After graduating from college on the east coast, future wine maker Carla David was torn between pursuing work in her field of study and apprenticing at an organic farm. She chose farming and to pursue her love of plants and herbology. When she and a friend made their first batch of plum wine together, the idea of winemaking as more than a hobby got rolling. She began trying recipes she found for dandelion and elderberry wines, eventually getting so excited that she was making a different wine every month with whatever was in season.
After several years of practice and experimentation, in 2007 she officially opened Wild Wines. Slowly starting out by selling her wines at farmer’s markets and the Ashland Co-Op, her wines are now sold in 24 stores and restaurants throughout the state of Oregon.
The growth of her business over the past six years has been slow and steady. A US Department of Agriculture matching funds grant, awarded to Wild Wines last year, will help to see the expansion of production from 275 cases a year to 1000 cases over the next five years.
With the general rise in consciousness about where our food comes from and how it is grown, Wild Wines seems to have found a perfect niche for those seeking a local, ethically harvested and handmade product. At the same time, by focusing on wines made without grapes, Wild Wines’ unique varieties offer a novelty and array of unusual flavors sought by wine lovers all over the world.