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Meet The Winemaker Working With Vineyards On The Margins

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 | April 29, 2020

Originally posted in Forbes

Winemaker Megan Bell says that some vineyards can be outcasts that lack the recognition they deserve.

Her wine label, Margins Wine, rounds some of them up and reminds wine consumers of what they are missing. Bell is a low-interventionist, working with sustainably farmed grapes, generally lesser-known varieties from spots in North and Central California. Her brand’s name is a literal nod to marginalized aspects of the wine world, and these are where Bell spends her time and energy.

Bell earned a degree in viticulture and enology from UC Davis. She’s apprenticed in wineries and vineyards in Napa, the Livermore Valley and the Willamette Valley as well as abroad in New Zealand’s Central Otago and the Loire Valley in France. Now she works from her home base in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Bell started Margins Wine in 2016 when she was 25-years old, and she came at the project with focus. She wanted to buy organic Chenin Blanc and she wanted it from somewhere on the margins. She knew this was a grape population in low supply, but still she reached out widely via email to growers. “No one would respond to my emails,” says Bell. “I had no mentors to vouch for me.”

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