A Word from the Winemaker: Domaine O’Vineyard
We caught up with Domaine O’Vineyard‘s winemaker, Ryan O’Connell, to talk about the distinctive label on his Proprietor’s Reserve and this is what he has to say…
A lot of people ask why there’s a sad face on the Proprietor’s Reserve label. I usually explain that it’s my dad crying every time we sell a bottle because he can’t drink it himself.
But there’s a bit more to it. The drawing, like virtually all of our label art, comes from my sketches when we started O’Vineyards. It was an exciting time in my life because I went from being a wine-drinker to a wine-maker. We just bought a vineyard without any formal training or background in the “wine industry” so I was learning a lot every day, and my parents and I were really pouring ourselves into this project without any clear idea of how the wine would turn out. It was a fantastic experience, but it was also overwhelming in many ways.
So a lot of the sketches from the period are a bit more serious than people expect. I’m a very smiley guy, always laughing. And we like to make wines for happy times and celebrations. But at the same time, there’s this serious and brainy side to us. I don’t want to go on about it too much, but the serious face on this label is a bit of a tribute to that more serious and thoughtful side of our personalities. We love to laugh and drink, but there were times when we really had to put a lot of work in to make good wine. And you constantly need to reflect on the importance of your land, the weather, and your decisions as a winemaker. And it’s true that when you’ve sold out of a vintage and you’re down to the last hundred bottles in your personal cellar, there’s a moment of mixed happiness and sadness. Like seeing your kids grow up.
Ryan O’Connell and his parents founded O’Vineyards in 2004 when they settled down in the south of France intent on crafting the perfect wines for those big, long lunches Mrs. O’Connell has always cooked. In so doing, the O’Connells constantly strive to blend the best techniques and attitudes (and drinking habits) of the new world with the refinement, wisdom and character of the old world.
Learn more about wines from Languedoc:
http://love-that-languedoc.com – A blog about the region and Ryan’s neighbors
http://ovineyards.com/english/cabardes-the-book-contest/ – Wines of Carcassonne: The Cabardes AOC