The studio concept, Mr. Mondavi said, began with the Carlton Winemakers Studio, in Carlton, Ore., which opened in 2002.
“Carlton was the brainchild of Eric Hamacher, a self-described “winemaking gypsy,” who had made wine in a series of borrowed winery spaces across California and Oregon, along with his wife Luisa Ponzi, and their partners, Ned and Kirsten Lumpkin.
Mr. Lumpkin, a successful contractor, owned a vineyard but needed a winemaker. Together, Mr. Lumpkin and Mr. Hamacher built an environmentally benign winery tailored to the needs of small producers…
The Carlton studio has the capacity to produce 18,000 cases of wine, which is currently shared by 10 winemakers, including Mr. Hamacher.
Each is individually licensed, and they operate under an alternating proprietorship that allows them to label their wines as “produced and bottled by,” which connotes an independent winery, as opposed to “cellared and bottled by,” which indicates that the wine was produced in a facility owned by another entity.
This licensing arrangement also allows each owner’s wines to be poured in the studio’s tasting room, and for direct sales to customers in states, like New York, that restrict such shipments.
‘We’re all independent wineries working under an alternating proprietorship, and that’s what differentiates us from custom crush,’ said Andrew Rich, who produced 7,500 cases last year, making him the largest winemaker at Carlton. Custom crush is, ‘Here are my grapes, call me when it’s in the bottle.’ We’re all doing what we’re doing by ourselves.”
Wine Made The Co-Op Way
The New York Times | Lawrence Fisher
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