Keeper Collection #SommChat Guest #Winemaker Ben Flajnik

2/8 Winemaker Ben Flajnik


@ctfoodandwine (CT Food & Wine): @keepercoll ready and waiting for #SommChat at 12 EST!! #WW

@enjoielife (Judia Black): @keepercoll I’ll definitely be at #SommChat today. Looking forward to it!

@tonyv619 (Tony V): @keepercoll I’ll be there! But I’ll be tweeting with my employees via @thegoodlife_mia magazine #SommChat

@VinoMike (Vino Mike): #SommChat starts in 5 mins, 11amCST !! Check it out #wine peeps!

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Welcome to #SommChat everyone! Tell your friends to join us to learn from #Winemaker Ben Flajnik! #WW

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): We’d like to introduce you to @BenFlajnik @envolvewines #WineWednesday #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): We’re about ready to dive in w/questions, so shout out to @benflajnik to say hello & so Ben knows you’re here! #WineWednesday #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Don’t forget that EVERY tweet during this chat should include the #SommChat hashtag in order for everyone to see it!

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): As we ask @BenFlajnik our Qs, you can ask Ben your Qs as well! He’ll do his best to answer all Qs in the order they come #WW #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Let’s start talking #wine with @BenFlajnik @envolvewines #WineWednesday #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll hey everyone! I am looking forward to answering all your wine related questions today! #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik How do you think being born and raised in Sonoma has shaped the way you experience #wine in general? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@Keepercoll #Sonoma is the perfect habitat for learning about “real” #wine culture and country. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@Keepercoll We are really all farmers at heart that end up growing some of the best fruit in the world. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Keepercoll It has really kept a nice “innocence” over the years and provides a perfect balance of town and country. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@TheGoodLife_Mia (TheGoodLife-Miami): Is there any type of grape that you favor over others? @keepercoll @BenFlajnik #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @TheGoodLife_Mia I am a big fan of Pinot Noir. It provides a nice gateway into heavier red wines #SommChat

@DeniseFraser (Denise Clarke): I am a white wine gal – what is your favorite white? @BenFlajnik #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @DeniseFraser I have been on a Chardonnay kick lately. anything chablis, or carneros #SommChat

@Loca_Linda (Loca Linda): the ladies at loca linda have taken over brian’s twitter to talk to @BenFlajnik! #SommChat #bachelorcrush

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik You recently changed your winery name from Evolve to Envolve—what is the reasoning behind adding an ‘N’? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll There were a few reasons for adding the N to our name. We wanted to make sure our industry was taking us serious #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll We wanted to distance ourselves from “the bachelorette” phenomenon and let people know we are serious #wine makers. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll Secondly, we added a new partner, Danny Fay, w/N also signifying commitment to nature… #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll We have committed that all @envolvewines are farmed sustainably, organically, & biodynamically. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll Lastly, we want to “Envolve” our consumer. Educate them on our #wines, farming practices, & overall philosophy. #WW #SommChat

@TheGoodLife_Mia (TheGoodLife-Miami): @BenFlajnik being an organic winery, what was behind the decision to go organic? Do you favor organic wines over non organic? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@TheGoodLife_Mia I think what we do really well is provide a true “sense of place” with our #wines. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@TheGoodLife_Mia Really try & showcase as many Sonoma AVAs as possible 2 let ppl know there R world-class wines in sonoma #SommChat

@ChampagneWhit (Whitney Woodham): .@BenFlajnik @keepercoll if you could make wine anywhere else in the world where would it be and why? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Champagnewhit Somewhere in Eastern Europe, there are lots of great #wines coming out of that area these days. #slovenia probably #SommChat

@StephanieMiskew (Stephanie Miskew): @BenFlajnik @keepercoll What’s your favorite food pairing with Pinot Noir? #SommChat #WineWednesday

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @StephanieMiskew duck. anything high in fat #SommChat

@drewhendricksms (Drew Hendricks): .@BenFlajnik who is your favorite #Chablis producer? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @drewhendricksms love Raveneau

@drewhendricksms (Drew Hendricks): .@BenFlajnik @KeeperColl Love Raveneau too! What do you think will be the next “trend” in wine? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @drewhendricksms I think with the US bulk market drying up, we are going to see a lot more from overseas- Who knows what varietals #SommChat

@WineinkByTia (Tia Butts): @BenFlajnik of @envolvewines on #SommChat now! Join in the #wine Q & A.

