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Meet Raymond Wan of Wan Fiore Project

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raymond Wan.

Raymond, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We started off as wine enthusiasts originally. Several years later, we took an interest in the winemaking business and decided to look for opportunities to produce wine.

In early 2009, I did an internship in the Sta Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County. There I had a chance to learn the ins and outs of farming the vines while being hands-on each day in the vineyard.

Eventually, we would have a chance to use some of the very fruit that I helped to grow and turn it into our first vintage of the Wan Fiore Project Pinot Noir. The 2009 vintage of our wine was a test run to see how well we did and was shared only with friends and family.

From that point on, we went forward with production of an annual vintage, with Pinot Noir being our style of wine.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Owning your own business is always a challenge. There are always some hiccups here and there.

The challenge for us being a boutique wine label is constantly having to prove that your wine is worth drinking. We do all our own marketing and promoting and it’s really word of mouth and loyalty of our customers that help our business grow.

Always with a farmed product, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. One year you might get a ton of fruit from the vineyards and another year, it would be scarce. There was one particular year where we had a lot of difficulty finding vineyards with fruit to sell us so we could make our wine. It was one of those years where the fruit yield was so low and there was not enough to go around.

Please tell us about Wan Fiore Project.
We are a boutique wine company crafting Pinot Noir from the Sta Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County.

Our Pinot Noir is elegant and well balanced. We strive to create an enjoyable and approachable wine that both wine connoisseurs and the casual drinker will appreciate.

I think we surprise people when they taste our wine. We will hear reactions that genuinely show their delight in discovering that our wine is in fact quite tasty to their palate.

Our favorite part of being in this business is sharing our story. Our start in winemaking was really out of curiosity in learning more about winemaking. This is also a family business and our children have grown up around this business and are watching us do the work to keep this project of ours going.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I loved skateboarding and could do that all day every day. My cousins and I would just stay out all day long at the skate parks and on the streets until dinner time.

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Image Credit:
Raymond Wan

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