A brash young San Luis Obispo wine marketing company, Proof Wine Collective, has released its first wine — that is, Anti-Wine — which intends to break all the rules.
Founded by ex-sommelier and high-end wine shop worker Josh McFadden, Proof began more than three years ago as a way for him to help winemaker friends market the fruits of their vineyards.
“We’re transitioning right now out of a service firm and into a wine company in general,” said McFadden, now Proof’s CEO and creative director. “We’ve been these kids running around the wine industry saying these precocious things. We’re ready to start making things.”
With a stand-out approach to branding, one of the labels it designed earned a spot in a 2010 San Francisco Modern Art Museum exhibit on “Modern Wine.”
With a staff of six, all younger than 30, it continues to work with a handful of Central Coast wineries, including Field Recordings, Sans Liege and Herman Story.
And they take a dim view of traditional marketing in the wine industry. Like Proof’s other labels, Anti-Wine seeks to cut through the “noise” of brands that adopt similar concepts for branding and organization.
“All of us are millennials,” said McFadden. “No matter what we do, it’ll be aimed at millennials because that’s who we are.”
With red and white blends retailing at $13 to $15 a bottle, Anti-Wine ignores the conventions associated with varietal, vintage and appellation.
Anti-Wine’s black-and-white website captures a sense of anarchy, featuring a manifesto that begins: “I can hear the death rattle of our industry when salespeople peddle wines made and re-made in the same style ”
“There’s a false debate between aristocracy and boring supermarket wines,” McFadden said. “I don’t think that’s a real choice. We don’t have to be beholden to what came before.”
New winemaker at Vina Robles
Vina Robles has named Nicholas de Luca winemaker.
He replaces Swiss native Matthias Gubler. Vina Robles’ winemaker since 1999, Gubler is returning to Maienfeld, Switzerland, to oversee his family’s vineyards there. He’ll continue his association with the Paso Robles winery as a contributing winemaker.
“It will be exciting to see the next years of winemaking evolve at Vina Robles,” said managing partner Hans Michel. It was founded in 1996 by Swiss entrepreneur Hans Nef.
Originally from Boston, de Luca brings 15 years experience. Most recently, he spent six years as director of vineyards and winemaking at Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards in Santa Ynez.
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