Every so often a tourist will meander into the Shop and inquire about "Local" wines. We appreciate their enthusiasm and willingness to support our local agriculture and products, however we politely say No, There's No Such Thing As Local Wine in Charleston and that our climate isn't sustainable for proper grape growing.
Before you say, But wait, what about Muscadine?, let us ask you this: Do you drink Muscadine wine? Do you even cook with it? No, we didn't think so. Rather than explain Muscadine and then try to dissuade the visiting customer from purchasing it so as not be judged and take the blame for our state's sole varietal that is barely palatable, we find it far more simple to just say No.
So while we may not (per se) have any local wine, we for sure have some Local-esque wines. And perhaps, of the handful of wines that have Charleston ties, none is more localized than the Time Place wines. Time Place Wine Co. is based out of Lodi, California. But. The winemaker is South Carolina native Jamey Whetstone, who moved out to Napa in the mid-90's. For several years, he spent a winemaking apprenticeship at Turley Wine Cellars. The summer that his educational stint at Turley concluded, Jamey went to the village of Morey-Saint-Denis in Burgundy and studied and worked with the Seysses Family at the famed Domaine Dujac.
While still learning, whether in Napa or during his summer sabbatical in France, Jamey started his own Whetstone Wine Cellars in the early 2000's. Thereafter he formed a partnership with LODI RULES and their Certified Green Sustainable Winegrowing Program. This is where it gets super local. The project in which Jamey became winemaker under the LODI RULES umbrella is the Time Place Wine Co. The idea for Time Place started with a passion to produce single varietals that are vibrant and fresh, from carefully sourced vineyard sites. The inspiration was found in the truth that wine is a perfect reflection of time and place, the culmination of climate and season, site and study, and that moment you share a bottle with friends and family. Returning to his Lowcountry roots, Jamey enlisted the talent of local artist John Duckworth from Johns Island to create the label art.
John is know for his abstract photography so that the photos look more like paintings. What John decided to do for the label artwork is take his signature photos of different scenes of Charleston's waterways and then also time stamp them. For example: the Time Place Zinfandel label artwork was taken on Tuesday June 16th, 2009 at 8:33 PM and the photo was of Church Creek on Johns Island, the coordinates of which, if you're interested, are 32.714738° N , -80.091287° W.
So we have wines made out on the West Coast, but made and produced by a South Carolinian (who is not making Muscadine) and the label artwork is not only done by a Charleston artist, but the labels themselves are scenes of Charleston! Now let us ask you this: Isn't the one teeny, tiny, pesky detail that the wines happen to be made in California an acceptable compromise when everything else about the wine is localized? Yeah, we thought so too. Oh, and by the way, the wines, all of them, happen to be delicious! Step aside, Muscadine!
We mentioned the Zin above, and while it's on our shelf, we won't be tasting it this week. We are however bumping the lineup up by one to five wines rather than our usual four so we get to taste through the rest of the spectrum.
But before we get into that, this year Mr. Whetstone made a Cabernet Sauvignon for the Time Place series for the first time. The inaugural vintage of the Cab isn't on our shelf, but if you are a member of our Pour Choices monthly subscription program (and there's always time to sign up!), you'll be getting a bottle in December's box!
Without further ado, he is what we'll be enjoying this week:
TIME | 4:58:09pm - 2016-07-13 - Wednesday PLACE | Stono River - Johns Island - South Carolina 32.778144° N , -80.094260° W
TIME | 8:02:59am - 2016-02-20 - Saturday PLACE | Stono River - Johns Island - South Carolina 32.725334° N , -80.009358° W
TIME | 7:02:50am - 2016-07-14 - Thursday PLACE | Stono River - Johns Island - South Carolina 32.778197° N , -80.094177° W
TIME | 8:26:44pm - 2013-06-22 - Saturday PLACE | Kiawah River - Johns Island - South Carolina 32.601938° N , -80.131139° W
TIME | 7:02:50am - 2014-04-01 - Tuesday PLACE | Stono River - Johns Island - South Carolina 32.725356° N , -80.0098325° W
The Time: This Wednesday, November 2nd from 5 - 7
The Place: The Wine Shop of Charleston
Come share bottles with us!
We'll see you there,
The Wine Shop Team