We are going to bring Scholium winemaking to a 97 year-old corrugated steel building on the banks of the Los Angeles River.
The building that will be the winery is large and nearly on the edge of the river; on the same lot, there is another smaller building, closer to the street. The buildings are magical in a very rough way. But even more magical: the lot that they sit on was a vineyard until 1899!
This whole section of Los Angeles, adjacent to the river, was planted to grapes from the 1830s to the early 1900s, when the advent of the transcontinental railroad changed everything. Vineyards and orchards were ripped out and replaced with warehouses, all over the banks of the river.
Our mission is two-fold: to return winemaking to the city and to explore the unknown vineyards and growing areas of Southern California. Many of the vineyards are old or represent the traces of a grape growing culture from the birth of state; some are utterly new and fascinating. But all of them represent a world that is not yet known outside of a narrow area. Exploration and celebration. History without nostalgia. Something new and radical, but deeply traditional at once.
The Project has never had a permanet home. Here, we will create a large and substantial home. Here, we will make wine, in the heart of a city, and host lectures, tastings, conferences, cook outs— perhaps dance parties.
This is a tremendous undertaking; there is no way that we could accomplish it on our own. That is why we are turning to you.
We are seeking 100 dear friends and allies to help us initiate this project. Your participation at this stage will allow us to secure the property and begin the tremendous task of reconstructing the old buildings and outfitting a working winery. We seek 100 pledges of $2000 each. You may, of course, offer a pledge as a gift for or on behalf of a friend or beloved. You may also combine forces to make a group contribution. We can discuss the details.
In return for your support, we will
- recognize you in perpetuity as founders of the winery, and so will welcome you and your guests forever without charge at the winery and in the tasting room; and will guarantee you places at all special events;
- we will create an architectural commemoration of your support at the winery (wait till you see it; we are not talking about a bronze plaque)
- we will also bottle exclusively for you 2 magnums each of 3 wines (details on them below), each one with a special label commemorating a founder’s bottling;
and, of course,
- we will host you at an amazing party to celebrate the opening of the tasting room in the fall of 2018.
There is something so special about this. This offering will not be repeated or expanded. We will limit participation to 100 founders. Your ranks will never swell.
Should you have questions, I am here to answer them.
Email me and I will answer them or we can set up a call. This is not an investment— it is your opportunity to place yourself in the origin of something great and remarkable, and to sew yourself into its future unfolding.
The three Founders' Wines:
- a magnum of the 2017 Guman Vineyard The Sylphs: the wine that epitomizes our work. From a tiny backyard vineyard farmed by John Guman with our help; threatened by the wild fires of 2017, but unscathed. To be bottled and presented to you in 2019— I hope at the winery.
- a magnum of the 2016 Dick VanderKous Solitude Vineyard Pergamos: or does this wine epitomize Scholium? A magnificent hillside planted and farmed by Dick in Martinez; an act nearly crazy in its singularity. A cofermentation of dense Merlot and vibrant Sangiovese. Alex and I think that it is the best red wine we have ever made. To bottled and presented to you in the fall of 2018— also at the winery.
- a magnum of the 2017 FTPC. Tegan’s fantastic Chenin Blanc, from the heart of Lodi. I wanted to offer you something that you could drink right away— in the scheme of things. We will hand-bottle this for you in January and you can celebrate the coming of Spring with it.