Wine + Peace

Wine + Peace is a new kind of wine company

— a movement built on the idea that playful exploration and shared experience are fundamental to a more vibrant relationship with wine and with each other.

Forget about status symbols and 100 point scores. We see wine as an everyday expression of your values. A vehicle for meaningful engagement, brave ideas and social change. So we’re flipping the script to build a community around a new set of principles — the rebel yell of a generation pursuing pleasure with a clear eye.

The truth is, the wine industry is broken. It tells us we’re living through the greatest time in wine drinking history, when in reality we’re being tossed about in a sea of industrial knock offs dressed up in catchy labels — Wonder Bread disguised as artisanal loaves. And it’s only getting worse. As the industry continues to grow — and the corporations at the top become more powerful — it’s increasingly hard to find wines that stand for anything at all.

We started Wine + Peace because we envisioned an alternative wine future

— one that empowers adventure, sustainability and deeper human connections. Blind tasting, numerical scores, rote memorization of meaningless facts — these represent an outdated approach to wine that is clearly failing to bring us closer to what really matters. What is blind tasting, after all, if not a willful disregard for all meaningful context?

So we set out on a quest to discover a new approach — to sit down with consumers, winemakers and farmers across the country in order to better understand their challenges and perspectives. We hiked high ocean ridges in Santa Barbara, stomped dawn-cooled Zinfandel juice in Sonoma, and harvested organic Chardonnay in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, like a scene stolen from Lost City of Z.

Each day brought us closer to the truth: there is an exciting movement afoot in America

— something that is not being represented on retail shelves. Small producers everywhere are rebuilding the industry from the ground up, rejecting agrochemicals, manipulative cellar techniques, exploitative labor practices in favor of honesty, ethical responsibility and freedom of expression.

We don’t know about you, but we are tired of being fed boring industrial wine, while the real thing — rare and precious and alive — is slipping through our fingers. So how about we get together and do something about it?

Furthermore, as we watch protesters in cities around the world call attention to America’s systemic racism and the urgent need for change, it’s never been more clear that wine must be part of the broader conversation — or who cares?

This starts with acknowledging that wine has a poor record when it comes to issues of environmental justice and human rights. Its identity as a status symbol has only served to reinforce social inequities, while wine’s industrialization has had devastating effects on our natural ecosystems, communities and health.

Let’s be clear: none of this will change if we simply opt out.

Instead, we have to take responsibility for the industry we’ve chosen to participate in and actively engage in making it better. We have to champion those who are doing the right thing and speak out against those who aren’t. We have to rethink wine’s role in our culture by asking why it matters and who it is for.

Our mission at Wine + Peace is not only to connect you to the most exciting wines and producers in America, but to build a community that puts people first. Let’s call it radical inclusivity. We believe that wine is for everyone — and that it should reflect our values, not just our tastes. We hope you decide to come along.

Here’s to drinking with our eyes wide open.

Manifesto 1