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Margerum Wine Company - Barden Wines

Santa Barbara County region

Takes a true French approach to winemaking

Doug Margerum first took an interest in wine while on a family vacation in France. He was quite young, a mere 14 to be exact, but he found the ancient cellars of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to be fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed tasting wines at the dinner table. His passion for food and wine was enhanced as he worked in restaurants as a server and cook throughout his high school and college years. After attending the University of California at Santa Barbara and graduating with a degree in economics, Doug traveled to France yet again where he continued to learn about the magnificent grape. He also frequented the new wine bars that had sprung up around California and knew without a doubt that his future was in wine.

Doug became serious about entering the winery business with the help of veterans Jim Clendenan (Au Bon Climat Winery) and Bob Linquist (Qupe Winery) who showed him the ropes of winemaking. Another noted winemaker, Chuck Carlson of Curtis Winery and a pioneer in making Rhône varietals in California also mentored him in his progression as a winemaker.

By 2001, Doug Margerum decided it was time to introduce his own wines and his first winery project, Margerum Wine Company, became a reality. Only 200 cases were initially produced and hit the market the following year. Great success has greeted each successive vintage and the winery's production continues to grow with each anticipated release.

In 2014, Doug introduced his second winery brand, a sister project to Margerum Wine Company, called Barden. While Margerum Wine Company produces wines made from grapes grown throughout Santa Barbara County, Barden is specifically focused on the cool climate grapes grown within the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, located at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley. Barden is Doug's middle name and literally translates to "one who lives near the boar's den," a nod to the wild boards that roam these vineyards. A wild boar also adorns the Barden wine labels.

Doug purchases all of his grapes from sources developed over the past three decades. He has known these growers for years and they treat him to only the finest fruit they can grow.

For each of his winery brands, Doug Margerum takes a French-inspired approach to winemaking. Each day, the staff gathers together for lunch and talks in the same manner as many French Châteaux and wineries. This not only gives the staff a great appreciation of their work, but it is also a fitting ending to the story of a 14 year-old's first visit to France.

Map of the area

Michael Miroballi - Winemaker

Picture of Michael Miroballi - Winemaker

Although Doug Margerum holds the Director of Winemaking role, it is winemaker Michael Miroballi who oversees the day-to-day winemaking operations for Barden wines. Michael graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in Geology with hopes of pursuing a career connected to the earth near his beloved home in the Santa Ynez Valley. His first harvest with Margerum Wine Company was in 2009, and he assumed Barden's winemaking responsibilities starting with its inaugural vintage in 2014. Michael believes in hard work, patience, and a commitment to excellence. His focus on producing wines of the highest quality and his passion for Santa Barbara County wines are tremendous assets to both Margerum Wine Company and Barden.

Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear <i>Platinum Wine Club</i> Members,

When I started Margerum Wine Company in 2001, my goal was to create hand-crafted wines for my family and friends to enjoy around the table with the foods we love to cook and share. I really began my professional interest in wine when my family purchased the WINE CASK in Santa Barbara - we quickly expanded adding a simple bistro adjacent to the wine store. In 1994, the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. From tasting wines from around the world to build my list, I knew the styles and characteristics I wanted to emulate when I started making wine.

Barden is my dream to make the ultimate expression of grapes from the Sta. Rita Hills at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley. After thirty-five years in the wine business, and now looking out at the Sta. Rita Hills from my winery window, I decided it was time to explore the cool climate grapes in this world class growing area. Barden is my middle name and literally translates to “one who lives near the boars den” - a nod to the wild boards that roam these vineyards.

Barden continues the Margerum Wine Company commitment to create handcrafted wines using only the highest quality grapes and producing wines that are truly reflective of where they are grown. We strive to make wines naturally, wines with personality - and limited production.

Harvest 2015 was our earliest in history, with Chardonnay harvested August 27th through September 2nd. It was clear early on this would be a fantastic vintage. We picked for opulent flavors and barrel fermented in our 55-degree winery, with full malolactic fermentation and battonaged for 4 months. With a balance between fruit and minerality, there is an earthiness along with white pear, a bready texture, and high-toned nerviness.

This wine was recently rated by Matt Kettmann from Wine Enthusiast and given 94 Points and Cellar Selection. You are in for a treat as we don’t distribute this wine and it is only available through this club or the winery.

Wine is Good Living!


Doug Margerum