Jim and Marilyn Hybiske got together with six of their wine-loving friends to purchase a prime piece of property in Sonoma's Carneros district in 2002. They got lots of help from some of the top growers in the area.
Their goal was not to have a winery, but to grow the best grapes possible, have a local winery make the wine and share it with their friends. They knew that the grapes were the most important part of the equation, so there was no need to build a winery. After all, they were both near retirement after successful careers, so there was no need to go through the winery process.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, their friends gave the wine to other friends who, in turn, passed it on. You can see where this is going, right? After a while, they had no choice. They had become a "winery," even though they didn't need, or intend, to have a winery.
They still contracted with other wineries and built a tasting room near the vineyards so all their new "friends" could taste the wines. Fortunately, Wine of the Month Club is one of their friends, so we get to offer it to our members-just don't tell too many "friends" about it.
It would be hard not to share this wine, as the luscious blackberry, coffee and blueberry flavors, held by velvety tannins and a tight finish, are hard to keep to yourself. It would be particularly difficult not to share when served with pork loin dressed with a mustard tarragon sauce and finished with Madeira.