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Don’t we all enjoy reading about our friends and the successes that they are experiencing?! I had that happen the other day when I came across a story about Henry Nguyen at Monkish Brewing Company. (See full article in LA Weekly.) I met Henry by chance about this time last year when I had decided that I wanted to sell some of our old wood tanks. Markham Vineyards has been using wood tanks for aging our Sauvignon Blanc for at least 30 years. However, we had increasingly more empty wood tank space than wine for the four or five months each vintage. One of my barrel coopers suggested I advertise on a brewer’s website if I was interested in selling them. Henry was the first person to answer my posting.

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Henry and Adriana came to visit after several e-mails and photos went back and forth. You can see the three of us in front of the wood tanks (photo above) as they stood at Markham for three decades. When the day came to load the wood tanks, a professional crew arrived at the winery to transport the tanks 400 miles to Monkish Brewing Company in Torrance, CA. I can only imagine the smiles on the faces of passing motorists at seeing the trucks rolling down the highway carrying this precious load. 

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The last I saw of our tanks was Henry’s photo of them sitting in his brewery (photo below).  We were all thrilled to see the circle of our cellar life continue. To make things even better, it sounds like Henry’s dedication to his craft is earning him all sorts of kudos. His Selah Farmhouse Ale was created in our old wood tanks, which sounds like a match made in heaven. 

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I contacted Henry last week to congratulate him on the LA Weekly article. He said:
Every time we show someone the foudres we make it a point to mention where they came from. The tanks are doing well and it's taking some time to get to know the personality of each one. But of course the oval gets everyone's attention.

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Thank you to Henry and Adriana at Monkish for thinking outside the box and giving new life to our old tanks! 
-Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls

 

Background photo © Melissa Mermin.