As another harvest draws to a close—the earliest in the history of Santa Barbara County, as far as we know—we are celebrating our 10th anniversary as a winery. For the 10th anniversary release, we have some major changes, chief among them is our new name… TIMBRE (we say TAM●ber, but TIM●ber is an alternate pronunciation). Over the next year, we will be phasing out the “La Fenêtre” brand, so that all wines that used to be La Fenêtre or A Côté, will now be bottled under the TIMBRE label.
When we started La Fenêtre, balanced wines from California were few and far between, so we came up with a name and label design inspired by our benchmark for balanced wines: Burgundy. Having a French name and Burgundy-inspired labels allowed us to provide information about the style of wine we were producing at our fledgling winery. A lot has changed in 10 years – we have constantly been refining and improving our winemaking, and the California wine industry has changed around us, accepting and embracing balanced, food-friendly wines. So, while it was a difficult decision to move away from the La Fenêtre name, we ultimately feel that TIMBRE is a more relevant expression of our winemaking.
Why TIMBRE? TIMBRE is often referred to as the “color” of music. It’s how two voices (or instruments) can express their individuality, even when singing (or playing) the same note at the same volume. When you hear Ella Fitzgerald, Robert Plant, or Amy Winehouse, you know who is singing, even if it’s a song you’ve never heard before. What makes a voice (or instrument) unique and recognizable is its TIMBRE. We found a strong parallel between this musical concept and winemaking. We source fruit from some of the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County and across the Central Coast, but we don’t own any of them. Other wineries can source from many of the same sites, so what makes our wines unique? There are, of course, many factors from the picking decisions to the fermentation, to the oak, to the decisions on when to rack, when to bottle, etc. But even beyond these identifiable elements, there are intangible, indescribable elements, and collectively, those make up the TIMBRE of our wines.
As a terroir-driven winery, we strive to make wines that are expressive of the places and times from which they came, but inevitably, as the winemakers, we are channeling these vineyard sites through our own experiences and adding our own mark, our TIMBRE, on the resulting wines.
“La Fenêtre” was a reference to the fact that winemaking is our art form. That underlying ethos of winemaking-as-art has not changed. What has changed is the way we convey that feeling, both to ourselves, and to you. We had a strong desire to relate our ethos to something that was more relevant to our lives and to the lives of our friends, customers, and supporters. A musical analogy seemed like the perfect fit, as music is an art form that is universally enjoyed and understood, almost without exception. Over the past decade, our winery had outgrown its original persona, including the name and packaging that went along with it. “La Fenetre” will always be a formative part of our history as a winery, but TIMBRE is our future, and we are so excited to share it with you.
Along with the name change, we have gone back to the drawing board to design new labels that really express the TIMBRE concept. The labels carry proprietary names that evoke the vineyard’s persona, and a unique, stylized sound wave graces each label. Additionally, our new logo is a tuning fork. Just as a tuning fork is used to make an instrument play the perfect note, a winemaker uses his or her talents to ‘tune’ a vineyard, expressing just the right nuance, style, expression. Individual tasting notes and information about each of the new wines will be available in separate posts. In the meantime, check out the shop to find information and get a first look all of the new wines… Cheers!
– Josh & Alex –
p.s. Please place your order by November 6th to receive 15% off your purchase. If ordering online, use the code FALL2015TW at checkout to receive the discount. Wines will be shipped/delivered after November 6th via temperature controlled truck. If you would like to place an order by phone, please call Rob at 619.313.3240.