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Old Fig Wine Cellars
On a one-acre lot in Old Fig Garden, a Field of Dreams grows. Except, it’s not corn that was plowed under to build a baseball field, but grapevines planted in place of a backyard. And instead of a omniscient voice commanding “If you build it, he will come,” it was a family man’s love of wine that compelled him to get into the wine business practically on a whim 16 years ago. But the hope is the same. That people will come. Not necessarily to Dave and Susan Carlson’s home, but to local shops for a bottle of Old Fig Wine Cellars’ cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or petite syrah.
The definition of hyper-local, roughly 30 percent of the wine made by Old Fig Wine Cellars still comes from the original vines planted in winemaker Dave Carlson’s backyard all those years ago. But the whim-turned-business is growing. Going the distance, you might say. More than 10 years after its first vintage debuted, Old Fig Wine Cellars has expanded its winemaking operations and, over the past year, has focused on building its public profile. Helping in both those areas is Tim Ferris. Originally from Zimbabwe, Ferris grew up in a family of winemakers, and has found new kin in the Carlsons. His mentor/mentee relationship with Dave is summed up in the hashtags “Original Fig” and “Young Fig” that accompany several photos on Old Fig Wine Cellars’ social media accounts.
Together, the pair hope to continue putting out great-quality local wine, eventually opening an Old Fig Wine Cellars tasting room.
Here, Ferris talks Dave Carlson’s early success making wine, how he came to be Carlson’s right-hand man at Old Fig Wine Cellars, and why their varied perspectives on wine makes for a great pairing.