Most people envision a beautiful estate, a castle, or an identifiable landmark when they think of wineries, especially in the Napa Valley.Humanitas had a different vision. Founder and owner Judd Wallenbrock wanted to focus on the wine, not a building. "Winery owners often come from other industries with lots of money and big dreams to erect a beautiful edifice," says Judd, "which is great. I didn't. I came from humble beginnings and was a wine guy from day one. I only cared about making wines that honored great vineyards and were so good they could change the world."
So Judd put his money into the best grapes he could find (not the building) and was able to direct that money from the sales of Humanitas to primary need charities. As a result, he built a shed for $600 in his backyard in the town of NapaÂ a whopping 120 square feet situated under a grove of redwoods on hard clay soilsÂ ideal for making and barreling fine wines with little temperature changes. He outfitted the shed with 3.5" hard insulation on the walls and ceiling, plugged in a heater for the winter, and a 900 BTU air conditioner for the summer. Viola, the "Shed-Teau" was born.
Like the Hewlett-Packard garage, the "Shed-Teau" in Judd's backyard is symbolic of all that Humanitas stands for: focus on the wines and the cause, not the place. It's what's in the bottle and the heart that is most important. And though you no longer have to step over his kid's skateboards and his wife's flowers to get to his fine wines, now that Humanitas has joined The Good Life Wine Collective with Jessup Cellars and Handwritten Wines, you can still taste the handcrafted quality and passion in every sip.
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