuing to expand
as a business, but Mark stays focused on quality.
He began a program that includes weekly testing
in the vineyards during veraison (the onset of ripening.) Canopy, water, nutrition, and harvest time are all thoughtfully considered as well.
In the spirit of trying new things, each year Mark will make what he calls a "geek wine.” Something he particularly wants to make or try. "I don't operate in the world of regret,” he shared.
Mark did his research and discovered “Pinot Grigio to be one of the hottest white varietals.” His Pinot Grigio and Riesling took off as customer favorites. Rosewood bought out all the Riesling to sell by the glass.
Tasters can enjoy variety with Integrity Wines.
In the offering are 12 wines, each with their own depth and complexity.
Mark offers a coastal style Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay.
He has also added a Chablis style Chardonnay, which is more crisp, fresh, and bright in personality.
Watsonville is one of the produce capitals of California.
And Mark is proving there is room for wine too.
Up next, in my Unified Series, "5 Wine Trends to Keep and Eye On.”
Raise a toast to the classics, and to the new wines on the block!
Bridging the gap from the vineyard to the winemaker, John McKenna of Coppola shares with us....
Join me at California Wine