Spotlight On Our Producers: Kate Arnold Wines
Jean Arnold | Owner and Winemaker | Kate Arnold Wines
Tell Us About Your Concept To Offer Wines From Three Different – and Respected – Domestic Wine Regions: California, Oregon and Washington?
If we start with good-quality fruit, then the wine is going to be something special. And that’s why we’re all about provenance, identifying the best growing area for each varietal, and vineyard sourcing. Our California wines are grown in Lake County, which we believe is optimal for Sauvignon Blanc from a price-quality perspective. In Oregon, there’s a purity to the Pinot Noir so there’s not a lot of winemaking intervention. And in Washington, it all comes down to climate; that is by far the best place to grow heartier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
What Does Your Production Process Look Like?
We partner with a group of 12–15 wineries that have the production capacity to crush and bottle our wine, and we’re investing in a facility for the first time this year. All the vineyards are family-owned and 20 acres or smaller. I’m proud to say we work on many handshakes. This year, we plan to distribute 30,000 cases.
What is the Benefit of Working with Small Producers?
Small wineries like ours and those of our grape-growing partners are where you can find interesting varietals like Gamay and Gamay Noir. By offering these varietals, we can also uplift small growers. We are a family business in that Katie and I, along with our daughter, travel around together to meet with our vineyards and visit the grapes. We have an apartment in Oregon and spend a considerable amount of time there.
Describe Your Winemaking Philosophy.
We take a long-term approach to winemaking. This means we are in it for the long haul, with a focus on building something sustainable. People appreciate the transparency in how our wine is produced. We don’t add any concentrate and we ferment dry, except for Riesling. It’s also vegan. We don’t produce anything we wouldn’t drink ourselves. We always ask: What would we want to see in a bottle of wine?
What are Some of Your Favorite Wines from Your own Portfolio?
I am most excited about our Cabernet Franc—and it’s hard to keep our hands on. People love it, but it goes quickly and we only want to source the best fruit.
Tell Us About Your Relationships with Vanguard Wines.
In 2007, Vanguard Wines was the first distributor to launch our original wines, including the California Sauvignon Blanc and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Since then, we have enjoyed a long and outstanding relationship with Eric and his team.