@richbltn (Richard Belton): I taste lots of wine, what do u do with 3/4 full bottles you taste when friends/fam can’t enjoy them? @Keepercoll @BenFlajnik #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @richbltn I usually bring them by one of my favorite local restaurants and give it to the staff to taste. builds good relationship #SommChat

@RachelVoorhees (Rachel Voorhees): @BenFlajnik Your Epilogue Chard is advertised as a great food wine. What’s your favorite pairing? @keepercoll #SommChat #WW

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @RachelVoorhees all of our wines are great food wines. Mike and I stylistically are high in acid, and make for great food parings #SommChat

@enjoielife (Judia Black): @BenFlajnik what is primary difference between the Envolve and Epilogue labels? @keepercoll #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @enjoielife The main difference b/w Envolve & Epilogue Wines is to offer quality #wine to 2 different types of consumers. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @enjoielife We stand behind both brands regardless of price & feel we over deliver on quality, not price. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@ENOontheMagMile (ENO): @keepercoll @BenFlajnik Q- What Sonoma winemakers do you consider to be your mentors? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @ENOontheMagMile easy question. Joe Benziger from imagery Estate Winery #SommChat

@BlindedBite (Blinded By The Bite): @Keepcoll @BenFlajnik – Q – Aside from your own wines, what is your favorite California wine? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @BlindedBite So many favs. Tough question. I love wines from Dry Creek, AV, and Sonoma Mountain AVAs #SommChat

@mattreiser (Matt Reiser): @BenFlajnik if u could work a harvest at any other winery where would it be? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @mattreiser I would work at one of the first growth houses in France- just to see how they make those wines #SommChat

@ChampagneWhit (Whitney Woodham): .@BenFlajnik @mattreiser we are not first growth but we are French and looking for harvest interns! #SommChat #SommChat

@EllaDogSays (Ella Dog): @BenFlajnik @keepercoll Are you doing research and/or practices that are innovative and not commonly done in the area of farming? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @EllaDogSays Yes! We are heavily involved in Biodynamics. Trying to get all of our vineyards converted to that farming method. #SommChat

@Loca_Linda (Loca Linda): @keepercoll @BenFlajnik Q. What are you most excited about with your new rose wine? What makes it different from other rose wines? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Loca_Linda it’s a french style rose that is made in CA. Already there are going to be huge differences in taste. it’s amazing #SommChat

@enjoielife (Judia Black): @enjoielife: @BenFlajnik What do you consider to be best attribute of Sonoma terroir/region? Most challenging? @keepercoll #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @enjoielife we can grow everything in Sonoma, it’s so diverse. the challenge is getting out from Napa’s huge shadow. #SommChat

@ENOontheMagMile (ENO): @keepercoll @BenFlajnik There have to be a few other mentors, right? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @ENOontheMagMile Mark Burningham from Benziger is also another huge influence on me. #SommChat

@drooln (Nathan Yap): @BenFlajnik in converting your vineyards to a Biodynamic farming method were there obstacles (if any) that you’ve had to overcome? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @drooln getting our farmers to want to move that way is really difficult because the cost of farming is 30% higher. #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs out there looking to get into the #wine business? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll Make sure U have enough working capital, ha. it goes quick into barrel programs, grapes, & not in your pocket #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll Immerse yourself in the industry, and get as active as possible. #WineWednesday #SommChat #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik What is your “go-to” food & wine pairing when trying to impress a date? #WineWednesday #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll Go-to #food & wine pairing-homemade chicken marinara & #wine on lighter side, say our 2010 RR Pinot Noir perhaps #SommChat

@sethmlong (Seth M. Long): @BenFlajnik what are your biggest challenges growing Pinot Noir ? Chardonnay? #SommChat #ww

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @sethmlong making sure we drop enough fruit along the season to concentrate the berries- these thin skin grapes need more help. #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik What do you think is the biggest advantage of being an organic and biodynamic winery? #WineWednesday #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll Like I was saying before, I think what we do really well is provide a true “sense of place” with our #wines #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll Really try & showcase as many Sonoma AVAs as possible 2 let ppl know there R world-class wines all over the County. #SommChat

@TheGoodLife_Mia (TheGoodLife-Miami): @BenFlajnik @keepercoll #SommChat since you mentioned pinot noir earlier, what characteristics do you try & instill in your pinot noir?

