The Stylin' Babes Behind Scribe Winery

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on May 8, 2012]
Sure, there's a whole lot of pretty happening in wine country, but we'd have to say that one of the most inspiring spots we've laid eyes on is Sonoma's relative newcomer, Scribe winery. What cultish Four Barrel is to the local coffee scene, that's pretty much what Scribe has become to the wine world in just three short years. It's a place where young folks flock for a country-cool adventure, complete with rope swings overlooking palm trees and vines, chic dinner parties catered by some of the Bay's finest, a 100-year-old hacienda to explore, and a host of stylish staffers to make every amateur oenophile feel at home.
For a virtual tour of the dreamy property, we tapped three of Scribe's PYTs who help run the digs. And trust: They're all as fashionable as they are talented. Take a look, and schedule your next road trip accordingly.
Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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The ladies of Scribe winery, from left to right:
Jennifer Hall Taylor, Private Events Coordinator, Resident Scribe, and Tasting Room Snack Master; Nora Sibley Denker, Ambassador for the Scribe Viticultural Society; Lauren Feldman, Direct Sales

The lovely gals on the Scribe property.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe Scribe to someone who's never been?
Jennifer: "Magical."

Barrels and cherry blossoms decorate the foot of the main house.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Tell us about your dinner party series. What is the premise of the event and which chefs have been involved so far? Jennifer: "The dinner series was inspired by our first Scribe Estate vintages release. We held three intimate dinners in our wine cellar, each with a different chef to help highlight a particular varietal. Anthony Strong, of Locanda, cooked a beautiful Italian meal using the guinea hens from our farm to highlight the 2011 Sylvaner. Nick Balla, from Bar Tartine, cooked an amazing fish stew and family-style feast to pair with our 2011 Skin-Fermented Chardonnay. Sylvan Brackett of Peko-Peko transformed our cellar into a cherry blossom-filled Izakaya for our 2011 Riesling dinner. Each one was so distinct and so special and it is something we hope to continue down the road."

The Scribe tasting table.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What were you doing before Scribe?
Lauren: "I was the assistant beverage director at one of the best Italian restaurants in New York, L'Artusi. I might be biased, but they seriously have the best pasta and desserts I've ever had."

Lauren posts up in the tasting space.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe the wines that Scribe creates?
Lauen: "They're ripe with the history of the land, but relevant to this modern age. They have a sense of place and time that a lot of wine doesn't quite capture. It's about embracing everything that comes with the craft, good and bad. That's the only way to keep what's inside the bottle alive. And they're fucking delicious."

Bottoms up!

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Summarize the history of this fantastic property.
Jennifer: "In 1858, Emil Dresel and his brother Julius came to the U.S. from Germany with the first cuttings of Riesling and Sylvaner to come to the country. He planted them on what is now the Scribe estate. From the 1850s until prohibition arrived in 1919, the Dresels grew and made wine here under the label D&CO (Dresel and Company). The old hacienda on the property was the Dresel's house and functioned as a speakeasy during prohibition. There is even an old bootlegger road that goes from behind the hacienda, up Arrowhead mountain."

Farm fresh eggs inside the kitchen.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Where did you source the decor pieces in the main house?
Jennifer: "Yard sales and antique stores. The table was made from salvaged redwood by our friend Chris Fischer. The deer was shot by a grower we work with."
Nora: "As the wine club manager, I am interested in cultivating a community of people that want to gather and revel in the authentic experience of place, food, and winemaking. That includes creating a space indoors and out that feels right for us everyday. I am always looking for a great mix of graphic, clean, and antique art, furniture, and accessories that somehow translate our aesthetic."

An old-school typewriter sits on a redwood table, while taxidermy and antique photographs line the walls of the main house.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What are your plans for the hacienda?
Jennifer: "In the early summer we'll start a historic restoration of the hacienda. Eventually we will open Palm Drive and have the tasting room in the first floor of the hacienda."

A look inside of the crumbling 100-year-old hacienda, pre renovation.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Why did you start Scribe?
Andrew: "Because I love California, and I love the way that being a wine producer engages me with my native landscape. Scribe is a place that celebrates what is good about this part of the world."

Scribe founder Andrew Mariani, of the family owned Mariani Nut Company, on Scribe's front lawn.

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What were you doing before Scribe? Jennifer: "Managing Sassafrass Catering in Maine for half of the year, rock climbing and living in a tent with my sweetheart for the other half."

