Companion Wine Co.
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Companion Wine Co. was born out of the idea that delicious, terroir-driven, natural wine from California could be sold at a cost and in packaging (aluminum cans) that is accessible to all. Companion features fruit farmed and produced by winemakers across California, which currently includes Ryan Stirm, Scott Schultz, Gina Giugni, and Graham Tatomer.
Ryan Stirm (Stirm Wine Co.): Ryan Stirm began his winemaking career through a love of farming. His passion was for the land and what could be grown but eventually turned towards vineyards specifically. Wine then became his way of documenting a place and time. While most of his winemaking pedigree has been etched in California, he spent time in Margaret River, Australia and the Wachau in Austria (Weingut Tegernseerhof). Abroad, he was able to hone his craft making Riesling as well as learning about the best practices in vineyard management. Ryan currently splits his time between the cellar and the vineyards he is contracted to tend in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Scott Schultz (Jolie-Laide): Scott Schultz of Jolie-Laide is a Chicago native who began his career by working front of the house in several top restaurants. Following a stint in Thomas Keller's Las Vegas Bouchon, he made his way to the sister restaurant in Yountville. From there the logical step was out of the restaurant and into the cellar. In 2010 he took a position working for Pax Mahle. It was there when he started experimenting with Trousseau Gris and Melon de Bourgogne and other more obscure varieties.
Gina Giugni (Lady of the Sunshine): Gina Giugni is a true inspiration both as a farmer and a winemaker. Having grown up on a Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard in the Sierra Foothills, she learned early about the very best way to farm the land with an emphasis on soil health and biodiversity. She has brought this knowledge to her day job in the Edna Valley along California’s Central Coast, converting several vineyards in the region to biodynamic practices. Her winemaking tutelage started while studying for her bachelor of science degree in Wine and Viticulture and then grew as she went to work in some of the world’s best winemaking regions (Beaujolais, Central Otago, Willamette Valley, Napa).
Graham Tatomer (Tatomer Wines): If ever there were a champion of Riesling in the New World it would be Graham Tatomer. Since founding his eponymous winery in 2008, he’s been making multiple Rieslings each vintage from sites in Santa Barbara County and making a case for it being the best white grape to be planted in the area. Having trained between Weingut Knoll in the Wachau and the Ojai Vineyard in Santa Barbara, he has a defined knowledge of old world traditions and methods but an astute understanding of his own home AVA.