The label of our hobby wine is Domaine Carlotta. Domaine, of course, refers to a property with vineyards that produces and bottles it’s own wine. We do have a few grapevines in our back yard here in Berkeley but fruit from better wine-growing regions go into our wine. However, since the wine I’m referring to here is for our own consumption we didn’t worry about the technicalities.
Carlotta is the name of the street we live on. In a side note and much more interesting story, Carlotta is also the name of the Belgium-born wife of the Austrian archduke Maximilian who served a term as Emperor of Mexico during the early 1860’s. His term, during a short French intervention in Mexico, was cut short by his overthrow and assassination.
Our next door neighbor and his friend (both Cal professors of Mexican descent) reminded us of this colorful bit of history while we were discussing current and potential names for our wine. The Mexicans apparently had nothing against Carlotta, in fact they rather liked her. They were simply rejecting foreign rule and had no choice but to kill her husband. Carlotta, as a result, suffered profound emotional collapse and slipped into a state of paranoia upon her return to Europe which haunted her until her death. That makes for a good story to tell when asked about our wine label; however, truth is, we really named our hobby wine after the street we live on.
Now we are working on the name and label design for our 2 Pinot Noirs that will be released and available commercially later this year. We considered keeping Domaine Carlotta; after all, that is where we got started making wine. Besides, if we needed to spice things up a bit, we had the great story and images of intrigue and drama surrounding Carlotta, Empress of Mexico.
Ultimately we decided, heck, you know what, we have our own genuine, even intriguing, female figures in our own interesting family history. This is what inspired our entry into winemaking and eventually inspired the name we’ve chosen for our new release: Stomping Girl Wines. We founded Stomping Girl last year in honor of Uzi’s grandmother who started the family winemaking tradition and recruited Uzi’s sister, then a child, to stomp grapes during harvest. Nowadays, we don’t stomp the grapes, of course. Rather, Stomping Girl is used more in a figurative sense represented by our daughters and myself, involved in the winemaking alongside Uzi. We are confident it represents our family and our wine as well.