Banyan Wines is a father and son project from Somchai and Kenny Likitprakong born out of a mutual passion for wines, their Thai heritage and an idea to combine the two. They produce appellation specific California white wines that pair with Asian cuisines. The Banyan philosophy is to use only sustainably and/or organically farmed grapes from vineyards in regions with micro climates ideally suited for the particular variety.
Banyan is part of the The Hobo Wine Company... the brainchild, side job, menace to the wine industry, hedged bet, cash strain, mental anguish, late night musing, bruised hands, dirty t-shirts, and constant companion of Kenny Likitprakong. Despite knowing better, he started his own label in 2002 with the simple idea to have some good fun.
2016 GEWURZTRAMINER, MONTEREY COUNTY
100% Gewurztraminer grown from Ventana Vineyards in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey. Both vineyards are meticulously farmed assuring both the specific ripeness and balance of sugar and acidity are achieved. Only 1600 cases produced.
Hobo is Kenny's tribute and homage to a freedom and an era that he grew up romanticizing. He spent a lot of his late teens and early twenties chasing the rambling ways of the American Hobo. Instead of becoming a hobo, he became a “Hobo Winemaker.” Of the two ways to make wine, with and without money, the first should probably be the only, but a few slip through the cracks and do it on the skinny. No winery, no vineyards, no truck, no warehouse, no employees…nothing. There are advantages. Making small lots comes naturally, the flexibility to pick and choose grape type, vineyard, appellation, and winery on an ongoing basis, and a larger circle of people involved which means more ideas and expertise.
In 2013 they made the leap to convert a warehouse in Santa Rosa into a full production winery. They cut drains, installed electricity, insulation, plumbing, moved the tanks, eggs and barrels and crushed their first fruit that fall.