Camp Rose Cellars “Unite”

Featured on March 6, 2023

Where: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California

Who: Raised in Guam, Kaitlin Childers traveled the world before landing in Sonoma County. A career in international humanitarian aid preceded her foray into winemaking, which has included several harvest seasons in New Zealand.  Since becoming the mother of three, she sees the wine business differently, declaring on her website “Wine is a beautiful but f*cked up industry”. Amen to that.

When she began nursing her children, Kaitlin sought out low-alcohol beverages, and soon decided to craft wines that other moms could readily enjoy. Camp Rose Cellars wines have been called “tantalizingly light” by Esther Mobley of The San Francisco Chronicle and earned commendable 91-point scores in Wine Enthusiast.

"Wine is a beautiful but f*cked up industry". 

Why: We chose this piquette because, frankly, there is a awful lot of mediocre piquette on the market (!) so when we see piquette made really well, we wanna shout it from the rooftops. For the uninitiated: Piquette is not exactly wine, but a slightly fizzy drink made from the pressed skins of discarded grapes. Supremely refreshing, piquette has a strongly working class history and its primary purpose has typically been to quench thirst.

According to Kaitlin, “It’s lighter than wine in every way: lower alcohol, lower tannin, fewer histamines, zero sulfur and zero sugar. I’ve basically been pregnant or nursing for the past six years. When I do have a glass I always reach for something light and piquette is a perfect fit.”

Camp Rose highlights a different female artist on every label. “Unite” features a playful line drawing from glassblower Kami Westoff. Says Kaitlin of her work, “There’s an unbridled whimsy, a sense of not taking oneself too seriously, and that’s the essence of piquette!”

As well, Camp Rose Cellars give a portion of proceeds from every wine to social causes. In this case, 5% of sales go to Corazon Healdsburg, a nonprofit organization elevating the voices and dignity of those working in hospitality in Sonoma County.

Winemaker Kaitlin Childers

"There's an unbridled whimsy, a sense of not taking oneself too seriously, and that's the essence of piquette!"

How: After scoring a heap of Pinot Noir skins from the Russian River Valley, Kaitlin got to work. “I take the pressed skins (meaning that they went through a full fermentation and the finished wine has been drained off) then rehydrate them in water to extract the remaining aromatics.”
The juice was drained off the skins after 36 hours, then bottled at 1.3 brix. Fermentation was aided by local honey and a saignee of Zinfandel.
This vintage is an electric pink that had me hooked at first sight,” says Kaitlin, “and the aromatics are so much fun.”