E8 | Innovating in the Wine Industry | Jesse Inman

In this episode I talk to winemaker Jesse Inman about his journey to starting his winery Romililly with his brother Aaron.  He discusses how he and his brother are creating something unique in the wine industry that is more approachable.  He also discusses how he learned the wine making process and overcoming adversity.  This is a great episode that you don't want to miss. 

*Note: Due to some technical issues there are some weird sound quality issues in this episode.  We did our best to clean up the audio to make it as perfect as possible.  

Jesse Inman

When our family gets together, we always have wine. Our uncle August “Joe” Briggs never comes to a family dinner without bringing a bottle of wine that he and his friends made. At barbeques, camping trips, and formal sit-down dinners, wine has always been a constant. When we drink a great glass of wine, it always reminds us of growing up, sharing meals and stories with friends and family. Wine brings back memories of adventures we’ve had and people we’ve met. It’s how our family interacts. When we realized that we could make wine for a living, we knew it was what we were meant to do, and we dove in headfirst. Our winemaking journey has brought us closer together as brothers and deepened the love of wine that we’ve always shared.

In 2006, we had an opportunity to purchase several tons of Pinot Noir, our favorite varietal. It cost us our life savings, but the opportunity was too good to refuse. Using the facilities at August Briggs Winery, we produced a wine that was all our own—the first vintage of Romililly Pinot Noir. We made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of things we probably should have known already[e1] [BH2] , but somehow we pulled through. Our little 200-case vintage got a lot of attention, earning a 93 rating from the Pinot Report. For the next five years, we kept at it, slowly increasing our production, but never making quite enough to satisfy demand.

Uncle Joe sold August Briggs Winery in 2010, and Romililly had to find a new home. Fortunately, we found Talisman Winery in Sonoma, a winery designed to produce high-end, small-lot Pinot Noirs run by some of the best people in the industry. Our first year on our own brought a lot of new challenges, but we became better winemakers for it. Now, we’re producing new wines in addition to our signature Pinot Noir, and we’ve partnered with several amazing vineyards to create our best vintages yet.

Romililly is all about family, learning by doing, taking on more than we can probably handle, and including wine in every part of our lives. Like Uncle Joe, we’re upstarts in the winemaking industry, not winemaking royalty, and our renegade approach influences the wine we make and keeps us hungry for success. Running our small, family winery is always an adventure—and we hope that you’ll make our wine a part of your own adventures.


Romililly Website: http://www.romililly.com/
Romililly Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/romilillywines
Romililly Twitter: https://twitter.com/RomilillyWines
Romililly Instagram: http://instagram.com/romilillywines

Lucky Rock Wine Co.: http://www.luckyrockwineco.com/
Lucky Rock Wine Co. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luckrockwineco/
Pinot Patch Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PinotPatch/
Jeff Gordon Winery: http://www.jeffgordonwine.com/