The term "garagistes" originated in Bordeaux in the 1980's and referred to a group of innovative winemakers who produced exceptional wines in their garages rather than in grand chateaux. Like the renegade French Garagistes, Taft Street began in a garage in 1979, stressing quality without pretense. Mike Tierney with his brother John and Mike Martini turned the Tierney family garage into a winery: barrels, stainless tanks, a basket press and hand corker. With a little quality control and an ever growing following who loved the wine, the house and garage on Taft Street gained a reputation of its own. In the early 80's, they moved the operation to a town of Forestville in Russian River. Mike Tierney during this time was still working as a teacher by day and selling wine via his pickup at night. During the 1990's their distribution grew nationally with awards for their wines popping up in Wine Spectator and other magazines. However, the focus never derailed from producing wines from grapes sourced by nearby vineyards in the Russian River Valley. In 2007, they brought on winemaker Evelyn White. Read more about the Taft Street Story as told by Mike Tierney.
Taft Street continues in the Garagistes traditions to this day, producing limited production, handcrafted wines from select Sonoma County vineyards.
About the Evelyn White: After graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, Evelyn developed her winemaking skills for more than 15 years under Margaret Davenport at Clos du Bois with her last position having responsibility for white wine production. Following a three year stint with Delicato, Evelyn brings talent and experience to Taft Street that is reflected in their boutique selections. Read more on Winemaker Evelyn White.
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