Founder of The Vice, Malek Amrani tells us about what it’s like to own his wine label.
GH: Why is wine made from small batches better?
MA: The smaller the production, the better the quality. Most of our small batches come from a single plot of land, we are able to craft wine and care for it better than if you were making a large quantity of wine, per se, a hundred thousand cases. When you are producing a large quantity of wine, you are most likely not sourcing for a single vineyard, you’re sourcing from multiple locations and either blending the grapes or juice together. It’s like cooking, it’s easier to control the quality of ingredients and be more precise when you’re cooking for four people as opposed to a hundred people.
GH: What role do you play at The Vice?
MA: I’m the founder and winemaker of The Vice wines. I am always traveling across the country and sharing my vices with retailers and consumers when I am not in Napa crafting wine.
GH: Could you tell me more about your sustainable farming?
MA: Most of our wines come from USDA certified organic vineyards. We practice sustainable winemaking practices and we never add sulfites to our craft before bottling.
GH: When was The Vice started?
MA: 6 years ago but we didn’t release our first batch, a 2013 Chardonnay until 2016. To date, we have released 14 batches with a few exciting batches to be released this holiday season.
GH: What part has social media played in your marketing?
MA: Social media helped us introduce The Vice to new fans and stay in touch with industry trends.
GH: What has been an unexpected challenge so far?
MA: Every batch has its own unexpected challenges. Growing and harvesting the perfect grapes first depends on the weather. Luckily, Napa Valley is blessed with some of the most consistent, favorable and diverse micro-climates suitable to produce the finest wines, but every vintage there are challenges that arise such heatwaves, frost, and fires when you least expect them. Other challenges can be as silly as someone delivering the wrong color glass before bottling which logistically can delay us a few days, but ultimately stretches the wait time for The Vice wines to be uncorked by our fans by a few weeks rather than a few days.
GH: What are your goals for the rest of this year?
MA: Some of my goals for the rest of the year are to increase our distribution in New York where we are currently found at over 250 retailers and release exclusive vices during this upcoming holiday season.