GRO Wines is a Napa Valley boutique brand owned by husband and wife winemaking team, Lars and Molly Bjorkman. Having both made wine with grapes from many different sites in the Napa Valley, they launched their very own single vineyard wine label in 2009.
Lars and Molly are both experienced winemakers. Still to this day, they hold winemaker positions at Sequoia Grove and Saddleback Cellars in the Napa Valley. When they launched their own label, they chose to work with single vineyard wine of four varietals; Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo, and Cabernet Sauvignon. All of their wines are 100 % varietal. Today, GRO Wines produces about 450 cases per year.
“For GRO we chose to work with our favorite flavor profile. We are very familiar with the vineyards in Napa and Sonoma and we take pride in identifying site and flavor of each grape varietal”, Lars Bjorkman said.
Blending and bottling decisions are made in the couple’s constantly renovated vintage house in downtown Calistoga. They decide what day to harvest each varietal based on taste and basic chemistry before having the grapes handpicked and brought down the mountain to Saddleback Cellars for crushing and pressing. The wine is sold through a combination of direct sales in person or from their mailing list, as well as through some wine shops and restaurants scattered throughout the Bay Area and a distributor in Texas.
”Having customers tell us they enjoy our wine and experiencing the joy of food with our wine motivates me the most in this business”, Lars Bjorkman said. “It inspires us to make better and better wine each vintage.”
When Lars and Molly first launched their label it was under the name Grow Wines. Later, it was changed to GRO, which is the Swedish word for grow or germinate, to acknowledge Lars’s Swedish heritage. Though he was born surrounded by vineyards in Fresno, his Swedish parents had barely unpacked their bags, having moved to California just weeks before. Still today, they spend every summer in their family home in Sörmland south of Stockholm. Lars thinks that his childhood summers spent in Sweden has had a huge influence on him as a winemaker.
“The sweet crayfish, woodsy mushrooms, and juicy blueberries that my family ate deeply impacted my knowledge of flavor development from site. Drawing that flavor out from grapes grown in unique vineyard sites is a natural progression of this innate knowledge.”
The presence of Lars’s Swedish background does not end there. On the bottles, the front labels are of classic Swedish archipelago images and the back labels tells the story of how each wine is like an archipelago of its own. On their webpage, one can not only buy the wines, it is also a place to go for tips and recommendations for those who plan to visit Sweden.
Needless to say, at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, we are extra proud to welcome such great ambassadors to our network. To make things even better, all SACC members will receive 20% off any order of wine! Here is how:
- Choose your wines at www.growines.com. Feel free to join their mailing list, too.
- Use the code SACC at checkout to receive your discount.
- Enjoy your wine and have a great summer!