Twins Oaks Winemaker Mark Weiner Discusses His Wines

As part of video wine review series, Cult Wines of Crushpad, IntoWine had the delightful opportunity to catch up with Twin Oaks winemaker Mark Weiner to hear his thoughts on the Twin Oaks wines and wine topics in general. Thanks to Mark for chatting.  

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What inspired the name Twin Oaks Cellars?

Named after my twin daughters, as well as the twin oak trees in our neighborhood...

How did your foray into winemaking 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 father went to winemaking school in Europe but never was able to do.  I volunteered at Testarossa as harvest intern, was "bit by the bug", and learned from the great winemakers there over time.

Describe your winemaking philosophy:

Simple -- my job is to select great fruit, map out the target style of wine I want to drink (and sell), and then not screw up that great fruit through fermentation and aging process...!

The Twin Oaks 2007 Pinot Noir was recently reviewed on IntoWineTV, watch now

What are your long-term goals for the brand?

Stay as boutique pinot producer, remain hands-on with producing it, and continue driving quality while exploring new appellations.

Why the focus on Pinot Noir?

That's what I learned from my friends at Testarossa, Loring and others -- given I didn't go to Davis.  And Pinot is a great wine for all types of cuisine, so I always have something to drink from my closet when needed!  Lastly, Pinot continues to increase its reach among wine drinkers new and old.

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

The amount of effort required to sell it, especially directly to end customers...even great fruit doesn't do that for you (at least not 100%).

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 choose. 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?

I believe there is value in the 100 pt. rating system, but consumers need to be educated that merely ">90pts" = "must buy".  Rather, they need to understand what is in the descriptions, and if that meets their style and flavor profiles, vs. merely "RP gave it 93pts"...

Lastly, where can your wines be purchased?

At multiple retailers and restaurants in California, and at www.twinoakscellars.com