“The Bachelor” is back for yet another season of guilty pleasure. This season, however, strikes my interest as a wine lover as the Bachelor in question is winemaker Ben Flajnik, also known for his memorable turn last season on “The Bachelorette.” I was intrigued upon learning that he was a winemaker and after having the opportunity to taste two of Envolve’s wines and learn more about the mission of their winery I was impressed.
Ben and his childhood friend, Mike Benziger, began Envolve Wines in 2009 after both being inspired by living in Sonoma and that great wines produced in their backyards. Mike’s family had been famed winemakers in Sonoma for 30 years and along with Danny Fay, their Managing Director of Brand Development, who joined the company in 2011 they put together a product that represents everything their hometown embodies, Friendship, Farming and Hard Work. As Mike states, “we feel that wine is something that brings all that we love together, friends, food and fun!”
Great wine comes from winemakers that believe that wine is made in the vineyard. Envolve has a commitment to expressing terrior, or a sense of place, in their wines. They are also passionate about using grapes from Organic and Biodynamic vineyards. Their philosophy, according to Mike is that “having a completely self-contained and functioning eco-system with no outside inputs adds a certain characteristic, or sense of place that you can’t find in any other wine, you can taste the vineyards true identity.” These wines, though now becoming more and more popular due to their visibility on “The Bachelor,” are much more than just a “celebrity” wine.
Envolve also has launched a second line in 2011, Epilogue, which represents the grace note at the end of a long growing season. They hope to in the coming years to expand their product line slowly as well. They are committed to expanding into new markets but also want to keep production low and stay committed to single vineyard wines. In speaking with both Ben and Mike they are welcoming their new fans who have experienced their wines with open arms due to Ben’s turn on both “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor” but also want wine lovers know that these wines are the real deal. They know that what ultimately matters is the quality of the wine and keeping their customers coming back for more. As Ben has said, “we have always made great wines and we want to be known for that, not for being on a television program.” What is certain is that whatever lucky lady Ben chooses after his journey this season she will have a long future ahead of her filled with great wine!
Two Wines from Envovle to Try
Envolve Sauvignon Blanc, 2010
This Sauvignon Blanc from the extraordinary 2010 growing season is pale yellow in he glass with an aromatic nose the bursts with fresh lime zest and flowers. At first sip the wine has zesty acidity balanced by fresh lime juice and notes of tropical fruits. It has a fantastic finish and would be a great pairing with Thai food, chicken or goat cheese.
Envolve Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008
Sourced from iconic vineyards in Sonoma Valley, this Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with 1% Merlot) is grown in some of the warmest spots in Sonoma Valley and displays ripe dark fruits. Classically made with natural yeasts and French oak, this wine has aromas of dark blackberry fruit. The palate is rich with silky tannins and notes of dark fruit and chocolate leading to a lovely finish. This is a great wine to pair with a grilled skirt steak on the grill or an aged Roomano cheese.
To buy Envolve’s wines or join their wine club go to their website here.
** Note that Envolve wines are also bottled under Evolve as have recently changed their name**
“The Bachelor” premieres Monday January 2nd at 8|7c on ABC.