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The Monday Media Diet with Jason Charles
On Corsica, Henry Miller, and Vermentino
Jason Charles (JC) is a friend of WITI. He runs Vinca Minor winery in California. Organic farming is at the heart of his winemaking. We’re pleased to have him on the page today. -Colin (CJN)
Tell us about yourself.
Born in Michigan. Spent my early 20s shooting street photography and working in restaurants in Barcelona, Mexico City & New York City. Moved to Northern California with my wife Em in 2009 and began Vinca Minor Wine in 2013. Now have an incredible daughter, Ava, and a small winery and tasting room in West Berkeley. Stop by!
Vinca has always been focused on California's viticultural history. Working with farmers specifically in Mendocino and doing our best to tell their story through our wines. Recently because of the 2020 fires, we created a new brand, Moonland. Which is dedicated to working with apples, pears, and grapes from historic properties from Sonoma to Anderson Valley. Apples and Pears are incredibly hardy and do not take on smoke taint like grapes. We think that hybrid fermentations are the new normal for winemakers and will allow us to continue the dialogue of terroir. For this, we teamed up with creative Matt Murphy for the art direction.
Describe your media diet.
Basically wake up, check the Nytimes, SF Chronicle, and Instagram, that's it.
What’s the last great book you read?
A Really Big Lunch by Jim Harrison. It is about a Copenhagen restaurant guy turned winemaker living in France. Beautiful day-to-day journals of farming, tasting wines, preparing meals, and random notes.
What are you reading now?
Poetry Is Growing in Our Garden by Anders Frederik Steen.
What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?
Usually, flip through for a week or so then settle in on any given quiet moment.
Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?
Hmm, Just came across The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller. Perhaps the timing is right.
What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone?
Honestly, I don't have that many apps. I mean I have the basics! Slowly I have deleted almost everything over the past 18 months.
Plane or train?
Trains are so romantic. Was thinking of how beautiful it would be to travel across the country selling wine from city to city via train. But no, only planes currently. I took a train back in the early 2000s. NYC to DC to Chicago to Detroit. That stuck with me. I lost a ride and was on mushrooms at the time.
What is one place everyone should visit?
Corsica. A place I’ve only been once, but can’t stop thinking about. Corsica is insane. I arrived on August 15th on Napoleon's bday and the city was full throttle! (Ajaccio) Slow ship in. Bonifacio was a dream. City on a cliff. Rising above everything. Dropping down to drink and swim.
Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into.
Currently, it's the grape Vermentino. I want to work with it for a new release. It's impervious to heat and drought and perhaps best suited for our changing climate. Well, I know it's planted here in California. An acre here and there. But where. My search began locally and now has me on the phone with an Italian friend from Rome who has a family friend in Sardinia farming the grape. So it looks like this September I'll be in Sardinia! (JC)
WITI x McKinsey:
An ongoing partnership where we highlight interesting McKinsey research, writing, and data.
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Thanks for reading,
Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Jason (JC)
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