Get the Dirt about DB Cellars from winemaker Diane Bergeon

27 Mar

DBCellarsPic1. What was your first vintage year? 2017

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? Right now I am making micro amounts, under 100 cases for 2017 and 2018. This will increase with the 2019 vintage.

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No, I do not have my own tasting room. I share my wines through wine events, other social events, pop-up tastings, private events, and by appointment. I am open to sharing a tasting room with someone if the opportunity arises.

4. If not you, who is your winemaker?  I teamed up with a Northern CA bay area native Shaun Frohn who is winemaker at Camarillo Custom Crush. I also have a wine education and wine business background, and contributed to the production and style of winemaking for DB Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.

5. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Hmm, that is such a hard question because I like so many wines and I am constantly looking for a new varietal or new style to taste. I can tell you that the first time I was hooked on the wine experience was in the 1990s on my first trip to Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara wine country! I love the diversity of the wine industry, the way it makes people feel, and how it is constantly evolving and changing. My favorite varietal is Cabernet Sauvignon from California. I like a Napa Cab as much as I like a Paso Robles Cab, although they are completely different in taste, it is fun to compare!

DBWineryPic6. What varietals do you work with?  Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietals.

7. What vineyards do you source from? Why? Currently sourcing from Victor Hugo Vineyard, Templeton Gap District, Paso Robles, sustainable small lots, for our 2017 and 2018 wines. We are looking to add another source in Santa Barbara for 2019 harvest/a new wine. I wanted to make a lighter style of Cabernet Sauvignon (not a Napa Cab) and I think the climate, conditions and environment of the Templeton Gap District in Paso Robles is a good fit for this style of wine.

8. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? French Oak because I like that it gives wine a more refined taste and adds subtle flavor characteristics.

9. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Paso Robles is still a growing region, it is still being discovered, there are many options for producers and winemakers.

DBCellarsLabel10. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? It’s a family brand name. I wanted to make a wine with family in mind, my family is always part of me, growing up in an Italian-American family we shared stories and conversations with wine and food and everyone was happy, and good memories follow. Family extends to wine and how it brings people together, and this is what I see with wine enthusiasts when they are wine tasting or out with friends enjoying a glass of wine. I also wanted to make a wine that would be appealing to a diverse community, which is why I chose to make a light style Cabernet. It has the rich fruit forward tannins, dark and red fruit flavors, but in a more delicate way, with medium body, medium acidity and elegant finish.

11. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? How much time it takes to get it going! Previous career was in legal compliance, then transitioned into the wine industry by immersing into professional wine studies, certifications, co-op winemaking experience, harvest experience and research.

12. Most importantly, what’s so great about being small? What can you do as a small winemaker, that wouldn’t be possible for larger wineries? Owning a wine business that I can manage and making a wine that is not mass produced, and being able to know my customers!

13. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? I think there will be more small production winemakers. I think there will be some challenges with climate and weather.

14. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? It’s hard to choose one! Tuscany, Italy would be my top choice because I really enjoy Italian wines especially Sangiovese. I visited the Chianti region in 2015 and was blown away by its true beauty and rustic surreal land. On my travel list, however, is Sicily (Etna wines) because I am very curious and have heard so many good things about this region, and Burgundy because I do love Pinot Noir in general and enjoy comparing from different regions.

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