The fruits of Michaela Dockery's labors are now on sale at Whole Foods Market in Germantown.
Dockery, co-owner with her husband, Dee Dockery, of the upcoming Hen House Wine Bar, introduced Memphis to three wines: Flocking Fabulous rosé, sauvignon blanc, and red blend. And she had a hand — and feet — in their creation.
"I had kept it under wraps, but I collaborated last year in Los Olivos with a winemaker and his partners, who I met totally by chance," Dockery says.
- Michaela Dockery’s new wines are just Flocking Fabulous.
Making wine "is their love. This is their life, and that's where I really learned the right way to do wine. It's a non-pretentious way."
Winemaker John Wright, owner of Standing Sun Wines in Buellton, California, is partners with Tim Tighe and Jeremy Fraser, who are owners of The Hideaway tasting room in Los Olivos. "The whole town is wine, this tiny little town. A lot of celebrities go there on the weekend, just to get away."
Dockery, who originally is from California, was introduced to the winemaker and his partners last year on a visit to Los Olivos. "I met these guys through my girlfriend who lives there. We're all sitting in their tasting room, and they bring out some of the wine. They bring out a bottle and it's this amazing label. One of the partners is a photographer, so they actually are licensed to make their own label."
The wine, which was a rosé, had flamingos on the label, says Dockery, who is a fan of the bird. One of the rooms at Hen House is devoted to flamingo decor.
"I said, 'How did you shoot this picture?' And Jeremy goes, 'Oh, I was in Memphis at the Memphis Zoo.' And I just about fell over because they didn't know who I was. And I said, 'Okay. Well, I'm not leaving until you guys agree to do business with me.' And that's exactly what happened."
Dockery was in Los Olivos for the first gathering of the grapes in September 2019. "The process was just magical. To be able to be there for all these incredible steps in the winemaking process. I'll never forget. We all piled in a minivan about four o'clock in the morning in about 35 degrees to go to the wine harvest."
And, she says, "I'll never forget walking up that hill and seeing the crew there when they started picking."
They were back at the winery about 8 a.m. waiting for the fruit to arrive. "One of the boys said, 'Are you ready to stomp your grapes?' So I jumped in and probably got the best leg workout of my life."
Dockery returned to California once a month for testing and racking of the wine. "Everything was ready April 1st. And so we're sitting here, 'Oh, we're in the middle of a pandemic and we have all this wine.' Jeremy said, 'We're either going to sell it all or drink it all.' Thankfully, the wines came out just wonderful and the sales have been great. This week, for the first time, the wine hit the shelf at Whole Foods in Germantown."
Describing Flocking Fabulous rosé, Dockery says, "Rosé has become extremely popular and something you can drink every day during the year. And there are a lot of different types. My favorite is a rosé that is very bright. Something that has a lot of effervescence with it. Something that's not too sweet, but just something that's very refreshing. And that's exactly how this rosé turned out. The color is absolutely beautiful."
The sauvignon also is effervescent. "It's light, but not too light." Instead of the traditional wine bottle, all three Flocking Fabulous wines are in a bourbon bottle. "You've got this feminine label on the front of the bottle, which is more masculine, so it's a really cool balance."
Dockery will include Flocking Fabulous wine at Hen House Wine Bar, which is slated to open later this month at 679 South Mendenhall Road.
Whole Foods Market is at 2825 US-72 in Germantown; (901) 896-3245