A French Garagiste Inspired Ultra-Boutique, Artisanal Winery – Spoto Family Wines
Intense attention and dedication to detail is what makes the ultra-boutique winery, Spoto Family Wines, an award-winning winery that stands out among all the rest. Their wines rise to the top in the sea of Bordeaux inspired Napa Valley wines. “One of the most gratifying experiences is when someone tastes our wines and a look of astonishment comes across their face, as if their taste buds have never experienced something so wonderful,” said Christy Spoto, owner of Spoto Family Wines with her husband Stuart. “Our attention to detail is far beyond most wineries in that every aspect of our wine-mak- ing process is personally addressed. Attention to detail is top-notch. We are an artisanal winery, modeling that of the French in many ways, from hand punch downs to gravity feed wine movement.”
Bonded in 2004, the family has worked tirelessly to create a Cuvee (Bordeaux-style blend), Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier, and after din- ner offerings of a Syrah Port and Late Harvest Viognier. Their grapes come from Napa but their winery is located a little over 70 miles east in Sacramento, where they de-stem, press, produce, age and bottle. “Our grapes are from the Oakville Station, which is part of one of the most historic and highly acclaimed vineyards in Oakville,” said Christy. “Our vineyard neighbors are Far Niente, Opus One and Harlan Estates. Our model is different in that we don’t have the overhead of a Napa winery and can produce high-end wines right here in Sacramento. Our family is nearby and we wouldn’t think of moving farther away from them.”
Family includes their two grown daughters. The oldest, Arianna, works in the business, in barrel sales and has made wine all over the world including Tasmania (Australia), Mendoza (Argentina) and Stellenbosch (South Africa), as well as locally in Napa and Paso Robles. Their youngest, Alexi, has a degree in biochemistry. “This is greatly advantageous since she assists with our day to day produc- tion as well as our wine club parties,” said Christy. “At any given time, there are three generations of Spotos working at the winery!” Christy loves everything about winemaking. “All aspects of the winery provide us with personal enjoyment,” she said. “Making the wine can be challenging especially when mother nature throws a curveball, however figuring out how to maintain our level of quality through difficult scenarios is very rewarding. “Stuart Spoto grew up making wine starting around the age of seven with his father, who was a home winemaker for many years. By 2010, Stuart and Christy were making wine full time, having quit their day jobs to focus on winemaking.
In addition to making award-winning wines, the family also contributes to several charities. “We did a beautiful Vintage Vertical Magnum auction and gave the proceeds to the Sacramento SPCA. We also donated to leukemia/lymphoma research with the sales of our Cuvee Judy Ann, named for my aunt who passed away from lymphoma,” said Christy.
“Primarily, I raise service dogs for an organization called Canine Companions for Independence, which raises service dogs for individuals with disabilities at no cost to the recipient,” added Christy. “One year we raised over $17,000 for the organization. I am currently raising my second service dog that will leave us soon in the hope of changing someone’s life.”
Yet with all the activity surrounding the winery, it all comes back to a few simple things – good family, good friends and good grapes. “We intentionally keep our winery small so that we can ensure a top-quality product. But more importantly we know each of our wine club members personally,” said Stuart. “Enjoying your labor of love with friends is the most satisfying part of the job!”
For more information: www.spotowines.com