Guy Davis and his wife Judy founded Davis Family Vineyards in 1997 and have since been joined in the business by their two sons Cooper and Cole.
Over the years, Guy has won countless awards for his wines. Most recently he was honored with Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s Sweepstakes Award (best of the best) for the 2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, closed with Nomacorc Select Green. His philosophy is that great wines begin with living soil and no fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. A philosophy shared by Vinventions and our commitment to environmentally sustainable closures.
Q&A with Guy Davis
Describe the “aha” moment when you first fell in love with wine.
“Family Meal” at the restaurant I worked at to put myself through college.
The restaurant was owned and run by a Frenchman, a recent arrival from Paris complete with a chef in tow. They held family meals for the staff each night as part of each shift. Together, we shared fine food…. and of course, great wines. I distinctly remember one discussion between the owner and the chef about two possible options for the wine list from the Loire Valley. I was 19 years old… One, the better wine, was more herbaceous, yet more complex–the second was less complex, simple fruit forward but better suited to the American palate. As they talked—I tasted the wines. There it was. Green pepper in one — red sweet berry in the other. From that day forward, I sought to learn everything I could about wine. This restaurant is where I fell in love with wine—and where I met and fell in love with my wife Judy.
Do you have a philosophy of winemaking you strive to share with others?
The soil is the first living thing in the process of making great wines… not the vines. Simply put – living soil means organic building blocks, and no commercial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides
Do as much as you can in the vineyard (i.e. thoughtful, well timed canopy management), to intervene as little as possible in the cellar (from native yeasts to no fining or filtration + carefully monitoring to prevent manipulation).
Who inspires you personally — in wine or any endeavor?
My sons. Each morning – I set out for the winery with a clear plan to teach them some important aspect of winemaking or the business of wine. Each evening I return home, humbled. They often teach me more than I teach them…like work-life balance, and to live in the moment, embrace the world and people around us. I am in awe.
What is the most overrated trend in wine today?
Neglect in the cellar = natural wine. NOT! This practice creates inconsistency and bottle variation by missing the details. FYI – Everything matters!
What new winemakers are you most excited about and why?
Sommeliers and waitstaff everywhere – their surging curiosity to know more about wine. This is exciting – because they’re one of the most important links between winemakers and wine consumers. There’s great advancement in sommelier education, certification and knowledge.
If you weren’t a winemaker what would you be doing?
Growing, making or teaching something to enhance people’s lives! From food, to musical instruments, or yoga and sports.
What led you to select Nomacorc PlantCorcs?
Were you experiencing taint or inconsistent wines? Were you aware of its performance, design and sustainability attributes?
All of the above! but the true highlight beyond its purity and natural sustainability, is the extension of our art form – to select the proper oxygen ingress that best suites each varietal and extend the winemaking all the way into the customers cellar!
Rooted in tradition, we can now naturally predict the future!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Loving WHAT I do, loving myself for HOW I live, and loving others for WHO they are, just as they are.
What, if anything, do you leave to chance in the cellar or in life?
In the cellar, very little – that is mine to shepherd to be the best it can be! but in life, accepting what isn’t mine to control, and being OK with that.