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Margins - 'Neutral Oak Hotel' - Red & White Blend - California, CA - 2023
Margins - 'Neutral Oak Hotel' - Red & White Blend - California, CA - 2023
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Margins - 'Neutral Oak Hotel' - Red & White Blend - California, CA - 2023

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All so fresh and bright by one of the greats of the new central coast: Megan!

Mainly neutral oak with a lil concrete egg in the mix. just 30 ppm of so2


Varietals: 16% Grenache (San Benito County), 16% Cabernet Franc (San Benito County), 16% Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains), 16% Mourvèdre (San Benito County), 16% Chenin blanc (Clarksburg - destemmed, soaked on skins overnight, and fermented in concrete egg), 12% Négrette Rosé (San Benito County), 8% Barbera (San Benito County)

300 cases
AVA: California Vineyards: Many
As of 2021 all vineyards Margins works with are farmed organically.
100% destemmed. Fermented and aged separately and blended right before bottling. Aged in neutral oak for 4.5-5 months (depending on the cuvée), except the Chenin, which was aged in concrete egg. Native fermentation, no fining, no filtration, no other modifications or additions except 30 ppm of sulfur dioxide the week before bottling. The Negrette Rosé also received 10 ppm of sulfur dioxide in late November 2023.
I had been sitting on the name of this blend for a few years, waiting for the right opportunity to come along. During harvest 2020 the occasion presented itself when a fermentation didn’t work as planned, and I needed to find a creative solution to generate the best possible outcome. I started doing blending trials with the goal of creating a cuvée that brought out the best in what I had to work with.
Since then I have continued to play with blending under this cuvée name, as a light-hearted juxtaposition to the single vineyard/single varietal wines that Margins has focused on thus far. In vintage 2023, Margins introduced a white Neutral Oak Hotel blend to complement this one.


Margins produces low-intervention wines using grapes from underrepresented regions, vineyards, and varietals. We make wines from organically farmed vineyards, using minimal additives during the winemaking process (SO2 only), and never employing the use of temperature control, fining, or filtration.
Much like people living on the 'margins of society,' vineyards can be outcasts too. Most consumers of wine are only familiar with a handful of grape growing regions and types of wine. Margins draws attention to vineyards and varietals throughout northern and central California that find themselves on the margins without the recognition they deserve.
Margins is a winemaking endeavor of Megan Bell, a winemaker living and working in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Prior to settling on the central coast of California, Megan received her BS in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2012 and apprenticed in wineries and vineyards in Napa, the Livermore Valley, the Willamette Valley, Central Otago (NZ), and the Loire Valley (France). She started Margins in 2016 with a modest crowdfunding campaign to create eight barrels of Chenin blanc. Margins now produces ~2800 cases annually of more than 20 wines.

In summer 2023, Melissa Russi joined the Margins team as the direct sales manager. Raised among a small plot of vines in the East Bay, Melissa’s childhood was filled with the scent of dried wine on the concrete garage floor, the thrill of outsmarting rodents, and a mouth full of sour grapes. On bottling day, she helped her family turn the house into a winery, hosting thirty friends eager to bottle and get their case of the next vintage. With Spanish and Italian roots, wine had always been a family tradition that blended every gathering with meals and conversations. She became specifically intrigued between the interplay of wine, food, and the connections it forged around the table. Her excitement for experience led her to a harvest internship in Santa Cruz where she learned the operations of the cellar, then later to Chile, where she immersed herself in an organic winery working one on one with the winemaker. Combining her wine experience with a degree in marketing and writing from UC Berkeley, Melissa is now able to orchestrate the interplay between wine and conversation in the Margins tasting room.

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