in Healdsburg … Dave Trebilcock and Matt Smith started @GrapeSeedwine
three years ago to work with a handful of mostly local, acclaimed winemakers who want to further explore wine to make their dream projects a reality. They work hand-in-hand with a collective of about 10 winemakers to curate and market these small-lot wines, then offer them to the public via seated tastings at the spacious, light-filled Paul Mahder Gallery, which whom they share space. “We want you to linger, to slow down,” says Matt about the tastings, one of which includes a private tour with gallery owner Paul Mahder himself. As their website says, “Winemakers love the chance to create their own special projects and get them into the hands of the most appreciative folks around.” Subscribers to GrapeSeed’s collection of wines also get opportunities to relax and celebrate with the owners, including an 80s-90s vinyl party (3/24) and an acoustic concert (3/25) with musician Drew Ross. The winemakers they currently work with include Douglas Stewart of @liichenestate
in Booneville; Jessica Boone of @PassalacquaWinery
in Healdsburg; and James MacPhail of wine brands @tongue_dancer_wines
and The Calling, in Healdsburg. Matt, who once worked as the winemaking director at Kendall-Jackson Winery, also offers his Sassoferrato line of wines, named for the town in Italy his great-grandparents emigrated from (and also where the parents of winemakers Robert and Peter Mondavi grew up). His Italian-inspired collection includes a Sangiovese and a citrusy Vermentino. “Winemakers are unique,” says Dave, the business half of the GrapeSeed partnership. “Most winemakers have mastered the science but the best marry that knowledge with an innate feel and artistry to create singular wines, master works in their own right.” He and Dave have lived with their families in Healdsburg since the early 00s, and their children go to Healdsburg schools. They came here in part because of the area’s rich winemaking tradition, pointing to the 10 AVAs within 18 miles of Healdsburg. “I can’t think of any other town in the world of wine with as much diversity in grapes as Healdsburg," Dave says. "It's a special place."