Jennifer in a Madewell dress.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe your personal style?
Jennifer: "Cowgirl meets Bohemian meets Salty Mainard."

Jennifer shows her stripes.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What is the feel you were going for in the main house?
Jennifer: "It's an old farm house and we didn't want to dress it up too much. A lot of what we do is about transparency and honesty. It is what it is, which is how we like it."

One of the few decorated walls inside of the hacienda.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What were you doing before Scribe?
Nora: "About five years ago, Andrew first brought me to what is now the Scribe farm. I have felt very much attached to that piece of land ever since, all 250 acres. Together, we wrote down a lot of our dreams for the property and creating a true and honest connection between wine and its place on the table."

After studying fashion at RISD, Nora worked as a designer at Vera Wang in New York and at local label The Podolls in S.F.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's the best thing that's come from the dinner series?
Nora: "Gathering our friends and seeing people try a wine for the first time that we have been working on for four years, from planting the vines, to harvest, to table. All of that, paired with a lovely meal by a friend who shares our passion for a beautiful meal is pretty awesome."
Jennifer: "Each chef puts so much intention and time into creating a dinner that works in our outdoor kitchen and our small cellar, and that really highlights the wine. It's amazing to see how each dinner could be so different from the last in every way possible, from the food itself, to the style of service, to the interpretation of 'wine dinner.' And each of them have triumphed. They were all anchored around the same shared idea that there are few things better than gathering a small group of interesting people around really good food and really good wine. So, it motivates us to continue these collaborations and to know that there are endless exciting ways to bring people to the table and to Scribe."

The set up in the tasting area for a Scribe dinner party.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's your short- and long-term goals for Scribe?
Andrew: "Keep getting better. Keep having fun."

Brothers Adam and Andrew Mariani post up against their barrels.

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Why do you think that so many young people identify with the winery?
Jennifer: "It is unusual to have a winery that is run almost entirely by people under the age of 35, and that young energy on the property and around all things 'Scribe' is palpable and infectious. Andrew and Adam pretty fearlessly launched into a vast and risky endeavor at a young age and did it with such style and drive. I think that inspires young people to know that you don't need to wait and that you shouldn't wait until some ambiguously defined future to pursue your dreams. It is also a really special piece of property. It's not just that it has a pretty view and a cool old house on it. It feels steeped in story, really in so many layers of it that we are probably only scratching the surface right now."

A tabletop vignette in the tasting room.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe your personal style?
Lauren: "It's pretty functional at work. I need to be able to lift things and can't be worried about getting dirty. Generally it's pretty preppy, but with an edge. I'm not super girly, apart from the bright-ass lipstick that I rarely go without."

Lauren kicking it with the chickens.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Where does Scribe fit into the general landscape of Sonoma and wine country?
Jennifer: "We are in a unique position because we are on a historic piece of property, but we are brand new at the same time. Our production is smaller than many of our neighbors. Everyone who works here is really passionate about so many different things. There is good kinship between everyone who works here. Scribe is more of a lifestyle for all of us than a job we come to."

The glorious vines.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe your personal style?
Nora: "My personal style is pretty low maintenance. Every outfit has to translate from the farm to a dinner out in San Francisco. I like to throw on a pair of jeans or a long skirt, a colorful blouse and pair of boots, and be out the door. I like to mix in a lot of vintage, especially Southwestern jewelry or heirloom pieces, in with my new stuff to make the look my own."

Nora finds a good egg.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's the idea behind the landscaping of the space, which seems sort of relaxed and undone?
Jennifer: "What you see now is the product of a lot of excavation and clearing. There was a turkey farm here between D&CO and Scribe, so there was a lot of work to be done before we could plant. There is so much history here and so many beautiful things on the property already that our approach to it all has more to do with uncovering than it does with adding."

A look at the 100-year-old hacienda from the main house.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's the best part about working at Scribe?
Nora: "The Scribe gang."
Jennifer: "The people. Can't beat this rag-tag family we have formed."
Lauren: "The people I work with! They are my best friends, even family. We bitch at each other like siblings sometimes, but I wouldn't change it for the world. And the people I get to meet. Scribe definitely attracts a diverse crowd and I'm always pleasantly surprised to see the range of folks that are getting into wine."

The Scribe ladies, all apparently sisters from another mister.

Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux