We're just KouKou for urban wineries!

BY Claire Cerda  @claireacerda

BY Claire Cerda


Here’s a little more about the technical specs:

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc

Name of the vineyard where the grapes are grown: Crown Point Vineyard

Location of the vineyard: Happy Canyon in Santa Barbara, California (southwest CA)

Alcohol: 12%

Total production: 840 cases

While scanning the wall of bottles at Rebel Rebel, people frequently ask to check out KouKou by Broc Cellars. At first glance, they may be drawn to the bottle because of the minimalist label design (I get it - like Kanye, sometimes we get emotional about fonts), but this design is intentional. It represents part of the winemaker, Chris Brockway’s holistic approach to making his wine relatable.

Brockway has talked about how the artist Marta Johansen matched the visual design of his brand with what’s in the bottle. He says, it’s “very simple and pure, no filler or fluff…lots of emotion for me.“ By keeping the style simple, it emphasizes the beauty of the electric magenta juice that’s inside. Brockway’s approach to winemaking is interesting for a couple of reasons: he’s making wine naturally - nothing added and nothing removed in the cellar - and because he is making it in the heart of Berkeley, CA. He isn’t surrounded by acres of vines, but rather a cement plant, a motorcycle repair shop, and a few other urban wineries (like Edmunds St. John and Donkey and Goat).

Just like brewers might purchase their hops from other farmers and producers, these urban winemakers purchase their grapes from vineyards and make wine in a warehouse. This method has actually been around for a while, starting with the garagistes, (makers of "garage wines") who made easy-drinking wine in their garages in Bordeaux in the 1900s and challenged traditional big-bold French styles. #rebels

KouKou by Broc Cellars shares the similar easy-drinking style these garagistes envisioned.

I love how Brockway’s space in Berkeley, his labels, and his wine are all working towards making wine more accessible. He’s even found a way to get his wine on the menu of Palo Alto’s Shake Shack. Like the name suggests (KouKou translates to baby chicken in Japanese), this wine is playful. It’s juicy, it’s crushable (meaning you and a friend can easily down this entire bottle without thinking too hard about it), and it takes like sour cherry candies with great acidity. I can’t wait for you to try it!