A popular business concept that took hold during the 1990s “involves thinking outside the box.” Managers and employees are encouraged to envision new ways of accomplishing tasks in a more efficient manner and to serve customers in ways that will guarantee their continued patronage in the future.
“Thinking outside the box” is the antithesis of, “We’ve always done it that way.”
This concept isn’t limited to the hallways of Corporate America. It’s also practiced at a handful of wineries, most particularly in iconoclastic California, and these are the wineries we seek out for the wine clubs of Vinesse.
Count Daniel Gehrs Wines among the practitioners.
“I make wines in a style I call ‘new wave,'” says Dan Gehrs. “For my whites, it involves stainless steel fermentation as opposed to barrel fermentation. It involves non-malolactic as opposed to malolactic. It’s a fruit-driven style rather than fashion-driven. It’s more in tune with European winemaking, which emphasizes the varietal, the soil and the vintage as opposed to a winemaker’s recipe.”
Gehrs says his “new wave” mindset evolved over two decades of winemaking, both as a winery employee and as a winery principal.
“I’m the kind of guy who likes to be different,” he says. “I’ve never had a ‘follow-the-herd’ mentality. I try to look at things in new ways with an unbiased view, and then determine what can be done to make the wine better. I get tired of the same old taste in wines.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether a wine was made in the Napa Valley (of California), the Barossa Valley (of Australia) or the Rhone region (of France),” he adds. “I believe that a wine should be a true expression of its fruit, and that’s what I strive for in my wines.”