Like many a wine adventure, the story of North Berkeley Wine begins in France. Keen to discover wine that even the most able aficionados had yet to unearth, we traveled—eyes open, palates alert—to regions that slumbered in the shadows of more established appellations. While so many people begged for white Burgundy from the bigger houses in the Côte d’Or, we knocked on doors in the Mâconnais. We drove past Pommard and Beaune to visit winemakers in Pernand-Vergelesses and Chorey-lès-Beaune. In many a small cellar or kitchen tasting room, we found exactly what we were looking for. This was, for us, the true France—wines and winemakers who (as the quote above illuminates) understand and respect their land and its gifts.
Our partners in France are artisans at heart, looking toward the future while respecting the traditions of the past. In our years of importing, we’ve worked with not only mothers and fathers but also sons and daughters—who, after traveling the world, have returned home with new ideas. The sky’s the limit for these innovative winemakers—and French wines have never been so exciting. Many of the regions in which we were first pioneers, are today household names—yet we’re still scouring the French landscape for artisans in the rough. Whether small, grower Champagne houses, winemaker families in the Loire Valley, young négociants in the Languedoc or Bordeaux farmers sans pomp or pretension--you will find the best France has to offer with us.