Affaire de Coeur's Chris Wadden Discusses His Venture Into Artisan Winemaking

IntoWine recently caught up with Affaire de Coeur Founder Chris Wadden to discuss his venture into artisan winemaking.

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What inspired the name Affaire de Coeur?

The name (French for "affair of the heart") is an expression of our passion for wine, pairing wine and food and for each other. 

How did your foray into wine making come about?

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

My wife and I were looking for a project to do together and we visited Crushpad on our way to the airport after a trip to Napa . We loved the energy and artistry of making wine. We researched (tasted) several wines from the different vineyards and made our selection. The rest is modern history.

The Affaire de Coeur Pinot Noir 2005 was recently reviewed on IntoWineTV, watch now

Describe your wine making philosophy:

Let the fruit express itself. We make two single vineyard Pinots from the Russian River and Santa Lucia Highlands. We utilize the same grapes and process but the difference in the wines is amazing. 

What are your long-term goals for the brand?

Become a well known and respected artisan producer of Pinot Noir.

Why the focus on Pinot Noir?

We love the synergy of food and wine. We believe that Pinot is the most versatile and best food wine.

When it comes to wine making, what's one thing you know now that you wish you had known before you started

How incredibly difficult it is for a small brand to succeed. In addition, we also chose to make a premium wine that ran into a declining market for wines over $20 .

A hot topic in wine circles is the "Parkerization" of wines. Some people claim his 100 point scoring system has been an enabling factor for consumers as they navigate the endless array of brands from which they can  Others claim his influence has negatively impacted wine quality as producers are increasingly crafting their wines to earn a high score from Parker at the expense of making the best wine they can with the fruit and resources they have available. Given this, what are your thoughts on Parker and the 100 point scoring system?

People are always looking for ways to simplify choices and we all rely on experts recommendations. Parker has filled that role. You have to remember that all opinions have a personal taste or bias. He definitely has a style he prefers. Wine is a capital intensive competitive business that seeks unique competitive advantages. This can mean the difference between success or failure.  Crafting your wine style to the get a great score from most influential wine rater is business strategy that some (not us) have chosen to pursue

Lastly, where can your wines be purchased?

Our wines are available at selected Los Angeles restaurants but the best way to purchase our wine is through our web site www.adcwine.com.