Get the Dirt about Wander-Must from winemaker Gianna Fugazi

1 Mar

Wandermust Description1. What was your first vintage year? 2015

2. How many cases do you make per vintage? 2015 (200cs) 2016 (100cs) 2018 (400cs)

3. Do you have a Tasting Room? No tasting room, but I currently host groups for a wine and food pairing experience at Mateo’s Restaurant in Healdsburg.

4. What wine made you want to become a winemaker/start your own winery? Flowers Vineyard and Winery, I worked there from the start as an intern in 2012 to ending as an Assistant Winemaker in 2018.

5. What varietals do you work with? Which varietal/wine is your favorite to make?


So far making all of them have been exciting and adventurous for me. I focus on different winemaking styles and treat each varietal as their own little star of the show!

6. What vineyards do you source from?

Small Family owned vineyards across CA.
• Vierra Familia Estate Vineyards, Acampo
• Rorick Heritage Vineyard, Calaveras
• 1-Acre Vineyard, Kenwood (recently pulled out, I made the last two vintages of that little gem)

7. What type of oak treatment do you use? Why? Depending on the varietal and the treatment of the must, I have used François Freres and Cavin for two different vintages of Merlot. I also used neutral barrels for fermenting alongside stainless to bring more mouth feel and roundness to the blends.

WanderMust_018. What do you love about your winemaking region? What makes it different special? Sonoma County is great, it’s filled with pinot noir and chardonnay enthusiasts who are always looking for something different to enjoy. The tasters out here are adventurous and enthusiastic about different varietals to explore while keeping in mind how wines should be in balance with the source and method it is made by.

9. What’s the story behind your winery name / label? Wander-Must is about exploration. I have always found I am most happy and inspired when exploring different regions, cultures, foods etc. The must is the fermentation, and wandering propels me to try different methods that highlight aspects of a wine that may be somewhat artistic or eccentric. One must wander with wine.

10. What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about the wine business before you started your own winery? Hard to say, I always loved small production. When I worked for large production wineries, I found I liked wearing many hats. I guess the thing is with starting out you are wearing the only hat! When it comes to navigating it’s been somewhat of a logistical hurdle with my family life. But when there is a will there is a way!

I would have wanted someone to tell me you must be open to improvise and adapt with your wine business as quickly as you would deal with some pressing matter during harvest. Having your own wine business/winery is the endless harvest!

11. 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? I can host people intimately and have conversations about wine. My favorite thing with being small are the curious questions I get about winemaking in general.

12. How do you view the future in the wine industry for small-lot winemakers? The future is big, for small producers. I believe people want to see innovation and now see things in a much more transparent environment. Small producers listen, adapt and innovate.

13. If you had to choose another wine region to work in what would it be? I would choose somewhere in Chile.

For more information about Wander-Must, please visit their website or follow them on FACEBOOK.

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