June 7, 2016 – After years of planning and dreaming, Ian and Heather Brand are getting ready to open their first wine tasting room in the former Coastview space in Carmel Valley.
“It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s a great opportunity and the right time. We’re really excited,” says Heather.
The Brands have filed for their ABC license and are awaiting approval, which they hope will come before the end of the summer.
The new venture—to be called I Brand and Family Tasting Room—will carry their Le P’tit Paysan and La Marea labels as well as a new boutique line they are creating under the label I Brand and Family Wine.
The new label will debut with two small-production releases—a 52-month barrel-aged chardonnay made with fruit from the Coastview vineyard and a cabernet franc made with grapes from the Bayly Ranch vineyard in Paicines.
“Our focus has always been to promote the Monterey Bay region in other markets like San Francisco and the East Bay, but we haven’t had our own tasting room and a lot of folks locally are not aware of us,” says Heather.
That’s set to change when they open the new space, which is being designed with the help of San Francisco graphic artist Robert Van Horne, who has worked on designs for Tosca Café and Belcampo Meats, as well as the amusing Le P’tit Paysan labels.
“We want it to feel like an extension of our living room,” she explains, adding that it will be a place to collaborate with fellow winemakers and chefs.
“There will also be a geeky educational element to express what the Monterey Bay region brings to the wine world,” she says.
The I Brand and Family Winery and custom crush facility in Salinas is also in serious expansion mode. Ian says he expects to bottle 9,000 cases of their own wine in 2016, up from 5,800 last year and just 3,000 in 2012—this in addition to making wine for 12 different customers.
“We’re getting to the point where I have to turn away business,” he says.
Le P’tit Paysan and La Marea wines are now available in 12 states and he plans to be able to add six more by year’s end.
Locally the wines will still be available for tasting at Trió in Carmel and for sale at The Cheese Shop in Carmel, Star Market in Salinas and Soif in Santa Cruz.