No land, no problem: These guys still started a new Sonoma winery

This is how the story goes: three guys from the Midwest and East Coast all worked in the wine industry, but wanted to start their own new winery in Napa. They didn’t have the land or the money, but they found an opportunity and ran with it.

In 2009, when the recession hit, they bought up 20 extra barrels from the winery one of the three worked at. The barrels, which were supposed to turn into bottles of wine worth about $50 were sitting in waiting as the winery at the time didn’t have the cash to bottle the raw product during the economic squeeze, according to Forbes.

Read the full Forbes article.

Like developers flip houses, the trio–Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler and Steve Graf– flipped barrels, branding their wine with a new label, Banshee Wines, and selling out in three months.

Now the winery leases land and rents space for their barrels from other established wineries, according to Forbes. They also blend the wine they cull from other wineries to make their own creations, according to K& L Wine. Their tasting room is in Healdsburg, Calif. and looks like a vintage living room. The winery has another label, too, Rickshaw, and sold 45,000 cases of wine last year.

According to, you can find Banshee at liquor/ wine stores in states such as New Jersey, Colorado, North Carolina and California. The winery produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, according to their website.

K&L Wine describes the $19.99 bottle of 2008 Banshee Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir like this:

“With its nose of fresh blackberry, volcanic ash, fried sage and porcini mushroom and deep rich flavors of kirsch, Asian plum, finely cracked white pepper and a touch of tarragon, there may not be a better Pinot for $20 this year.”

And the $21.99 2010 Banshee “Mordecai” Red Blend like this:

“The 2010 blend consists of thirteen different varietals in all, but several varietals take center stage: Napa Cabernet sets the tone with an intense core of dark fruit and solid tannic structure as Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet Franc add spice, body, and lift in a sort of Bordeaux-meets-Rhone story set in California. The cooler than average 2010 growing season comes through in the form of this wine’s exceptional fragrance and elegant stature.”

That’s some high praise! Has anyone tried Banshee? I’d love to see some thoughts in the comments.

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