JONATHAN CAIN
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DENNIS DE LA MONTANYA
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DARYL GROOM
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A NOTE FROM JONATHAN CAIN

I met my partner, Dennis De La Montanya at a barrel tasting up in the Russian River several years ago. I stumbled into his winery off of West Side Road and was impressed with the friendly atmosphere and the wines he had made. He recognized me as a member of Journey and asked me to sign one of his bottles. It turned out that Dennis was a not only a music fan but a Journey fan as well. I met his wife Tina, whose picture was featured on his PinUp Cabernet and asked her to sign one of my bottles I had purchased. As we chatted we found we had many things in common besides wine and music. Our families have been friends ever since.

Dennis gave me the idea of bottling some his wine for charity and so I asked the members in Journey to help us raise money in our venture. It was a huge success thanks to our fans and friends and has become a yearly tradition, featuring our album covers and personally signed labels.

This lead to the formation of a partnership based on our passion for wine, music and friendship. Wanting to create wines that reflected this unique perspective led us to seek a third voice to help guide the process.

Dennis introduced me to winemaker and consultant Daryl Groom, who Dennis knew through coaching at Little League up in Healdsburg. We shared ideas and visions together and thought it could be fun to work on a project together. I admired their accomplishments and they admired mine. Our single goal was to make great wine and have some fun while doing it.

The reason I got into crafting wine with my friends Dennis and Daryl is an attempt to blend the arts of music and wine making…two things that I feel go together and have many similarities: passion, patience, dedication…and the desire to please our audiences. Our friendship has shown us how we admire what we do in our own worlds and what we can accomplish together.

My family had a history in winemaking as my Grandfather made his own wine when he arrived in Arkansas from Czechoslovakia in 1920. It was a Muscat made from vines that grew wild on his property. I was introduced to red wine back in Fifties in Chicago where I grew up. As a young boy the owner of our apartment building would take me by the hand to his barrel of home made Chianti he was aging in the basement. Checking frequently and barrel sampling he’d take a piece of French bread, dip it and offer it to me when I was just three years old. I remember the wonderful smell and mysterious taste on my tongue.

I have been enjoying fine wine and the process of winemaking since I arrived in Northern California back in 1981 and have been to many wineries and tastings over the years. I’ve asked questions on the tours and have read numerous books on the subject.

My fascination has now lead me to becoming a co-vintner and consultant as I am asked to share my palette as we go forward in the process and I am pleased to share with you our latest offerings.

Our commitment to fine wine is first and foremost.

I toast to the brotherhood and friendship of my fellow vintners I hope to share in the coming seasons.

~ Jonathan Cain