Why the name Populis? Because it's all about the people who want to drink delicious, honest wine. There is not enough wine with soul that is affordable. This label has but one goal: bring delicious, honest wine to the people at a great price so that they may pop more than one bottle at a time! Populis wine is made from grapes sourced all over Northern California. The farming is top notch with no herbicides or pesticides used. The vines are on the older side. In the winery, no additives are used. Little to no intervention is done before bottling.
Owner Bios: Populis Wine is a collective effort among the three friends, producing wines that are fun and straight-up crushable. These three friends own and operate a grape growing and winemaking cooperative where they share all of the work, expenses, profits and fun. The collective was born when everyone returned to California from apprenticeships abroad and realized that there was/is a huge void to fill when it comes to finding wines made naturally from organically grown grapes. California is known for its healthy and progressive food and farming scene—it’s about time that the wines followed suit!
Diego Roig: Diego was practically born with a glass of wine in his hands. Raised in California by a family of grape growers and winemakers (with roots dating prior to Prohibition), it was not uncommon to hear him ask for wine (watered back, of course!) at the dinner table. His parents regularly obliged and a career in the wine industry was born. Fast forward to now, and he has had the opportunity to learn from Bob Cabral (Williams-Selyem), Vanessa Wong (Peay Vineyards), Andy Walker (UC Davis), Kevin Fontaine (Charles Joguet, Chinon, France), Colin Ross (Seresin, Marlborough, NZ), Didier Barral (Domaine Léon Barral, Faugères, France), Giusto Occhipinti (COS, Sicily) and Philippe Valette (Domaine Valette, Macon, Burgundy), among others. These experiences and countless days spent tending vineyards and tasting wines from all over the world (this time, sans water) have helped shape his belief that the best wines come from soils and vineyards farmed without synthetic chemicals and with the utmost respect paid to nature. Furthermore, grapes grown in these vineyards have no need for commercial yeast strains or chemical additives to manipulate flavor other than the smallest amount of sulfur to protect them during bottling, ensuring the truest expression of place and time.
Sam Baron: The cycle is what brought Sam Baron to wine. A world where the producer is relentlessly pushed by nature, striving to be in tune with nature and constantly challenged by nature. Throughout this cycle a myriad of experiences and influences build persona and beliefs. Sam's personal journey began in the vineyard. While studying Geology, he began working all over the Alexander and Sonoma Valleys. This was an eye opening experience for him. He spent sunrise to sunset walking vineyards and learning to speak their language. This invigorated his desire to learn all that he could about wine. Chemistry, wines of the world, winery work, plant pathology, and grape typicity are a short list of topics that Sam dove into. Gleaning knowledge and experience from Wine shops and Bars to formal classrooms to wineries all over the world. From those experiences emerged with the same passion, to spend his days in tune with the constant cycles of nature and attempt to encapsulate them annually via wine.
Shaunt Oungoulian: During Shaunt Oungoulian's first vintage working in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County, he observed and reflected upon the innumerable biological and chemical processes occurring within each tank, barrel, bottle, and glass and was drawn into the world of wine. In order to deepen his understanding of this churning world beneath the surface, Shaunt decided to enroll in UC Davis’s Viticulture and Enology program. While studying UC Davis, a few classmates introduced him to a number of ‘natural’ wines that had a huge influence on his tastes and goals as a winemaker. Shaunt began to contextualize his research and coursework through a non-interventionist lens and found this approach to be much more intellectually satisfying and fulfilling. After graduating Davis, Shaunt left for France to pursue this reductive style of winemaking with various apprenticeships. He was fortunate to work under Philippe Valette in Mâcon and Julie Balagny in Fleurie. Both of these vignerons are extremely technically knowledgeable, but remain fiercely non-interventionist in their cellars and vineyards. They demonstrated to him that in order to make truly expressive wines, one must be able to embrace tradition and innovation at once, a lesson that continues to guide Shaunt's winemaking/winegrowing philosophy to this day.