Planting themselves in Charlottesville in 1988, Amy Steers and her husband, along with their two boys, came to Virginia for nursing and urological practices, respectively. Having an outsized interest in wine since college, and finding the perfect property to dabble in the viticultural arts, the family put a couple acres under vine in 2000, carefully selecting varietals known for their vigor in the Monticello Appellation. Initially selling the fruit to a local winery (and being tickled, anonymously, by the awards it garnered), Amy started to give her full, professional caring to the vineyard. Lavished with such attention, the clusters responded fervently, swelling and growing full of themselves. While showing off the abundant fruits of her labor to close friend and artist, Tracy, the ample, ripe clusters, juicy and engorged, longing for harvest, were just so brazen that Tracy joked that there should be a vineyard called Well HungÂ®. And the ladies laughed.
And as a joke Well HungÂ® Vineyard might have remained had not a third lady, Kathy Rash, nearly spit out her drink when she overheard it. Recognizing a punch line with more potential than a delicious pun, and inspired by the dedication that Amy showed her grapes, Kathy was the perfect number-crunching foil to a nurse turned farmer and an artist looking to pop the cork of the wine business. And so, in 2008, with each lady thinking the other was pretty crazy but also kind of funny, they made their Well Hung dream a reality.
Enter Michael Shaps, an internationally renowned winemaker, who recognizes a good joke (and great grapes) at first blush. Well Hung's inception coincided with the enaction of a new law allowing contracted winemaking in the state of Virginia. Thus, while continuing his award winning Virginia Wineworks and eponymous labels, Michael started playing with some Well HungÂ® fruit on the side.
The collaboration has brought much cheering and cheers. Blogger Swirl, Sip, Snark [link] perhaps epitomized the endeavor, writing "The name might be fun, but the wine is no joke." In blind tastings, Well HungÂ® wine won gold at an international wine competition in San Francisco, medaled in the Virginia Governor's Cup (Virginia's most revered wine competition), and numerous other ribbons and medals in its young life. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art featured the label in their exhibition: "How Wine Became Modern: Design & Wine 1976 to Now". Even Rachel Ray has a taste for Well Hung, including our 2010 Merlot-Verdot in the Jan-Feb '13 issue of her magazine, under the headline, "LOL Labels". Srsly!