Bien Nacido Vineyard, planted in 1973 by brothers Bob and Steve Miller, is widely recognized as one of California’s most iconic vineyard sites, long revered for producing exceptional wines that epitomize the distinct characteristics of the Santa Maria Valley AVA. Looking to honor this heritage while revealing the vineyard’s special qualities through a new and unique lens, the Miller family teamed up with Tensley to create optik, a brand designed to showcase a fresh take on Bien Nacido Vineyard.
Throughout his career, esteemed winemaker Tensley has established a reputation for preserving the best characteristics of vineyards by minimizing winemaker manipulation and oak treatment – a signature style that has earned him over 200 90+ ratings from the wine industry’s most esteemed publications, including six wines on Wine Spectator’s prestigious Top 100 lists. By intersecting Tensley’s masterful approach with the elegant strength of Bien Nacido fruit, optik aims to open eyes to the new possibilities of this long-established vineyard.
“For nearly 50 years, our family has continued Bien Nacido’s legacy as one of the most well-respected vineyards in California, and we are incredibly proud to be stewards of this land,” says Nicholas Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “That said, we are always looking for ways to showcase the diversity and complexity of Bien Nacido, and introduce it to new consumers in new ways. By collaborating with Joey – a talented winemaker whom we’ve always held in very high regard – we knew we could present a different slice of Bien Nacido in an unexpected way.”
“I’ve always felt the most important part of my role as the winemaker is to let the vineyard and the unique qualities of the fruit shine through in the wine,” says Tensley. “In order to emphasize the special characteristics of Bien Nacido, a special place that produces exceptional fruit, I make sure to use a gentler approach in the cellar, trying to let the terroir be the star. And working with individual blocks across the vineyard allows me to showcase diversity of site, which translates into wines with a true sense of identity.”
The optik portfolio includes vineyard designated wines sourced from single blocks on the estate, featuring six small-lot wines across three varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah – priced between $35 – $45. Representing the power of new perspectives, optik’s unique and contemporary packaging symbolizes the empowerment of the winemaker’s hand to convey what his eye sees. “Our label is designed to bring the optik concept to life, visually representing a new interpretation of Bien Nacido Vineyard through the lens of an incredibly accomplished outsider looking in,” says Tommy Gaeta, Director of Marketing. “It offers a deeper level of storytelling perhaps not expected of the wines typically produced from Bien Nacido, while the price points make these wines accessible to a broad audience of both aspiring and established wine enthusiasts.”
Optik Wines will be available at select fine wine retailers and restaurants in cities across the country and online at www.optikwines.com.
Miller Family Wine Company
Miller Family Wine Company is a division of the Thornhill Companies – the industry-leading umbrella brand of one of California’s premier winegrowing families, the Miller Family, who have been farming California’s Central Coast for five generations. The Thornhill Companies includes the prestigious Bien Nacido Estates and Miller Family Wine Company, which itself includes the management of acclaimed national branded wine labels, including Butternut, optik, J. Wilkes, Ballard Lane, Smashberry, Barrel Burner, and Volunteer wines, control label brands for prominent retailers across the U.S. and the French Camp vineyard in Paso Robles. For more information on Miller Family Wine Company, please visit www.