Grapes: Gewurztraminer + Riesling
Region: Alsace, France
Vinification: Whole cluster skin contact for 5 days. Lightly pressed
Aging: 9 months in barrels
Fining or Filtering: None
Sulfur: None added
Notes from the Importer: Sons of Wine was created by Farid Yahimi, born and raised in Nancy, France. Farid started a career in digital communications and open-source software before switching to the natural wine movement. Carole Yahimi, Farid’s cousin and the founder of the French association of natural wine (AVN), introduced Farid to natural wine. Carole connected Farid to some of the pioneers such as Pierre Overnoy, Marcel Lapierre, Thierry Puzelat, and Christian Binner, and this sparked a greater curiosity. Through conversation and lending a hand in their wineries, he received an informal education in vinification and launched him into winemaking.
The early stages involved a lot of experimentation and the occasional batch of vinegar because Farid was never interested in a formal oenological education that taught him dogmatic methods of vinification. Instead, he wanted to learn precision through practice. In 2010, Farid planted his first parcel and released his first vintage with fruit purchased from a few friends. Till 2017, the wine was mostly for his friends and himself to enjoy. However, with the quality of his wine reaching new levels, Farid increased production to 5,000 bottles and named it Sons of Wine, inspired by the show Sons of Anarchy and his love of motorcycles. He told a friend, “If I can sell out 5,000 bottles that’s great. If not, I will still drink it in the next 2 years.” He sold all 5,000 by the end of that year.
Farid rented a part of Christian Binner’s winery and some equipment from the beginning. In 2020 he created his own winery in Ribeauville and moved out of Binner’s. He just owns 2 hectares: 1ha in Côtes de Toul and 1ha in Beaujolais. However, the land is pretty expensive in Alsace, and access to good terroir is hard to come by, so Farid decided to make wine primarily from purchased grapes (90% are Biodynamic, 10% Organic). Each cuvée has a story behind it and a specific terroir devoted to it, so he is always sourcing from the same vineyard from vintage to vintage. If there is any issue with the fruit, the cuvée would be dropped, and a new project would take its place. By not farming a large area, Farid can travel and work with a diversity of grapes and terroirs. This also means he can source grapes that he wouldn’t be able to own in Alsace—for instance, 200-year-old Verdejo from Spain with a similar terroir to Alsace, the rare red Muscat, grapes on volcanic soil, and so on.
Farid dedicates a lot of interest to the personal relationship he has with his growers. It’s the first deciding factor. “Sourcing grapes is, first of all, a human adventure. Do we get along, and do we want to grow together?” Farid takes care of the vineyard practices and advises his grower about the biodynamic treatments he wants. He also searches for vineyards without any plowing, pruning, or copper/sulfur treatments—only biodynamic preparations to produce quality fruit in healthy quantities. All of his wines are produced without any additives at all, including sulfites, and without any filtration.