How would you describe your art style to somebody that's never seen it?
I aim to encapsulate a timelessness in my work in hopes that it can live on past our lifetime. Despite my work being digitally created I try to capture the imperfection of the human hand. Timelessness and imperfection.
What are your inspirations?
My biggest inspiration is existence. In all it’s mystery and awesomeness. That, to me, is a bottomless well to draw from.
For the piece we used on the wine Going Home, what were you trying to capture?
I was hoping to capture a sense of homesickness and that feeling of being out of place and knowing there’s a place that’s more suited for you than where you are right now.
Do you see any similarities between winemaking and illustration?
I think within any form of creation there is a similarity. Humans ability to create something from what we have around us. We are innovative creatures and with enough will we can create some truly beautiful things!
My name is Daren Thomas Magee. I am an Ojai, California based freelance illustrator, muralist and designer. My inspiration comes from many sources, natural and supernatural. The aim of my work is to speak to the space between imagination and reality, my hope is to leave you to float off in that liminal space into someplace entirely new.
About Going Home
Whether it is your hometown or someplace otherwordly, finding a place of familiarity and comfort in your surroundings represents the journey that all of us are going on. Going Home.
This wine, with artwork by Ojai based artist Daren Thomas Mage, represents our journey of finding a sense of home even in the unknown. With an invigorated drive to double-down on the innovative winemaking techniques that our cellar team has become known for, we set out to create something that's probably never been seen before – an unfined, unfiltered native-yeast carbonic white wine.
Sounds like something from another planet, right? Check it. Carbonic Maceration is a process in which we place grape clusters in a covered tank and pump in carbon dioxide, which removes oxygen. Slowly, the grapes release an enzyme that converts the grape sugar into alcohol, bursting the berries without adding additional yeast. This process, combined with gravity, macerates the grapes into juice before we move them to a traditional press. Native yeasts from the grape skins start the fermentation process, which is a technique used in many natural wines.
But that's not what makes this wine so cool – carbonic maceration is a technique most often seen on red wines, not white wines. Due to volatile phenols linked to aromatics, it is quite difficult to successfully create a white wine using carbonic maceration. That's probably why nobody does it. Well, except for us.
It all started when we found this crazy white grape, originally from the southwest of France, called Petit Manseng. This grape has incredibly high natural acidity and tiny berries, and since carbonic maceration lowers acidity we figured it would be the perfect guinea pig for this treatment.
We were psyched when we pressed this experiment and realized the incredible tropical fruit purity that the wine had. After spending 5 months in neutral French Oak barrels sur lees, we bottled this masterpiece unfined and unfiltered, preserving every last drop of beauty in the barrel. It smells like a tropical paradise with notes of pineapple, blood orange rind, and toasted nuts. The palate is ripe and juicy with a broad mouthfeel that carries the fruit flavors of guava, lychee and honeydew over to the crisp yet textured finish.
$35 per bottle | 360 cases made
That's our motto here at Tank, and when times are tough we gotta remember that we're all in this thing together.
We have been beyond grateful for the outpouring of support we've seen for the Garage during these unprecedented times. Every time we see another order come in, another shoutout on Instagram, or a message in our inbox, our hearts grow an extra size.
We can't wait for the day that we can open our doors and welcome all of your smiling faces back into the Garage. In the meantime, if you would like to help support our team, the best thing you can do is order our wines online.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU. We wouldn't be where we are today without people like you. So stay safe, be well, and never dream alone.
The next MADE Club release is here.
I Love You, California
Don't forget, orders of 12+ bottles ship for just $1 all day, every day.
With bottling on the horizon in June and July, we are in the maintenance phase of the winemaking process. That means that we are busy doing a lot of rack and returns. This process moves wine from the barrel to tank and back from the tank to the barrel, with a primary goal of removing excess sediment and introducing more oxygen into the wines. Oxygen helps freshen up reductive qualities as well as smooth out tannin structure, so it's a very important step for our Bordeaux varietals as well as more tannic grapes like Petite Sirah and Tempranillo.
There are two tools that we use to complete the racking process – a bulldog or a pump. A bulldog displaces the wine using inert gas to pressurize the barrel, while a pump is a more aggressive type of movement that introduces more oxygen into the wine. We sample each barrel before racking to determine which tool is best for the job.
The other important step of the racking process is barrel maintenance. While the wine is being held in the tank, we clean each barrel and rinse with Ozone, which kills any organisms in the barrel and ensures that the vessel is in tip-top condition for the rest of the aging process. After one day in the tank, the wine is placed back into the barrel and left to age.
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