Elan Fayard Finds Her Calling
To be known for one perfect wine might be enough for most vintners. But for Elan Fayard, her acclaimed Azur Rosé is just one of many triumphs, both vinous and personal. The Provencal style dry rosé might have placed the Sonoma native and Francophile on the wine country map, but passion, artistry, and a deep connection to terroir and com- munity fuel a life that is as much about relationships as it is about wine.
Fayard first made a name for herself with her 2007 introduction of the elegant Azur Rosé, dubbed ‘America’s Best’ by Vogue magazine. Made with French technique and quality fruit, the wine continues to be a favorite amongst the rosé loving masses. Fans are often surprised to find that Fayard crafts other equally opulent wines under the Azur label, such as limited production Cabernet Sauvignon. And under a new luxury label Empreinte, she crafts allocated, single-vineyard varietals.
As owner and director of winemaking for both, Fayard’s goal is to produce wines that allow the characteristics of the land and the language of the fruit to be heard – wines that sing of their place. And those places are the Valley’s most coveted vine- yards. Access to such high-end grapes is the reward of a stellar reputation and solid grower relationships. It is these sincere connections to those in her community that have led Fayard on another path, one that incorporates wine and wellness. In addition to traditional tastings, she leads what she calls Mindful Tastings, weaving together wine and meditation, directing participants to experience wine not merely via descriptors but also with heightened awareness.
Fayard takes her practice of mindfulness a step further with her creation of Luminous Retreats, offering women a safe and sacred space to join in reflection, healing, connectedness, and female empowerment. The restorative retreats (from 1.5-hour sessions to complete weekend itineraries) take place in Napa, and soon she’ll be offering getaway retreats to other locales; wine is optional.
“This is my life’s calling to support women of all ages to live their fullest and highest expression of the life they’re here to live,” said Fayard. “A life of purpose, connectedness, and fulfillment through a great sisterhood.”
“Elan is a pioneer for wine industry women,” said friend Monica Stevens of Napa’s 750 Wines. “I love the way she has threaded the Napa Valley, her wine brands, and her retreats in a manner that speaks to the value of women in the wine business, for whom this industry often can be challenging. Elan pulls it all together in such a graceful, beautiful, and profound way, and that’s not easy.”
Azur Rose can be found at the Vintner’s Collective as well as by the glass at several Napa Valley restaurants. Azur and Empreinte appointment-only tastings are conducted by Fayard herself and can be scheduled via each website. Napa locals can receive a 10% discount on online wine orders by entering promo code NAPALOCAL at checkout
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Article By: Fran Miller