We’ve covered some of the many, many excellent Bay Area establishments to grab a minimally intervened bottle here on Sprudge Wine, and now there’s a new one that’s got our attention. But it’s not a restaurant with a really thoughtful list or a bottle shop filled with hard-to-find Old World delights, it’s a brand new festival. Taking place November 16th and 17th at The Mint in San Francisco, Wine Call is a natural wine fair with a heavy focus on Pacific Coast producers.
Though in its first year for Wine Call, the organizers are hardly new to this sort of thing. The fair is co-organized by Luc Ertoran and Degan Ministero, owners of Terroir Wine Bar and creators of what they state is the first natural wine fair in America some 10 years ago. Joining them in the organizing effort is David Neilson, whose natural wine bona fides include work with natural wine app Raisin as well as owning a small Alsatian vineyard.
Speaking electronically, Neilson describes Wine Call as a winter natural wine fair, running somewhat opposite of Brumaire, the springtime natural wine fair in Oakland. But it is more than just seasons that distinguish the two, though. Neilson states that whereas Brumaire focused on European producers—primarily French, Italian, and Spanish—Wine Call leans heavily toward the Pacific Coasts, with an ever-growing number of producers in attendance from California, Oregon, Mexico, Chile, and New Zealand. As of publication, of the 50+ producers from around the world making the trip, 35 are from within the Golden State, including the likes of Broc Cellars, La Clarine Farm, Martha Stouman, Deux Punx, the Scholium Project, Donkey and Goat, and so many more. Also representing the Pacific Coast will be Oregon’s Swick Wines and Division Winemaking Company as well as Mexico’s Bichi Wines.
Given Neilson’s Alsatian ties, there will of course be a few producers from the region as well as a small list of fellow French winemakers.
The wine tasting at the fair is the festivities’ nucleus, but there are even more events taking place both during the fair and in the week surrounding it. There will be a talk like by Turley Wine Cellar’s Tegan Passalacqua (on both days of the festival) about managing the “old” California vines. There will be a “Pretty in Pinot Prom” bottle share the day before the festival gets started. There will be food, coffee, and other yet-to-be-announced Wine Week events taking place at various Bay Area wine bars, bottle shops, and restaurants.
Tickets for Wine Call are $55 for a day pass or $90 for a weekend pass and can be purchased via their website. It all goes down Saturday and Sunday, November 16th and 17th at The Mint in San Francisco. For more information or to get an updated list of all the producers and festivities, check out Wine Call's official website and follow them on Instagram.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas.