Back in early 2004, Howard and his wife of over 50 years, Skippy, received an intriguing promotional offer from a place called The Grape Escape in Dayton, New Jersey. This was a wine cooperative whose intriguing pitch was “join us while you make the wine”. Howard and Skippy thought this sounded like something fun so they took advantage of the promo and their first vintage was bottled in 2004. They made a Merlot, and since their last name was Paul, and they liked the wines from “J”, they called it “P”. It was surprisingly good, although the name did not make it as people too frequently related it to other things called “P”!
A few of their close friends were impressed with “P” and wanted to join in on the next wine making adventure. The group decided to make a Barbera and they named it Tres Amichi (three friends). It was delicious!
By 2006, Skippy and Howard began to experiment with blends and made a wine mixing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, called Duet. It was so good, more people wanted to join them in their winemaking adventure and a small cult began. Their next wine was called Trio, and was then followed in 2007 by a traditional, left-bank Bordeaux, which Howard named Symphony. Symphony was a Cinq Cepages, a wine of five different fruits: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Symphony was an outstanding wine.
While Howard and Skippy were making wine in NJ, they had family living in northern California, including a daughter who worked in a tasting room. Their 2007 Symphony blend made it’s way into a blind tasting she and the rest of her winery coworkers had one night. The invited winemakers and winery staff tasted about 12 wines, all in brown paper bags, and scored them. Most were from Napa and Sonoma, but a few came from overseas. At the end of the tasting, starting with the lowest rated wine, the paper bags were removed one by one. It was down to the last two wines, one of which was a French Bordeaux that cost over $100 a bottle and Howard’s Cinq Cepage. The French Bordeaux came in second and the Symphony won the day. All the wine industry professionals looked at the bottle and noted that it did not have the necessary wine information on the label. That’s when it was revealed the winning wine was crafted in New Jersey by a burgeoning winemaker.
In 2008, with their cult growing, Wedgewood Vintners was born. Fruit was sourced from all over California, primarily from Napa or Sonoma with secondary and tertiary fruits from Lodi or the Sierra foothills. Recently Wedgewood Vintners has added fruit from Lanza Vineyards in Suisun Valley, the valley immediately to the east of Atlas Peak in Napa, to their line up.
As Wedgewood Vintners has grown, they have added a traditional Rhone blend- Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, to the production. As well as a Super Tuscan, Super American and a Zinfandel blend. The Super Tuscan is inspired by the wines of Bolgheri, especially Sassicaia and Solaia. In tribute, and with tongue in cheek, the wine is called Machaia, which, loosely translated means a delightfully good thing that gives joy. Howard thought it improper that there is a Super Tuscan and there not a Super American so instead of using Sangiovese and Merlot, he substitutes Zinfandel and Petite Sirah and, presto, the Super American is born. All the above wines are reserve wines which, for Wedgewood Vintners, means handpicked, high quality single-mill Minnesota oak barrels and wine aged sufficiently to reach perfection. The wine that rounds out the inventory is called Zinfull and is a blend of Zinfandel and two other fruits. It is a crowd pleaser and one of the favorites of the many people who enjoy Wedgewood Vintners Wines.
Our winery is proud to be supported by Vinebase, a Public Benefit Corporation.See how a purchase from Wedgewood Vintners is helping Vinebase build a bright future for independent producers.