Âmevive – a French term meaning soulful, lively soul, living soul. The emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments. High-mindedness; noble warmth of feeling, spirit or courage.
Âmevive Winery is the soulful creation of Alice Anderson and her partner Topher de Felice and is based in Santa Barbara County. Âmevive started as a fusion of Northern Rhone classics and has grown to include some Spanish varieties, all made with a new age playfulness. Âmevive wines are made minimally without the addition of anything other than sulfur. They are bottled unfined and unfiltered and are made with intent to bridge the gap between a Natural wine and a Classic Wine palate.
The heart and soul of Âmevive is the historic Ibarra-Young Vineyard in the Los Olivos District AVA. The vineyard was planted in 1971, is all own-rooted, and has been farmed organically since the 90’s. The vines are a mix of Syrah, Mourvedre, Marsanne, Tempranillo and Graciano. Ibarra-Young Vineyard was one of the first vineyards planted in the Santa Ynez Valley. Alice and Topher employ Regenerative, Organic and Biodynamic practices in order to revitalize the native ecosystem that once flourished on this land. They also source Gamay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc from responsibly farmed vineyards within Santa Barbara County.
Alice graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Wine and Viticulture and then worked a few harvests in California. She then headed to Central Otago, New Zealand for 7 months where she worked at Amisfield in the cellar and at Rippon Vineyard in the biodynamic vineyards with the Mills family. This is where Alice truly began to understand the relationship between a steward and her land. After returning from New Zealand, Alice decided to head to the Northern Rhone in France in August of 2015 where she worked as an intern at Pierre Gaillard. Post harvest, she was hired on full time as the Caviste and stayed at Pierre Gaillard until the Summer of 2017. Ultimately, these two years proved to be the foundation for Âmevive. She fell in love with French wine and culture and cemented her desire to farm the land from which she would make her own wine.
While waiting for the approval of her second French Visa, Alice worked for a US based ski tour company and traveled between the European Alps and Colorado for 6 weeks where she met her partner, Christopher De Felice, a New York native who had been living in Colorado for the last 15 years. In the middle of 2017, Alice was feeling the bug to move back to the states and was introduced to Justin Willett of Tyler Winery in the cellars of Domaine De Montille. They clicked and she returned to California as the Assistant Winemaker/Enologist at Tyler Winery. In addition to Tyler, Alice spent time working with Angela Osborne at ATribute to Grace, and until recently, was also the Assistant Winemaker for Tatomer.
Âmevive’s first vintage was in 2019 and has grown to around 1500 cases with about 10 different wines made each year. In the next few years, they hope to grow a little more but not beyond the point where they can handle most of the farming and winemaking on their own.
Stylistically, the wines are truly special and unique and marry the best of both Natural and Traditional/Classic wines. There is a crunchiness and sense of aliveness, along with a purity and precision of expression, not only of place and varietal, but also of the underlying technique and craft that produces wines of such grace and transparency.