The debut release of the Oceano Wines 2016 Spanish Springs Vineyard Chardonnay (a Pinot Noir is to follow) is the happy result of any number of coincidences and fortuitous happenings.
The backstory of how this came to be reads like a romance novel. Co-proprietors Rachel Martin and Kurt Deutsch were seated at the same table at the Middleburg Film Festival’s screening of “The Last Five Years” in October 2014. While it wasn’t a set up, it was the first step in what would become a romance first and then a business partnership. Both of these relationships evolved out of the seemingly unlikely intersection of their careers.
That they ended up at the table together happened because Martin is a founding board member of the film festival (she is intimately involved with the food and drink aspect – no surprise given her position as Executive Vice President of Winery Operations at nearby Boxwood Estate Winery). For Deutsch’s part, he was there because his company Sh-K-Boom is a producer of the film that was being screened. As the relationship progressed, Deutsch became more and more intrigued by Martin’s world, which soon led to another made-to-order coincidence.
It occurred to Deutsch that his father’s longtime friend and neighbor owned a vineyard in California. Deutsch suggested that Martin buy some grapes to make a wine. They made the trip to Henry Warshaw’s Spanish Springs Vineyard located about 10 miles south of the sleepy town of San Luis Obispo more as wine country tourists than aspiring vintners. While Warshaw sought Martin’s input on the wine side of ANZA Vineyard Estates at Spanish Springs, a 16-home wine country community that includes this vineyard, neither of them were looking to make a wine. But at the same time Martin was impressed by what she saw. And after meeting with the vineyard manager, George Donati of Pacific Vineyard Company, she was even more so.
After returning to the East Coast, they decided that they couldn’t let this opportunity pass. Particularly because the vineyard was becoming known for the quality of its fruit and they feared that if they didn’t jump in now, they wouldn’t have the chance later. Jump they did.