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @TheGoodLife_Mia Mike and I work our Pinot harder than most. extended maceration, long fermentation. it turns out very burgundian #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik You recently expanded the Envolve brand to include Epilogue Wines—what inspired the addition? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll The addition was due in part to @envolvewines wanting to reach a different demographic…. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll We realize not everyone wants to spend 20-40 dollars on #wine these days so we created Epilogue as a nice alternative #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll What we try to do is show people the journey that the #wine takes to get in the bottle, hence, its epilogue #SommChat #SommChat

@UncorkdMenus (Uncorkd Wine Menus): @BenFlajnik @keepercoll How do you see technology changing wine consumption? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @UncorkdMenus It’s making purchasing more readily available. Consumption is at an all time high and it’s only going to get bigger #SommChat

@@EllaDogSays (Ella Dog): @BenFlajnik BD is great for enviorn –> is there an aspect of BD practice that enhances taste of wine you’re particularly proud of? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @EllaDogSays it enhances everything in the vineyard to the bottle. It is unique to the terroir can’t get that from other farming. #SommChat

@tonyv619 (Tony V): @BenFlajnik and do you think being an organic winery makes it easier or more challenging to get your pinot noir how you want it? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @tonyv619 Pinot noir is a pain in the ass no matter how it’s farmed. #SommChat

@RickBakas (Rick Bakas): @benflajnik How did your partner @winemakingnomad help @EnvolveWines by working/studying in Bordeaux & other countries? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @RickBakas He provides us with real insight as to cost/benefit of BD farming. #SommChat

@Eno_DC (ENO DC Wine Director)): @keepercoll @BenFlajnik Q-What is your favorite wine city outside CA to visit in the US? Favorite spot? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Eno_DC i love it up in the Willamette valley in OR. great wines, great people #SommChat

@drooln (Nathan Yap): @BenFlajnik in keeping with the line of allowing the vineyard express itself through the wine, do your wines not go through malo? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @drooln we do let some go through malo. they would do it on their own if we weren’t around to stop it. #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik Outside of @Envolvewines, do you have a favorite organic wine, Red and White, under $30? #WW #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll Let’s get it straight first. @envolvewines aren’t organic. They are made with organic grapes, big difference. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll Some of my favorites are produced by BenzigerWinery, have served as my mentors for last 4 years. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll I truly respect everything @BenzigerWinery does for the #wine industry. #WineWednesday #SommChat #SommChat

@enjoielife (Judia Black): @BenFlajnik Which of your wines is your greatest pride and joy? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@enjoielife @envolvewines our line up is great start to finish but I think our current all stars are the pinot, sb, and rose #SommChat

@Bmcontrol (c52 mControl): .@BenFlajnik but @envolvewines bio says ‘organic and biodynamic wines’ #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @mcontrol well, that needs to be changed then. I’ll tell @winemakingnomad to get right on it. #SommChat

@Eno_DC (ENO DC Wine Director): @keepercoll @BenFlajnik You are very focused on green practices, any alternative packaging, like wine on tap, that you like? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Eno_DC we are traditionalists. We are all about the cork, and the way it has been done for many years. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Eno_DC not trying to reinvent the wheel, just make great wine #SommChat

@enjoielife (Judia Black): @BenFlajnik: .@enjoielife @envolvewines our line up is gr8 start to finish but think our current all stars are Pinot, sb, and rose #SommChat

@RickBakas (Rick Bakas): @BenFlajnik your new Rosé is a wine u guys are proud of. Did u specifically set out to make a rosé or were those left over grapes? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @RickBakas we set out to make a rose. It is all free run from biodynamically farmed syrah in sonoma mountain #SommChat

@Champagnewhit (Whitney Woodham): .@BenFlajnik .@keepercoll what is your favorite grape to work with? Why? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@Champagnewhit I love working with Sauv blanc. It’s clean, crisp and refreshing. also in the bottle 6 months later ready to drink #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Q. @BenFlajnik Do you have a varietal you are particularly excited to bottle in 2012? #WineWednesday #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll I am really excited to bottle up @envolvewines 2010 Red blend from Puma Springs in Dry Creek. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll It’s a truly magical vineyard with unique characteristics you won’t find anywhere else. #WineWednesday #SommChat #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll It needs a big of bottle aging but @envolvewines is really excited to release it in 2013. #WW #SommChat #SommChat

