Hot Winemakers – Valentine’s Day Blog

Here at Monsoon Market, we’re always talking about what’s hot. The hottest items are what excites us, what tantalizes our taste buds, what stimulates our senses and visually stuns us. What we haven’t told you, is that some of our hottest bottles of natural wine are made by even hotter winemakers. This Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be good fun to highlight the people behind these wines, the hotties behind the bottle. Grab a glass, you’ll be thirsty after this one. 

The Lovebirds

Winemaker(s): Alanna LaGamba, Martin Otto Wörner

Wine Label(s): Vin de LaGamba, Marto

Location: Reinhessen, Germany

Alanna and Marto fell in love during harvest season, holding hands while picking grapes (inefficient, but cute) and spending romantic candle-lit evenings in the wine cellar. Or at least that’s how we imagine it. This now married duo has a special talent for making some of the most delicious and dynamic fizzy wines we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. We’re constantly flirting in their DM’s, playing the long game, in case they ever decide to abandon their super cool lives in Germany and move to Phoenix. LOL we’re kidding… unless? 😉

The Surfer Boy

Winemaker: James Jelks

Wine Label: Florez

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Picture this: you wake up early to accompany James for his morning surf. He emerges from the water, glistening in the California sun. Then he asks you if you want to take a tour of his vineyards and sample his newest vintages?! Kowabunga! James is the kind of guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously and enjoys the little things in life – sunshine, riding the wave, and a tasty cuvee. Embracing old world techniques and sourcing only from organic and sustainable vineyards, Florez continues to make outstanding natural wines for any occasion. If you’d like to see James hard at work in his cellar (with his shirt off) watch this documentary Living Wine.

The Adventure Man

Winemaker: Graham Markel 

Wine Label: Buona Notte

Location: Columbia Gorge, Oregon

You might find Graham dressed in Carhartts and a flannel, foraging for firewood in the Oregon woods, before returning to his cellar where he makes wine with his (very lucky) wife. Not your average lumberjack, having learned to cook at his mother’s cooking school in Tuscany, he carries a passion for a hearty meal and a delicious glass of wine. Graham brings a lot to the table including his wines, his worldly experiences and his muscular arms. It’s safe to say we’d let Graham wine and dine us anyday.

The High Fashion Farmer

Winemaker: Giorgia Salierno

Wine Label: Signoraginni

Location: Toscana, Italy

Giorgia ditched the runways of Milan and her big city lifestyle to find fulfillment in central Italy’s blossoming natural wine-making scene. There is nothing more stylish than finding your life’s purpose! This free-spirited, small town girl spends her days farming and working on her winemaking project, Signoraginni, which is dedicated to the newest generation of women working in wine. Each cuvee is named after a significant female fashion figure (e.g. Enigma, named for the first Italian drag queen in 1896). Giorgia’s motto in life and in her winemaking is in Donna Veritas, in women there is truth. So true!

The Mysterious Boy Next Door

Winemaker: Timo Geis

Wine Label: Cactus Cru

Location: Sedona, AZ

Timo is doing the groundbreaking, never-been-done-before work of making truly natural wine here in Arizona. What started early on as a passion project in his bedroom, is now a legitimate and successful wine label Cactus Cru. A man of many talents and few words, Timo lets his wine speak for themselves. The throwback photo of his father from the 80’s on his Dance France rosé speaks to how much his family and his French roots have influenced his journey. Just like the rest of us, you can expect to be charmed by his humble ways and tasty wines. Making natural wine in Arizona is, literally, so hot!

The Natty Daddy

Winemaker: Frederic Cossard

Wine Label: Frederic Cossard 

Location: Vaucluse, France

We’ve got the hots for an older man, and no this isn’t our daddy issues speaking. Quite the opposite, Frederic Cossard sets the bar so high that we fear no other man will be able to live up to his high standards. He is a self-made and now seasoned Burgundy winemaker who knows how to work the camera. I mean look how proud he is, smiling amidst his beautiful vineyards! We’re told he has incredible “joie de vivre” which translates to an exuberant enjoyment of life. We like his style, both in fashion and in winemaking. He’s wearing a button down to convey authority, but the rolled up sleeves let us know he also likes to have fun. But remember, Fred is particular, handing a long list of demands to his farmers, ensuring the absolute best quality of fruit for his wines. Using only indigenous yeasts with no fining or filtration, and no added SO2, Fred’s wines would make their way into a Goop newsletter.