Oceano Wines is a woman-owned business. Since 2016, my goal has been to produce unique expressions of cool-climate California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in an inclusive and environmentally responsible way.
Even though there is more interesting wine produced now than at any other time in history, consumers usually see the same wines on wine store shelves and restaurant wine lists. This is because big distributors largely decide what wines will be made available to you--particularly in smaller markets. These big corporations make their buying decisions based mostly on economies-of-scale considerations. In other words, the larger the winery, the more cost effective it is for them to distribute its wines. This means that you often don't get to see many smaller labels. This prevailing distribution model is also terrible for the environment. The established distribution system makes it difficult for wine producers to sell directly to you. But direct-to-consumer ("DTC") distribution is both better for the environment and better for the consumer--and everyone involved in the production of the wine.
The United States recently became the world's largest consumer of wine by both volume and value. While there will always be a considerable number of consumers who will never move beyond mass-produced wines, there is a growing segment of consumers who are looking for more interesting wines that are less generic, particularly if those wines are made in a more environmentally friendly way. Oceano Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are precisely that type of wine.
We are making Oceano Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as carbon neutral as possible, and in doing so, we hope to be an example for other small producers, most of whom use the traditional environmentally unfriendly distribution system to sell their wines. Oceano is serious about being a friend to the environment. Our grapes are grown in a SIP Certified vineyard. Our wines are made at Italics Winegrowers in Napa. Italics satisfies virtually all of its water needs with reclaimed wastewater. Its electricity is generated by its vast solar array, which has resulted in nearly 100 fewer tons of CO2 being released into our atmosphere each year. My goal of 80% DTC distribution for Oceano's wines will lessen our carbon footprint by reducing the number of stops the bottle takes on its way to you.
In order to further my goals of reducing Oceano's carbon footprint while continuing to make distinctive, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and promote inclusivity in the wine-production space--an industry not known for that--I am looking to reach 80% DTC distribution for my wines and be an example for similar-minded, niche producers. The vintage VW Bus that I will be buying is being refitted by Karpatia and Oceano-branded by NYFW and lifestyle designer Cristina Ruales. The bus will function as a mobile "tasting room," corporate and private event opportunity, event prop and customer reward experience that will dramatically represent and advance Oceano's philosophy--and sales!
I'm Rachel Martin and have been involved in the winemaking and wine-selling business since 2005, growing Boxwood Estate's case production from 400 to 5,000 cases, as well as opening up its first international markets. I started Oceano Wines in 2016 and have placed my Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and prestigious wine stores from coast to coast. I established Oceano with the belief that expressive wines can be made while embracing sustainability and inclusivity--70 cents of every dollar spent making Oceano wines goes to a woman- or minority-owned business.
Oceano's consulting winemaker is Marbue Marke. He has made wine at a number of California wineries--both large and small--and is currently the Director of Winegrowing at Napa's Italics Winegrowers. Marbue does not see winemaking as a formulaic process. Rather, as he has said, "The most under-appreciated aspect of winemaking is adaptability. Just as there are no two stones alike, there are no two grapes or harvests that are the same."
Thank you for your support!
There are no words to adequately express how grateful I am for your support. Thank you for joining me on this journey, one that I hope will, in a small way, make the world a better place. And a place with better wine!