Now that you’re part of the world’s best community of wine drinkers, it’s time you knew just how much you mean to the winemakers you support.
In today’s wine industry, the odds are stacked high against small independent winemakers and the challenges can seem endless.
From a freak lightning strike that burned down a winery, to vandals breaking into a winemaker’s cellar and destroying an entire vintage of wines, to age-old barriers for a Black winemaker in South Africa trying to get her foot in the door – your winemakers have seen it all.
For most independent producers, hurdles like these would spell defeat – that’s where you come in.
For 10 years, Angels have been there for small independent winemakers through thick and thin, opening doors and turning disaster into triumph – and a decade in, you’re just getting started!
How have Angels changed winemaker lives over the last decade? Let us count the ways…
Antonio Diez Martin is a passionate Spanish winemaker from Ribera del Duero, where his family has grown wines for over 100 years.
In 2013, lightning struck Antonio’s winery and burned it to the ground. Buildings, equipment and 55,000 gallons of irreplaceable wine – all lost. His whole livelihood went up in smoke.
Fast forward and thanks to Angel support, Antonio’s back on his feet and making exclusive new vintages just for you – like this bold Tempranillo he’s made every year since rebuilding.
This fruit-forward red is a Spanish classic loaded with dark fruits and crafted using 100-year-old techniques passed down to him through generations of family winemaking.
Carmen Stevens is one of South Africa’s most celebrated winemakers. She’s a leading expert of the famous Stellenbosch and Western Cape regions, with a mile-long list of winemaking awards, including “South Africa’s Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Winemaker of the Decade.”
In the course of becoming one of the best winemakers in South Africa (and the world), she also made history as the country’s first Black woman to graduate with a winemaking degree – and that was just the beginning.
After more than a decade in South Africa’s wine industry, Carmen launched the country’s first 100% Black-owned winery with the support of Angels like you.
To craft her first Reserve-level Sauvignon Blanc for Angels, Carmen used your funding to work with hand-picked grapes from rolling hillside vineyards near Cape Town, where the cool Atlantic influence helps the fruit develop a fresh, complex cast of flavors that she’s able to channel into the finished wine.
This rich red blend is generous in more ways than one. Besides being jam-packed with refined red and black fruit and a velvety smoothness, Daryl’s Wine with Heart also supports heart health research, a cause close to home for his family.
“Cabernet represented family was important in helping us get through the process of my son’s open heart surgeries. Shiraz is Australias #1 grape variety and represents our heritage. Zinfandel is California state grape and represents our cherished time here. Merlot represented the tenderness we all felt for Colby. Petite Sirah represented all the doctors that came and helped my son Colby and made him better.” – Daryl
Katie’s obsession with wine led her all the way from Leicestershire to the Languedoc in the south of France. After selling wine for other people for years, she decided to pack it all in and follow her dreams, buying an idyllic vineyard perched on a hillside.
But when vandals broke into the winery and poured her entire year’s vintage down the drain, Katie didn’t know where to turn – that’s where Angels came in.
Thanks to Angel funding, you got her back on her feet, producing more sensational wine in no time. Katie is keen to say thank you with a big Angel savings.
Before Angels came along, Oscar and Claudia Quevedo were desperate – their family vineyard Quinta Senhora do Rosário was on track to be replanted, meaning heirloom vines would have been ripped up and gone…
Thankfully, Angels like you had the final say – and guess what? You overwhelmingly chose to save Oscar’s vineyard!
The low-yielding 60-year-old vines in the Quevedo’s high-altitude estate were nearly torn up when Angels stepped in and gave this brother-sister winemaking duo the funding to save the vineyard — this smooth and savory red is the payoff!
Powerful and lively, this classic Portuguese field blend honors the legacy of Oscar and Claudia’s historic family vineyard.
Thanks to you, world-famous winemakers have the freedom to make their very best wines – that includes a special crew of winemakers who aren’t famous (yet).
What started as a one-off wine from a group of wine guys looking to make a difference – and raise money for Wine Country fire relief – soon became an overnight success. This wine ended up raising close to $1 million in relief funding – and even helped to rebuild a school in Santa Rosa, California.
Soon, the Cellar Crew’s rescue red wine went on to become an Angel darling too – earning 90%+ ratings, shiny Double Gold medals and rave reviews. Now it’s a dynamite red everyone looks forward to year after year.
Your Cellar Crew put all their expertise behind this robust red, meticulously blending Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah and just a dash of Zinfandel for an easy-drinking wine fit for the finest wine drinkers in the world – Angels like you!
Naked’s first Emerging Vintner Mentorship Recipient
Last year Kyle was spending her days in virtual school with her 9th graders and her free time learning about wine. Kyle was eager to take her wine education further, so she took a chance. One application to The Roots Fund, one year and four plane tickets to Napa later — now her dreams are taking flight.
Kyle is the honoree recipient of Naked & The Roots Fund’s Emerging Vintner Program and has been funded to craft her own exclusive wines in Napa Valley — with none other than winemaking legend Daniel Baron as her mentor (sharing all of his winemaking stories while hiking steep blocks!).
From teacher to student, Kyle is getting a crash course on winemaking — from first crush to putting her very own label on her very first bottles of wine that she’s making just for you. Follow Kyle’s inspiring journey and see what happens when passion and opportunity meet!
She breaks records and wins Gold and Double Gold medals back to back – and in 2020, she beat all the odds to become the first American woman to earn Angels’ highest honor – Winemaker of the Year!
A record number of Angels turned out to vote (over 15,000!) and dethroned the longest-running Winemaker of the Year to give Karen the big win – so she made a special-edition Cabernet to celebrate…
Like you, this Cabernet holds a special place in Karen’s heart. With your support, she harvested from vineyards that she’s worked with since the beginning of her career in Lodi over 20 years ago to make her first Angel-funded Cabernet.
Karen always knew how impeccable a Cabernet from these vineyards could be – and you finally helped her bring it to life with rich, complex dark fruits and a velvety finish thanks to French and American oak aging.
He’s your local expert in Willamette Valley – Oregon’s claim-to-fame Pinot Noir country. As a local to Willamette, Chris has long been passionate about this Oregon region – and quickly launched to become one of its top winemakers.
But his success truly sky-rocketed thanks to you.
With your support, Chris fulfilled a lifelong dream in 2021 – purchasing his own piece of Willamette history. He’s the proud owner of his own vineyard!
And he’s already planning a bigger, better Willamette future – signing on the dotted line for his own 27-acre patch of vineyards on the banks of the Willamette River. He’s here and ready to represent Oregon wine country in its finest light.
The wines from Chris’s vineyard are still in the works, so stay tuned for their grand debut. For now this Oregon champ is moving on up in the world, all thanks to you!