The fact that you've landed here leads me to believe that you've purchased one of my wines, and are interested to learn more about Francis Berwyn Wineworks (FBW). First and foremost, thank you for your purchase! Secondly, it's my hope that through this blog site I can explain to you a bit about FBW, our wines and our philosophy.
Francis Berwyn is the latest vinous adventure to spring from my 28 years in the wine business. Most wine lovers know me for my self-named winery, Garretson Wine Company. The wines I produce under my Garretson Wine Company label are solely crafted from grape varieties traditional to the Rhône Valley of France. While I am most-passionate about these varieties, they're not the only wines I drink. Garretson wines are of limited production and are in high demand. As a result, these wines are seldom seen in the marketplace, and at rarely below a price tag of $30 a bottle. If you're interested in reading more about me and my winemaking background, please check out the Garretson Wine Company website.
Five years ago I got to thinking of challenging myself to produce value-priced wines from more traditional varieties. I wanted to produce wines that really over-performed, that delivered an incredible 'bang-for-the-buck'. This interest coincided with a number of requests from distributors of my wines (in both the U.S. and abroad) to work with them on a series of negociant wines. The word, "negociant", is a French term to describe an agent who blends and ships wine. They do not actually make the wines they sell, but rather purchase bulk wines from wineries, blend them, and bottle them under their own label. While some of these 'negociant' wines can be nice, it's incredibly difficult to control both the quality and style of the finished product.
What I have always preferred was to have complete control over the entire winemaking process...from grape growing to winemaking, to deciding what wines went into the bottle. Luckily I was able to form a strategic alliance with the owners of the Margarita Ranch, a 1,000-acre vineyard producing exceptional fruit. This partnership of ours allows me the ability to have a consistency of grape sourcing that is a rarity in a negociant's world. This control allows me the ability to make the wines I want to offer you.
March 1, 2008 sees the release of my first efforts under the Francis Berwyn label. I've bottled 2,000 cases of Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon - as well as 500 cases of Petite Sirah - from the 2006 vintage. While I am quite pleased with these wines, I will constantly strive to make better wines in each passing year...
...after all, it is my stated desire to craft everyday wines that will exceed expectations...both yours and mine.
Mathew J. Garretson
P.S. You are welcome to order any of the Francis Berwyn wines directly from my winery. By clicking on the "Order this wine" link you will automatically be taken to the Garretson Wine Company on-line order form. The Francis Berwyn wines are on the bottom of the ordering list. Thanks!