Courtney Kingston is the president of Kingston Family Vineyards. While she usually lives in northern California, this year she, her husband Andy Pflaum, and their three daughters are living in Santiago, Chile.
This past year was our 10th vintage at Kingston Family Vineyards. We’ve been farming in the Casablanca Valley for five generations, and our family tends to take the “long view” on things. For the last decade, we’ve been steadily zeroing in on how to make the best wines possible in the western hills of Casablanca. Much has stayed consistent for us — our commitment to leveraging the best of Californian and Chilean techniques to make small lots of wines that reflect the terroir and climate of the western Casablanca Valley; our focus on pinot noir, syrah and sauvignon blanc; and the leadership of our longtime winemaker Evelyn Vidal and consulting winemaker Byron Kosuge.
In the past 10 years, we also haven’t changed the design of our wine label — a distinctly short, rectangular front label with an abstract etching of our 1880’s house on our Chilean farm — which has been essentially the same since our first vintage in 2003. But with this month’s release of our 2013 pinot noirs to our mailing list, our newest wines will have an new look, which you can see pictured below.
Why change? Our main reason for the update is to better balance the display of the horse name we provide to each wine — such as Alazan for our flagship pinot noir, or Cariblanco for our sauvignon blanc — with our name, Kingston Family Vineyards. Over the years we’ve received feedback from fans and sommeliers that they wanted us to increase the visibility of the Kingston Family name & logo, yet not give up the horse-name motif. So to better accommodate both our family name and each wine’s name, we’ve increased the size of the label, and in so doing have also updated the label design. We hope you like it.
Most important of course, is that what’s in the bottle this year and in the next decade is of the same caliber and aspiration as our wines of the past decade. And we’re confident we’re delivering on that.
P.S. Our new label features the horse names in a script reminiscent of the handwriting of the Kingston family patriarch, Carl John Kingston (“CJ”), who came to Chile in the early 1900s as a mining engineer. These horse names were written for the new labels by my father and CJ’s grandson, Michael Kingston, who grew up on the farm in the 1940s & ’50s, and who remains very active today in the family farm and winery.