@ChampagneWhit (Whitney Woodham): .@BenFlajnik .@keepercoll If you were not making wines, what would you be doing? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Champagnewhit some sort of musician I suppose. I have to have some sort of creative outlet in my life. #SommChat

@ChampagneWhit (Whitney Woodham): @benFlajnik @keepercoll Do u know Abbatucci? Plays music 4 vines? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @Champagnewhit I don’t. That’s amazing though! #SommChat

@redvinman (Simon Jackson): @BenFlajnik Not come across your wines, do you only sell on US market #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @redvinman US and Canada as of now my man. #SommChat

@Wine_com ( We’re a bit late to the party, but if you want to talk wine with @BenFlajnik, he’s on #SommChat for another 15 minutes! #WineWednesday

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): How large are your vineyards and how many different parcels do you have? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll vineyards We work with vary from 8 acres to in the hundreds. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll the larger ones, we take small blocks of organically farmed grapes #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): @BenFlajnik How do you make decisions with three partners @envolvewines? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll It’s easy. We are all best buds. mike and i have similar pallets so we work well together #SommChat

@RachelVoorhees (Rachel Voorhees): @BenFlajnik Will @EnvolveWines ever be available to purchase on @Wine_com or just Epilogue? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @RachelVoorhees just epilogue for now. @envolvewines is such limited production we like to keep it on premise and wine club only #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@keepercoll We @envolvewines would love to grow envolve to 6k cases and epilogue to around 30k cases or more. #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @keepercoll We want to reach as many wine drinkers as possible. #SommChat

@RickBakas (Rick Bakas): .@BenFlajnik Are your wines available on @wine_com? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @RickBakas epilogue is available on yeeeep #SommChat

@BlindedBite (Blinded By The Bite): @BenFlajnik – What’s your favorite bubbly? Pref towards the pinks? cc: @keepercoll #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): .@BlindedBite I love gloria ferrer “blanc de noir”. and yes, real men drink pink wines. #SommChat

@ctfoodandwine (CT Food & Wine): .@BenFlajnik when should I clip my CT grape vines this winter? How do I know it’s the right time? #SommChat #ww

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @ctfoodandwine ha, no idea. I have never dealt with CT vines before. Might want to consult someone out there. #SommChat

@envolvewines (Envolve Winery): @BenFlajnik do you really need to walk around the winery with your shirt off? #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): @envolvewines absolutely. Carrying a post that goes nowhere. #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): It was great to have @BenFlajnik join us today for #SommChat. We hope everyone learned as much as we did! #WineWednesday

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Please join us in thanking @BenFlajnik @envolvewines for his time #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): if any1 missed some of the chat today, remember we’ll post an archive soon to for you to review later #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Mark ur calendar! #SommChat Wed 2/15 at 11 AM CST @plepeltier will be our featured guest to answer your questions! #CantMiss

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): if u want to be 100% sure ur #SommChat Q for @plepeltier gets answered, post it to FB! Happy #WW!

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Keep in the loop for upcoming guests & archives & sign up for our email list at #SommChat

@BenFlajnik (Ben Flajnik): thanks everyone! enjoyed your questions! have a great rest of the day! #SommChat

@redvinman (Simon Jackson): @BenFlajnik Thanks very much #SommChat

@keepercoll (Keeper Collection): Thanks @BenFlajnik @envolvewines for your time on #SommChat

@ctfoodandwine (CT Food & Wine): .@BenFlajnik Thanks for your time, Ben #SommChat

@StephanieMiskew (Stephanie Miskew): @BenFlajnik Thanks for a fabulous #SommChat! @keepercoll

@drooln (Nathan Yap): @BenFlajnik Thank you for taking the time today to chat with us! #SommChat

@Bmcontrol (c52 mControl): .@keepercoll @WinemakingNomad @BenFlajnik TYTY for the informative and fun #SommChat You rock!

@Loca_Linda (Loca Linda): Great #SommChat today. Happy #ww to everyone. Best of luck to you Ben & thanks for your time! Now handing twitter back over to Brian