Wine Bar + Bottle Shop est. 2010
We are proud to be nominated by The James Beard Foundation for "Outstanding Wine Program" 2022!!!
SEBASTOPOL SHOP NOW OPEN!!!
Monday - Thursday 12-8pm
Friday - Saturday 11-10pm
Friday - Saturday 12-11pm
INDUSTRY DAY on Mondays:
for all food / wine / bar / small biz service ppl / owners
Cheers ~The Punchdown
GET UPDATES ON SPECIAL EVENTS
Join us! Our wine club is released in the middle of the month. There is no fee to join and you can cancel anytime.
How it works: You will receive 2 bottles of wine a month (at a discount). The cost is never more than $65 + tax per month.
Benefits: You will receive 10% off on all retail purchases (including conservas), half corkage ($5 instead of the normal $10), advance invites to special events, promotions, tastings & more!
email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
or sign-up here!
While there is no legal regulation or certification for natural wines, our criteria are clear. We have a set of guidelines that we feel are the most important in our selection of wines. This stems from our many years of learned experience and intuition in making, studying, tasting, and enjoying wine - we believe these wines to be the best!
The vineyards should practice a "more than organic" approach. This means that they should be farmed using natural farming principles (organic, biodynamic, ancestral,"do nothing") without the use of chemicals (especially the use of Round-Up which has been shown to be residual in the finished wines in 100% of the vineyards tested that use it). The soils should be teeming with good microbial life, creating a healthy and balanced ecosystem (which is better for our health and the environment too!).
We look for low yields, hand harvested, and hand sorted fruit (no machine picks).
Transparency in the winemaking: minimal intervention throughout the entire wine-making process. No additions of the naturally occurring components (yeast, water, acid, tannin, sugar, enzymes, nutrients, etc.) and especially no chemical additions used to change the flavor, aroma, structure, color, texture of a wine. If grandma doesn't know what it is, then there is no need to add it to our wine! Good healthy fruit can = good healthy wine, no need to mess around with it too much.
Using sulfur dioxide (SO2) gives us a headache and sterilizes wine, so most of our wines have none added. The wines that do have it added have up to 20x less than what is allowed.
Our favorite wines are what we call "øø" (zero-zero) or "super natty" or "vivant" (living). This means that there is nothing added, or taken away during the entire winemaking process. Sometimes these wines can have more of a "raw" or "fermented" taste, but our palates love these flavors and it is the only wine that we drink! Glou glou (french slang for the sound of the bottle tipped upside down) is the easy drinking version of these wines!
All of our wines are stored at a proper cellar temperature, which we believe is necessary for the best way to keep and serve natural wines (it is a perishable product after all).
We believe that good natural wine (in moderation) is healthy (there are some entire businesses that revolve around this idea alone).
Often, making good wines naturally requires a fair amount of risk and experimentation, and a "hands-off" approach that is actually a lot more work to get it right than the conventional counterparts. When making wine, if you make a mistake in a natural wine, there is no going back and that mistake can be tasted. In conventional wine-making, there are many tricks that can cover up or "un-do" mistakes (we're looking at you tank 22).
Our selection reflects like-minded, small businesses that do it out of love and passion. Some are breaking the rules and regulations of their respective regions by choosing to make wine in a natural way. We regard them as heroes in a competitive industry that increasingly manufactures wine as though it is a soft drink or a processed food product (spoofy frankenwines) with a big marketing department.
Thank you for your interest in real wine - Vins Vivants!!
~D.C., Lisa, & The Punchdown team
“Food and medicine are not two different things: they are the front and back of one body. Chemically grown vegetables may be eaten for food, but they cannot be used as medicine.” - Masanobu Fukuoka