The founder of West Cliff Wines is one of Surf City's emerging vintners. Photo by Chip Scheuer.
Emerging winemaker Andre Beauregard has just released a Syrah and a Rose of Syrah 2010 under his new West Cliff Wines label. Part of a prominent family of local winemakers, he made his name locally as wine buyer at Shopper's Corner.
Was it always your plan to make wine, given that your father and brother are both winemakers?
ANDRE BEAUREGARD: Yes, I have always wanted to make wine and made a few over the years growing up. But not until the past few years did I ever give any real thought to releasing my own label. I work in a wine shop, and always thought it would be cool to have my own label on the shelf.
Your first wines, vintage 2011, were released this summer. What made you start West Cliff Wines when you did?
I decided to pull the trigger and get the label going last year after thinking about it during several of the prior growing seasons.
What style of wine are you interested in making?
My goal in producing wines is to produce worthy, balanced, aged wines with dark concentrated fruit and some grip on the reds. And crisp whites (once I start making whites, that is). My rose is made in the crisp style.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of winemaking?
I would say the most difficult aspect of the process is selling the wines, even though they have been well received around town. Many of the local independent markets and restaurants are now carrying my wine, with more to come. One thing is certain, you will never find a bottle of West Cliff on the shelf in a chain store.
Are you intimidated at all by the success of other winemakers in your family?
I am not intimidated by the successful winemakers of my family. I feel extremely fortunate to have their support. They have already learned the process and are far, far along the learning curve in the wine industry. It will only help me along the way to have them to ask for advice.
What do you like most about the whole process?
I think the part that I like most is learning something new and imagining the future and potential of the brand a few years down the line. Until then, I will continue to make high quality wines that over-deliver for the price. That's the whole philosophy behind the label, to over-deliver.