Every kindergarten teacher knows that there are certain skills that are needed to be successful…in lifeShare (your toys),  clean up (your work), listen (while others talk), wait your turn (at the water fountain), be polite (at snack time), don’t push (when you’re in line), play fair (at recess), be honest (when you are in trouble), take care of your world (don’t squish bugs on the sidewalk), and work hard (although you really want to give up).  Mike Benziger, Ben Flajnik, and Danny Fay of Envolve Wines were childhood friends

And there are certain skill sets that are important when you have a businesswith othersShare (the joys of success and oh, yeah, the profits), clean up (the office and the barrel room…), listen (to those who are interested in your product whether it be a concern, congratulatory remark, or constructive criticism), wait your turn (and let the business grow when it and you are truly ready), be polite (when you are meeting clients and talking to co-workers or consumers), don’t push (when you’re mad at a friend), play fair (at everything), be honest (to yourself, your friends, and yes, the IRS), be kind to your world (take measures to be sustainable, organic, and biodynamic), and work hard (always and I mean always).  Mike Benziger, Ben Flajnik, and Danny Fay are business partners

I don’t know the aforementioned handsome bachelors from Sonoma, California personally having just met two of them briefly, but I truly hope I do at some point.  Everything I have read about Mike, Ben, and Danny as childhood friends and now business partners seems to mirror the fact that they have remembered those life lessons learned in their youth from some amazing family members and teachers and have transferred many and hopefully all of those skills into one very successful business, Envolve WineryYou can read about the story of their friendship and how it evolved into their endeavor by doing an internet search (you’ll be reading for hours) or checking out their website which is excellent.

But I’d like to focus on some of their wines which I thoroughly enjoy with dinner, with appetizers on the patio with friends, with a picnic on the boat along the lakefront..anytime!  The wines I have had so far from their Envolve line include…

**2011 Envolve Rose Wine Sonoma Mountain – This wine is a tribute to the guys’ sisters for emotionally supporting them during the crazy times when they were building the business.  Awesome!  The blend of 92% Syrah and 8% Grenache  showed a lovely salmon pink color and medium intense aromas of pears, peaches, and raspberries.  This Rose was mostly dry (thank you!) and balanced with high acidity, 12% alcohol, fresh fruity flavors, and maybe a hint of vanilla.  This wine was refreshing on a warm summer day, but I’ll be enjoying this anytime!  And so will your sisters…Cost is $24.00.

**2010 Envolve Carneros Chardonnay – Big and bold, the Chardonnay grapes were sourced from a Certified Organic block in Carneros, south of Sonoma.  Aromas of pear and fresh apples were a fantastic introduction to the tastes of tropical fruits, touch of vanilla, and butter.  I loved the lingering, creamy finish and with 14.1% alcohol this wine was just what I needed after a long day of work.  Cost is $24.99.

**2008 Envolve Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley – Having enjoyed this 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot juicy wine during a Monday night television show several months ago, I didn’t know whether to be taken aback by the antics during the show or the amazing taste of the wine!  Dark and jammy, this Cab had aromas of blackberries, plums, and exotic spices and tastes of more the same along with come chocolate and vanilla.  Very balanced with those smooth tannins I like made for a hearty wine with 14.5% alcohol on a cold winter night…let’s just say that I paid more attention to the wine than the show!  Cost is $39.99.

**2010 Envolve Sonoma County Old Vine Primitivo – If you like a good Zinfandel, then you may love this Primitivo…and I have always been a fan.  Aromas of cherries and raspberries blended with…a little licorice(??) and vanilla were a terrific beginning and were mirrored in the tastes of oak and some spicy flavors.  The tannins were smooth and the alcohol was high at 15.5% but paired with ribs, barbequed anything, or roasted vegetables, this wine is fantastic!  Cost is $34.99.



Mike, Ben, and Danny are now offering two more wines in their Epilogue line. The word, epilogue, means “a short speech spoken directly to an audience following the conclusion of a play”…However, in this case, Epilogue to Mike, Ben, and Danny means a line of delicious wine which is the culmination of a wonderful harvest…an “afterword” of sorts for you, the consumer, who would like an extra ticket at a reasonable price to the same event but with equally as good players.  Their easy-drinking Epilogue wines are…

**2010 Epilogue Chardonnay North Coast – Shared with a good friend, the aromas of this 100% Chardonnay were of fresh pears and citrus.  Its crisp tastes of pears, stone fruits, and a touch of vanilla were perfect with appetizers on a hot summer night.  The wine was fermented in stainless steel then aged in oak (not too much!) and the grapes were sustainably farmed in Mendocino County.  Alcohol is 14.1% and the cost is $13.99.

**2010 Epilogue Red Wine – This is such a smooth wine and could easily be your go-to red for any occasion.  Consisting of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec, 7% Petite Verdot, and 5% Merlot, the wine was aged for fourteen months in French oak.  Aromas of black cherries, spice, and dark jam led into tastes of more cherries, raspberries, white pepper, and vanilla.  The tannins, acidity, 13.5% alcohol, and fruit were well balanced and I had a pleasant finish with each sip.  Cost is $15.99.



Good job guys, for listening to your teachers…and continued success to you from one who is.

Cheers! ~ Cindy




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  1. Reply

    Great article! Love the cameo of our fireplace and yours showcasing the delicious Envolve vino 🙂 Just bought the last bottle of the Sauv Blanc at Binny’s the other day. Not mentioned above but still delicious!

    • Reply

      Thanks so much, Jessica! Glad you love the Sauvignon Blanc – perfect for a hot summer day in the Chi!!

  2. Pingback: Envolve yourself…and enjoy the Epilogue, too - Grape Experiences ... | Mendocino County Living | Scoop.it

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