Food & Drink

How Margins Wine is Drawing Attention to Overlooked Varietals

Margins Wine’s Rosé 2019 shows the possibilities of outcast vineyards

Megan Bell uses grapes that are otherwise left on the margins of the wine world. PHOTO: JORDAN PEARSON

Megan Bell is producing some delightful vino.

Under her Margins label, she has given us a plethora of interesting and palate-pleasing wines. And she is not afraid to take the bull by the horns when it comes to making something different such as Counoise (a dark-skinned grape grown primarily in the Rhône Valley Region of France) and a delicious organic Muscat Blanc. It makes sense, then, that she calls her winery Margins, because she uses grapes from underrepresented regions, vineyards and varietals.

“Margins draws attention to vineyards and varietals that find themselves on the margins without the recognition they deserve,” she says. “Much like people living on the margins of society, vineyards can be outcasts too.”

Bell’s 2019 Rosé (about $30) is a magic blend of 55% Merlot and 47% Barbera—both organic. Grapes are harvested from Zayante Vineyard (the Barbera) and Makjavich Vineyard (the Merlot) in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Bell calls the latter a unique vineyard in that it is planted with 10 different varietals. “So much of my time and commitment and love for what I do is centered on farming this vineyard with owner Larry Makjavich,” Bell says.

This delicious Rosé, with its mineral, tangerine and watermelon flavors, is made with low intervention—that means no fining and no filtration. Although Bell strives to bring out all the nuances of a fine wine, there might be some sediment. Her advice? “Embrace it!” she says.

I’m now seeing Bell’s wines all over in restaurants and stores. I found this 2019 Rosé in Staff of Life. With only five years in the business, this young winemaker deserves to be doing well. Keep an eye on her as she makes more and more terrific wines on the margins!

This is her online message during the shelter-in-place order: “Thank you to all the folks who have already bought wine from me during this uncertain time. I worked so hard to make it to year five of this business, and I will persevere with your support. See y’all on the other side.”

Visit marginswine.com for more info.

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