WINE IS WHAT BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER: MEET NICOLE KNOTH OF LOCALISM WINES

“LOCALISM is the means to be free, to be inspired, and love what you do in life. It’s everything that we’ve set out to achieve.”



Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


In this local feature, we chat with Nicole Knoth, proprietor of LOCALISM Wines. Based in Napa Valley, LOCALISM reflects everything in winemaking, the land, the people, the community, and art. Each bottle embodies their values and connection to the community.



Tell us about LOCALISM Wines and the inspiration behind it.

LOCALISM represents our version of the wine country lifestyle that we were so completely enamored by during a visit to Paso Robles, that it inspired us to change our career paths. LOCALISM is the culmination and realization of our dream to live and work in the wine industry. The brand is much larger than wine; it encompasses art, music, food, the land, family, and community. Wine is what brings it all together; wine is life.

Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines



LOCALISM'S PORTFOLIO OF WINE INCLUDES SAUVIGNON BLANC, KERNER, AND CABERNET SAUVIGNON. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THESE VARIETALS?

Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal that Ryan had worked with for a project he was assigned while still completing the Enology program at Fresno State. When we arrived in Napa and decided to start our own brand, he was very excited to be able to get some Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the same grower that he’d sourced from back at FSU. It was originally from the Dry Creek AVA. We now source it from Calistoga.

The Cabernet Sauvignon was something that we are so grateful for. We stumbled upon a tiny vineyard in Coombsville that had a small amount of grapes for sale and needed help with managing and maintaining the vineyard. Our first vintage was in 2010 (a year before Coombsville became an official AVA) and with our long-term lease, we’ve been improving farming practices and harvesting fruit from this same vineyard ever since. The Kerner was acquired through a connection with a winemaker out in the Lodi wine region. Ryan had sold used barrels to him and through their conversations, it was mentioned that a very rare varietal called Kerner was available in a unique vineyard in a cooler pocket of Lodi. Ryan thought it sounded super interesting and so we jumped at the opportunity.

Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WINE-MAKING PROCESS?

We love the creative process and the ability to work with a natural product that is ever-changing depending on the climate and vintage. The harvest of the fruit is the most exciting and challenging time for a winemaker. After many months of growing the grapes and enduring what mother nature presents, picking the fruit at the optimal ripeness, with the perfect flavors, is one of the most critical steps to making a great wine.


WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FOOD PAIRINGS WITH LOCALISM WINES?

The Kerner is a perfect pairing with Sushi and any type of seafood. It’s our go-to for this type of cuisine. For the Sauvignon Blanc, we love it with spicy food, especially Thai. The Cabernet is so versatile because although it has richness and depth, it pairs well with lighter fare as well. We drink it alongside any kind of red meat, pork, and even chicken but it also pairs extremely well with pizza and pasta dishes.



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EACH BOTTLE OF LOCALISM FEATURES AN ABSTRACT PIECE OF ART CREATED BY MARY LINNEA VAUGHAN. HOW DID YOU MEET MARY AND GET INSPIRED TO FEATURE HER ARTWORK?


When we first decided to feature art on our labels, we reached out to several local artists to see if they would be interested. Mary not only appeared interested but mentioned that her mother had once told her, that true success as an artist would come when her art was featured on a wine label. Lucky for us, we had an immediate connection with Mary and her art. Each piece is what she calls an “eco-abstract”, painted in natural settings which you can feel in the movement and color she’s created. Art and wine go hand in hand, and we feel inspired every day by the unique beauty that adorns our labels.

Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


BEING BASED IN NAPA, WHAT DO YOU GUYS LIKE BEST ABOUT BEING PART OF THAT COMMUNITY?

Although a sought-out tourist destination, at heart, Napa is a tight-knit community and the wine industry here is even closer. We love the collaborative nature of the community, and the support locals give to each other. Everyone is willing to help out a neighbor or friend of a friend. We feel very grateful to call Napa home.



Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


WHAT ARE WAYS THAT LOCALISM IS ABLE TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITY AND HELP GIVE BACK?

What’s nice about having a wine brand is that there are several auctions, events and benefits that we can support just by donating some our wine and/or a complimentary tasting and visit. We try to support causes that are close to our hearts or that benefit our community directly.




Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF WHAT YOU GUYS DO?

We love sharing our story and our wine with friends, family, and visitors. We also love having our own house wine to drink!



WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FRESH LOCAL VIBES?

Favorite restaurant in Napa: TORC

Favorite Paella in Napa: Zuzu

Favorite milkshakes: GOTT’S

Favorite wine shop: Backroom Wines

Favorite cheese & charcuterie place: Oxbow Wine & Cheese merchant

Favorite place to grab a coffee: Monday Bakery




Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


WHAT'S UP NEXT FOR LOCALISM WINES?

We’re in a bit of a growth phase right now and are adding a few new varietals to the portfolio with the 2021 vintage. We’ve already picked Albariño and hope to harvest some Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some Coastal Pinot Noir. These are all wines that we enjoy drinking ourselves.




Photo courtesy of LOCALISM Wines


Thanks for chatting with us! LOCALISM Portfolio tastings are held at the Studio by Feast It Forward in Downtown Napa. Check out our recap of the tasting experience here. To learn more about LOCALISM and their portfolio of wines, visit their website LOCALISMwines.com.