Santa Barbara County region
Incredibly passionate about their budding garagiste winery brand
Bevela is a family owned winery started by Marisa and Kris Beverly. Under the tutelage of her uncle Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat Winery fame in Santa Barbara County, Marisa has literally grown up in and around the vineyards and wineries while visiting her mother’s older brother. When she was 15, she decided she would become a winemaker. “My uncle’s charisma grabbed me. I idolized him. I also loved the idea of growing something from this earth. Every vintage is different. There’s also good science behind winemaking. Chemistry was always my favorite school subject."
With production at under 400 cases currently released, their focus is primarily on Teroldego and Syrah. Teroldego (tehr-AWL-deh-go) is an ancient grape variety that has been cultivated in Trentino, Italy for hundreds of years. This variety produces deeply pigmented red wines with an intensely fruity character, a style that has become something of an icon for Trentino’s wine industry. It is soft and needs very little aging, usually being drunk within three years of bottling, though it can cellar well for up to 10 years – longer when it is blended with another varietal such as Syrah. Jim Clendenen specifically planted Teroldego for his niece Marisa in 2007 on the valley floor. Surrounded by alluvial soil, this vigorous variety produced enough grapes for one barrel in 2010. Production is now up to 3.5 tons on little more than a half-acre of vineyard land.
Marisa is also the assistant winemaker at a facility shared by Au Bon Climat, Lindquist Family Wines, and Verdad. The latter wineries are run by two more legendary vintners, Louise Sawyer Lindquist and her husband Bob Lindquist. With that much wine knowledge in one place, Marisa has been soaking up knowledge from first-hand experience rather than follow a more traditional type of wine education. “I’m very fortunate to work with the people I do. Having Jim and the Lindquists here is really supportive. Day to day Mark Piro and I work as a team at the winery. I do all the lab analysis.”
“Our red blend is called Unforeseen Alchemy. Currently it is a fifty/fifty Syrah- Teroldego blend. That may change in the future,” states Marisa. “Having balanced acidity really helps a wine age. I want to be able to open one of these bottles in twenty years and find it drinkable and beautiful. Most of the old wines I’ve tasted have had that acidity to preserve them. “I want minimal manipulation. I want to work with great fruit and pick at an optimal time. I try to keep my alcohol levels moderate,” she continues.
With Kris dedicated to sales & marketing, Marisa tending the vineyards and wines, and toddler Lucius roaming in Marisa’s footsteps, their family venture might well last through the next generation! We hope our Garagiste Wine Club members enjoy this fantastic selection from Bevela Wines. Cheers!