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Dandi Wines

Santa Ynez Valley AVA


Nestled in California’s Santa Ynez Valley, Dandi Wines offers minimalist, small production wines that merge Old World-style nuance and balance with California’s sunny, ripe fruit.

A new winery project from Jeff Nelson and James Sparks, Dandi Wines is an ultra-boutique sister label to the notable Liquid Farm Winery in California’s Santa Ynez Valley. While Liquid Farm is best known for its Old-World style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, this new collaboration was born out of a desire to work with a wide range of varietals from different regions around the world. Like Liquid Farm though, the winemaking style is minimalist and authentic, reflecting Jeff and James’ strong belief of allowing the varietal and regional typicity to shine through from the vineyard to the glass.

Jeff Nelson started his wine business career back in 1992 working for Young’s Market Company in Sacramento, and went on to work with some of the top Champagne and Burgundy houses in France. He preferred the lower alcohol, cooler climate, and more earth-driven characteristics of European wines, which are often in contrast to the riper, more fruit-focused Californian counterparts. Jeff and his wife enjoyed eating local and supporting mom and pop restaurants and farmers' markets, and while they supported California wineries as well, they didn’t typically finish those bottles as eagerly as the Old World wines on their table. It was then that they decided to make wine from their own backyard in a style that they craved - and thus was the beginning of Liquid Farm Winery in 2009.

In 2013, Jeff was joined by winemaker James Sparks who began his winemaking career at Santa Barbara County’s Dragonette Cellars (co-owned by his brother-in-law, Brandon Sparks-Gillis). Jeff and James saw eye-to-eye on their natural, terroir-focused winemaking style and have proven to be an exceptional team, crafting exquisite wines for Liquid Farm Winery, which focuses on Old World-influenced Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

By 2014, Jeff and James were craving another division of Liquid Farm Winery and established a sister brand they named Dandi Wines. This would give them the flexibility to work with several wine varietals from different regions and parts of the world, while still maintaining their signature winemaking style. The label is a work of art in itself, designed by artist Val Littlewood, who also created the unique Liquid Farm label (a graphic of a flowering beet root that transports what is found below ground to “above ground”). Since dandelion flowers grow in most wine regions and, ironically, are widely considered to be good for promoting liver health, the flower became the prime element on the Dandi label. To tie everything back to Liquid Farm, a small beetroot and bee are both included in the design as well. We hope our wine club members enjoy a taste of this burgeoning new winery. Cheers!

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