Original Wines is the creation of winemaker Molly Lippitt and industry veteran Richard Phoenix. Their goal is to craft wines from well-established vineyard sites with an emphasis on refinement, balance and quality, and all at a fair price for the category.
Molly Lippitt, a Sonoma Valley native, earned a degree in Biology with her sights on graduate school for botany. A summer job in a winery lab incited a trajectory change and flung Molly into winemaking. Molly honed her skills over fifteen years working alongside many of California's celebrated winemakers such as Heidi Barrett, Philipe Melka, and Julien Fayard. She credits these mentors for sharpening her detail-focused, site-honoring winemaking style. Molly continues to act as a consulting winemaker for clients throughout the Napa and Sonoma areas, including Volker Eisele Family Estate and her own label, Proxy Wines.
Richard Phoenix has over thirty years of experience in all facets of wine marketing, sales and distribution. He fell in love with wine when he was nine years old during a family trip to Napa Valley. Early positions at local wine shops and the Oakville Grocery helped shape his path that eventually led to harvests in Napa and learning all facets of the production side of the business. Later, as the Wine Director for the famed Tra Vigna in St Helena, he gained experience in restaurant wine selection, sales and service as well as passion for Italian wine. Richard spent seven years with the Henry Wine Group as a sales representative and field manager. Striking out on his own, Richard created Phamily Wines, a sales and marketing consultancy focused on small family wineries. His client roster includes Cafaro Cellars, Cannonball, Corison Wines, Round Pond, Joel Gott Wines, Tobias, Scarpetta, and Cultivar.
The portfolio of Original wines is headlined by their Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wine that exemplifies the beauty and history of this winemaking region in Sonoma County. The grapes for the Original Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from highly pedigreed and well-known sites (which we can’t mention, unfortunately!) located on the Alexander Valley Benchlands. The winemaking showcases Molly’s talents and reserved approach with hand harvesting, native yeast ferments and a judicious use of new oak (one third). Deep, rich flavors of cassis, dark cocoa powder, dusty earth and good structure make for a classically styled Alexander Valley Cabernet! There is also a delicious Sauvignon Blanc that is clean, crisp and textured, and shares the same pedigree and value focus as the Cabernet.