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Crafting spectacular wines using grapes from as many underrepresented regions, vineyards, and varietals as possible.
79 backers pledged $12,100 to help bring this project to life.

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Margins Wine: wine from minority regions and varietals project video thumbnail
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$12,100

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The Vision of Margins Wine

Margins Wine wants to create spectacular wines using grapes from as many underrepresented regions and varietals as possible. We want to be a part of the growing movement in California to make wines from sustainably farmed vineyards with little to no additives, showcasing the vineyards they came from.

Much like people living on the “margins of society,” vineyards can be outcasts too. Most consumers of wine are only familiar with a handful of grapegrowing regions and types of wine. Margins Wine wants to draw attention to grape varietals, regions, and vineyards throughout northern and central California that find themselves on the margins without the recognition they deserve.

But in order to accomplish these goals, we need your help with funds to purchase some supplies--most importantly our first ever grapes! The debut vineyard was carefully selected for its unique location, stellar fruit, and fascinating history. We can't wait to reveal its identity!

In the event that this project overfunds, we will put those contributions toward purchasing grapes and other essential supplies for the following year. Anything and everything helps!

What We Do Differently

Like most anything with an origin, wine grapes are a product of their environment: climate, soil, resident bugs. Yet the majority of wines are made using processes that seem to cover up all sense of place in the wine. We want to bring nature back into what has for centuries been a natural process, putting our high-tech tools away and giving the wine a chance to showcase itself before we go about trying to "fix" it, despite there being nothing wrong.

An unbelievable number of additives are routinely used in commercial winemaking to make the process more predictable: red color enhancement, commercial yeast strains engineered to produce specific aromatics, and a slew of others.
What’s wrong with that?
Why, you end up with almost the same wine every year. It’s an inaccurate representation of what is really going on in the vineyard. You would probably be disturbed by a supermarket full of identical fruit. Why should wine be any different?

Integration of Community, Career, and Lifestyle

Margins seeks to investigate the relationship between lifestyle and craftsmanship of wine. Crafting wines with true sense of place is a commitment. It means that the concept of sense of place must be important to the crafter--not only in the making of wines, but in all areas of life. It means prioritizing taking the time to go outside and explore what is there, establishing a connection, and reflecting that connection back through work, play, and relationships.

Incorporating the talents of our friends and community members is key. Instead of paying companies to provide services, we first turn to the gifted people in our midst to see if we can have our needs met locally. We have already had so much support for this project from our community, and it's only the beginning! 

A huge thanks to the following individuals for helping to get this project off the ground:
Gaby Kovacich for video editing
Zack Mikalonis for music (http://zackmikalonis.bandcamp.com)
Michael Phillips for photography (http://www.photography-mp.com)
Buddy Whisler for graphic design

Who's Behind Margins Wine?

Megan Bell, creator of Margins Wine, is a winemaker living and working in the Santa Cruz Mountains. After completing her BS in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis, she has worked in wineries and vineyards in Napa, Oregon, New Zealand, and France. Last year she returned to California with the hopes of growing some roots and finding her place in the vast wine industry.

Roger Sanford, advisory board member and Margins media producer, is a former CEO and lead of CEO Wingmen. Holder of 5 patents, his innovative problem solving skills have helped start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and companies who became Fortune 500. As an independent consultant he spent the last decade helping companies expand their word of mouth and their brand, launched new brands, re-engineered existing brands, and helped CEO’s find their vision.

UC Davis graduation day
UC Davis graduation day
Applying some biodynamic preparations in Oregon's Willamette Valley
Applying some biodynamic preparations in Oregon's Willamette Valley
Summer tent residence while working the vineyards in New Zealand
Summer tent residence while working the vineyards in New Zealand
Pruning the vines on a chilly New Zealand winter day
Pruning the vines on a chilly New Zealand winter day
Feeling giddy in a French vineyard in the Loire Valley
Feeling giddy in a French vineyard in the Loire Valley
Working on some wine chemistry in Santa Cruz, CA
Working on some wine chemistry in Santa Cruz, CA
Getting the barrels in order in Santa Cruz, CA
Getting the barrels in order in Santa Cruz, CA
Walking the vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Walking the vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Risks and challenges

I am still in the process of getting one of my permits approved. I don't foresee any challenges with that, but I want to be transparent.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Your name in the list of contributors on the website!

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    5 backers
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    We will write your name on one of our barrels so that your presence can always be felt near the wines :) plus photo documentation

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    17 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Invitation for you and a guest to the Margins release party in Santa Cruz, CA

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    40 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Edible Oyster mushroom kit assembled by local Santa Cruz naturalist for home grown mushrooms*

    Invitation for you and a guest to the Margins release party in Santa Cruz, CA

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

    *Mushroom kit to be picked up at release party

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    2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Mushroom identification workshop and hunt with local Santa Cruz naturalists--take home and eat what you forage!

    Invitation for you and a guest to the Margins release party in Santa Cruz, CA

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Winemaking theory workshop with the winemaker at her home in Santa Cruz, CA

    Invitation for you and a guest to the Margins release party in Santa Cruz, CA

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,000 or more About US$ 2,000

    A picture of you and the winemaker on the Margins website!

    Admission to Mushroom identification workshop and hunt with local Santa Cruz naturalists AND/OR Winemaking theory workshop with the winemaker at her home in Santa Cruz, CA

    Invitation for you and a guest to the Margins release party in Santa Cruz, CA

    Free download of the beautiful song in the video

    Plus your name in the list of contributors on the website

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    1 backer
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Funding period

- (40 days)