Imagine a wine that has been handcrafted from seed to barrel and fermented with the infinite spirit of the Universe. It’s not a fictional elixir. It’s Aum Wine Cellars’ line of organic, biodynamic wines.
Aum takes its name from the ancient mystic Sanskrit syllable that signifies universal energy or life force known as prana. Fundamental to Aum is the experience through the senses of the connection between body, mind, spirit and nature. Founder and vintner Pete Hoffman understood this connection and saw wine-making as an opportunity to raise the frequencies of his vines and grapes, his customers and ultimately... the entire universe.
Aum’s delectable, culinary wines are the product of years of learning and experimentation. Pete’s educational background in ecology and systematic biology gave him a foundation in organic farming, composting and natural fertilizers. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Pete started making wine in 1996. It tasted terrible, so he decided to make it a compost tea and ran it through quartz-based ceramic, which he learned about in Teruo Higa’s book, An Earth-Saving Revolution. Upon second taste, he noticed a subtle difference. It still tasted bad, but there was enough of a difference that he decided to experiment with the micro-organisms in wine.
Hoffman further studied enology and viticulture, growing grapes for wineries all over Napa Valley while continuing his trials with quartz ceramics. The experiments changed in 2003 when he learned that natural quartz produces even better vines (and watermelons). Rather than run the wine through the ceramics, Pete started filtering the fermented juice through hoses cuffed with natural crystals. He found that pressing the juice through the crystal matrix created geometric forms in the very cells of the wine, forming a permanent molecular structure.
As with any successful experiment, there is a strong human element in making Aum. Pete sets into the soil the intention for all people to reach their highest capacities. As the vine grows, the intention is carried through the shoots, to the clusters and grapes, and made permanent in the wine through the frequency of the crystals. Wine enthusiasts are tuning in to the resonant vibrations of Aum’s low alcohol, high acid and unrivaled flavor in their organic wines. Their Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Tres Joyas Viognier sell out at festivals and tastings all over California. The harvests continue to evolve at the Hoffman Family Vineyard as Wine Country learns to imbibe with intention.
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Photos: Aum Cellars