Dewitt Family Story

Our Story

Wine making, for the DeWitt’s, began in 1994. Our proximity to South Philadelphia, home of the Italian “home brew” provided us with resources for home winemaking. Mentored by Ed’s long-time Barber and friend, Francis Gigliotti, a passion for winemaking began. In addition, Ed took classes at the Philadelphia Wine School, operated by Keith Wallace, a well know wine critic and educator. Volunteer work, at two New Jersey wineries, added to the knowledge base with hands-on experience. These activities were followed by trips to N. Nevada, our current home, coordinated with visits to Napa and Sonoma County. Private tours and tastings with renowned wine makers helped us cultivate our skills. After moving to Nevada in 2006 and making two vintages, at a small winery in N. Nevada, we networked our way into California. With the assistance of our grape grower, Ron Siegemund (aCURE eSTATE) we were introduced to Michall Pendleton, owner and winemaker at Pendleton Estate Winery. Michall, graciously, welcomed us to the land of Artisan Winemaking. Michall, too, had learned his craft by working at local wineries and soaking up knowledge along the way. We produced our first three vintages at Pendleton.

In 2013, we moved our production to Medlock Ames Winery, in Healdsburg California. In 2014 we obtained our own 17/20 California license and US Federal Basic Permit. All our wines are currently Produced and Bottled by DEWITT FAMILY WINES.

In 2016 we partnered with Chris Swain, Leighton Beverages, to broker our wine sales in San Diego County, CA. We sell to restaurants, wine retailers and wine bars. Chris sells approximately 25% of our wine portfolio. In addition, we entered a partnership with Euro Drink Importer of Burlingame, CA. They are a licensed CA Distributor and Importer/Exporter. Through their family and business partners, we export our wine to Taiwan. Our wines are placed in restaurants, wine shops and wine bars in Taiwan and mainland China. Euro Drink Importer sells 60% of our wine overseas and 15% in the San Francisco Bay area.

We have worked to increase our production year-to-year. With the exception of 2015, all our vintages have grown. Unfortunately, 2015 was the culmination of the CA drought and all N. California grape growers suffered with lower tonnage. However; we processed fruit of an extremely high quality, but we were down a total of 30% for this vintage.

In 2017 we began working with a small Pinot Noir grower in the Russian River Valley. The vineyard is owned by Ron and Sandy DeNatale of Healdsburg, CA. It is located on Eastside Road and averages 2.5 – 3.0 tons of fruit. We found the fruit to be very high quality and have agreed to continue our relationship for the foreseeable future. This area of the Russian River Valley tends to produce fruit that is slightly higher in alcohol with fruit forward wines having great complexity and depth of flavor. We look forward to bottling our first vintage in January of 2019.

We continue to work with the Siegemund family (aCURE eSTATE) for our Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which we are now blending with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from the Pendleton Estate Winery. Our other grower in Alexander Valley continues to be Ray Fiore. The Fiore Estate Vineyard is approximately 1 acre and produces 2.8 – 3.5 tons per year. In 2017 we fermented the Fiore and Siegemund grapes separately. The Fiore fruit will be used in our soon to be labeled “26.4” Cabernet Sauvignon. 26.4 was created to reflect the average brix produced by this small vineyard over our five-year relationship. It will be sold as a small single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon with about 8% Syrah which is part of the field blend. This wine will be marketed with our new Pinot Noir and our flagship wine, the aCURE eSTATE Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

We continue to control all aspects of our wine business. We work with our growers to maximize the quality of our fruit. We transport, at harvest, to the winery and oversee the entire fermentation process. We select our own commercial yeasts and nutrients to be used for each varietal. We select and buy our oak from Barrel Builders of St. Helena, CA. We use a combination of new and used oak. We use Pennsylvania American Oak for our aCURE wine, French Oak for our Pinot Noir and 26.4. We coordinate the bottling schedule with Medlock Ames, yearly. We buy our cork and capsules from Lafitte Cork & Capsule of Napa, CA. Our glass is American made and bottles are now silk screen printed by Monvera Glass Décor of Richmond, CA. Our wine is truly Artisan as we use no bulk wine or chemical enhancers. We will produce just over 700 cases for our 2017 vintage, with continued plans to grow yearly. We hope you continue to enjoy our wines as much as we have enjoyed making them for you!