Leading Central Coast brand launches new website, e-commerce and labels with name change
Santa Maria, CA – Formerly known as hWa (Hammell Wine Alliance), True Believer Wines has recently relaunched with a refreshed website (www.truebelieverwines.com), e-commerce platform and suite of labels. Located in the Santa Maria Valley AVA, True Believer wines find their provenance within the iconic Bien Nacido Vineyards estate. Founded by the Bien Nacido Vineyards Manager of nearly 20 years, Chris Hammell, the True Believer vines were first planted nearly a decade ago by Hammell across 6 acres of sandy plains and hillsides. The entire vineyard is head-trained. The Grenache is planted to the sandy plains while the Syrah grows up hillsides so steep it cannot be mechanically farmed. Geese and sheep provide weed eradication and gentle tilling to the True Believer soils.
Of his approach to True Believer wines, Hammell says he applies “natural farming, draconian yields and simple winemaking,” to the project he shares with his wife, Dayna. Just a few yards as the crow flies from the homestead where they raised their four children, both Hammell and his wife live full-time at the Bien Nacido Vineyards estate, allowing for Hammell to commune with his vineyard on a daily basis. He makes his wines in a modest, small red barn just feet from their back porch. “It’s important for me to move easily between my home, the cellar and the vineyard. Having them all here makes True Believer a true domain. We have a dedication to incorporating the lovely parts of the Mediterranean ideal into our daily lives.”
Dayna Hammell provides all logistics, administration and customer service for True Believer. “We’ve been incredibly lucky to have such a loyal following. And they’re the word-of-mouth type of customer who brings their other friends into the fold. I’m proud to say I know our customers by name. It sounds like a cliche, I suppose, but Chris and I really do consider True Believers our extended family.”
Hammell goes on to say that his “winemaking is fairly straightforward, sometimes forgiving, but never easy to do well… and there are a myriad of options at each step along the way. Finding one’s way in working with a completely new vineyard takes time, generations, probably. This project is about full ripeness and the richness that it brings, along with a cool-climate. Balance is, for me, the ultimate goal.”
Hammell credits Santa Maria Valley with offering “the herbs and spices that only cool-climate Rhones can deliver.” He goes on to credit the Miller Family, who own and operate Bien Nacido Vineyards. “I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without the Miller Family, to whom I am very grateful.”