Marchelle Wines: Where Passion, Expertise, and Family Converge

Ryan Lenett

In the charming town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County, California, Marchelle Wines has quickly established itself as a beacon of excellence and innovation in the wine industry. Founded on February 8, 2021, by Kevin Lee and Greg La Follette, this boutique Sonoma County winery is a testament to the founders’ shared passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and their commitment to creating wines that honor their families and the rich traditions of winemaking.

A Shared Dream Realized

The story of Marchelle Wines began 16 years ago at a winemaker dinner for Tandem Winery, where Kevin Lee and Greg La Follette first met and bonded over their mutual love for wine and cycling. This serendipitous meeting sparked a friendship and mentorship, with Kevin frequently traveling to wine country to learn the intricacies of viticulture and winemaking from Greg. The challenges of the pandemic in 2021 provided an unexpected opportunity for Kevin and Greg to bring their shared dream to life, culminating in the creation of Marchelle Wines.

Named in honor of their wives, Mara and Michelle, Marchelle Wines embodies the elegance and expressiveness that these two remarkable women inspire in their lives.

A Rich Heritage of Expertise

Although Marchelle Wines is a relatively young brand, it benefits from the extensive experience and expertise of renowned Sonoma winemaker Greg La Follette. Greg’s illustrious career includes Flowers Winery and leading winemaking at Hartford Court, La Crema, and Deloach. As the last apprentice of Napa Valley legend André Tchelistcheff, Greg has honed his skills to become known as the “The Vine Whisperer”. His vast knowledge and artistry are the backbone of Marchelle Wines, ensuring each bottle is crafted to the highest standards.

Signature Varieties and Unique Techniques

Marchelle Wines specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from cool-climate vineyard sites in Northern California. They also produce unique, small-lot Old Vine varietals such as Cinsaut, Carignan, Colombard, Charbono, Pinot Meunier, and Zinfandel. Their flagship wine, the van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir, is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier, crafted using native yeasts and aged in French oak. This wine has garnered high praise, with scores of 95 and 97 points from Wine Enthusiast and WineReviewOnline, respectively.

Winemaking Philosophy

At Marchelle Wines, the winemaking process is characterized by a light-touch approach, allowing each vineyard’s terroir and unique weather to shine through. They collaborate with family-owned vineyards that practice sustainable and organic farming, ensuring that the grapes are of the highest quality. In the winery, they use wild yeast fermentations, minimal SO2, and primarily neutral oak barrels to create complex and elegant wines that reflect the natural characteristics of each vintage.

Sustainable Practices

Marchelle Wines is committed to sustainability, employing native yeast fermentations, minimal SO2 additions, and reusing oak barrels multiple times. They also avoid using foil on their bottles and opt for lightweight glass to reduce their environmental impact. These practices not only support the environment but also contribute to the quality and purity of their wines.

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Engaging with the Community

Kevin and Greg believe in the power of personal connections and actively engage with their customers through social media, newsletters, and in-person events. They participate in numerous wine festivals and events throughout the year, such as the OC Wine Fest, Taste of Sonoma, and Russian River Wine Weekend, providing opportunities for wine lovers to experience Marchelle Wines firsthand.

Looking to the Future

Marchelle Wines has ambitious plans for the future, including opening its own winery and tasting room in Sonoma County. It envisions becoming a well-known producer of affordable luxury wines, with a production goal of 10,000 cases annually. Its focus remains on creating wines that delight with every sip and foster connections among family and friends.

Join the Journey

To learn more about Marchelle Wines and their exquisite offerings, visit their website at marchellewines.com and follow them on Instagram (@marchellewines), Facebook (@marchellewines), LinkedIn (Marchelle Wines), and TikTok (@marchelle.wines). Join Kevin, Greg, and their families as they continue to craft wines that celebrate passion, expertise, and the beauty of Sonoma County.

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