Finding interesting wines to enjoy with friends is one of the best parts of being a wine drinker. It's definitely possible to be a cocktail connoisseur or craft brew lover who happens to find some interesting concoctions, but the versatility of the wine grape is something extraordinary. New wines are popping up all over the country, and one that might be the most interesting as of late is a brand that can be found right in your local Whole Foods, Banshee Wines.
Banshee Wines is a Healdsburg, Calif., company started in 2009 by three friends — Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler, and Steve Graf — that specializes in Sonoma Coast pinot noirs. The founders work directly with dedicated grape-growers who farm cool-climate, hillside, and primarily Sonoma Coast vineyards. But it’s not just the wine that we were impressed by; it was the interesting story behind the founders that drew us to Banshee, and we’re happy it did, because the wines are also phenomenal.
When we sat down with co-founder Ziegler, he told us all about the philosophy behind Banshee Wines. "Our goal is to make the wine better, keep the wine affordable, and keep growing it and keep making Banshee available across the country," he told us. But he, too, has an interesting story. Ziegler went to school at Boston University, where he was headed down a medicine path but tossed that aside for his love of wine. When he was growing up, his step-father offered him the opportunity to start collecting wine. "I liked the idea of wine as an investment. I liked the idea of buying a case of Château Lafite and watching it grow in value over 10 to 20 years. He started me in Bordeaux futures and he’d give me a few hundred dollars a year. He’d say research the wines and I’ll buy you whatever you want," Ziegler told us.
Banshee Wines is interesting because they don’t have their own personal vineyard located in California. According to their website, "The Banshee guys are passionate about creating benchmark wines from California’s iconic vineyards as well as crafting soulful blends that don't break the bank." And Ziegler pointed out, "We are as passionate about great food as we are about great wine." He told us that the wines make a great addition to any meal and we can see their wines becoming more prominent in restaurants across California and East Coast cities including Boston and New York. Banshee is definitely a wine not to miss, especially their 2009 pinot noir, which was their groundbreaking first vintage. They’ve since expanded their offerings, but they’re still the same wine-loving guys who created the great wine we can’t help but keep pouring…