Pata and David Airaudi loved drinking sparkling wines, but didn’t feel connected to the brands available on the market. So in 2012, the California-based married couple set out to craft their own bubbly, incorporating classic Champagne traditions with their West Coast philosophy. The result was Sapere, a sparkling wine that’s distinctly Californian.

Pata has always loved surfing and spending time in the Golden State sun, and it’s evident that she applies her passion and respect for the land into making Sapere wines. The brand’s website greets you with the duo’s ethos: “To make wine is to make a pledge with the earth, to accept that at best we may briefly align with all that nature endows and capture a moment, as nature moves on unconcerned.” By paying attention to the region’s climate and biodiversity, Sapere crafts terroir-driven sparkling wines with minimal intervention.

We spoke with Pata to learn more about her approach to making the environmentally driven, bright, and bubbly Sapere wines. Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind the brand as well as its future.

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1. What inspired you to create Sapere Wines?

I have an eclectic crew of family and friends in L.A. — musicians, artists, entrepreneurs from all walks of life — and we found ourselves drinking more and more sparkling wines and rosés. But nothing spoke to us, flavor profile or brand-wise, and this was 2010, so pre-rosé boom. We had a couple of Napa-based friends, so we decided to make a wine that fit what we were looking for ourselves.

2. Why sparkling wines?

Who doesn’t love bubbles? You can’t help but smile when you say bubbles. Honestly, I didn’t really know about sparkling wines, as it wasn’t in my or my family and friend’s world, but the more I tried them, the more obsessed I became. It was grower Champagnes that really inspired me. They’re still hard to find in the U.S., but back then, it was nearly impossible. I would stumble on these wonderfully vibrant and creative sparkling wines that tasted nothing like the traditional Champagne. It made me realize the same innovative spirit could be applied to bubbles in California.

3. You worked apprenticeships in Tuscany and France. Did this influence your winemaking style?

Absolutely. There’s so much knowledge there, so when the opportunity allows, I learn what I can and try to apply the principles here in California. I say “principles” since too many wines try to copy what’s done there, but you can’t copy climate and soil and history. I feel having studied in the field as opposed to the classroom works best for me, as it has given me the freedom to think outside the box. I would really like to go to study in Georgia as they have thousands of more years of history in winemaking than Western Europe. Could you imagine Sapere Saperavi bubbles?

4. Why was it important for you to take a no-additives approach to the wines?

Additives just don’t make sense. It doesn’t help the wine, but it does hurt the body, so why? My goal is to make great wines that people love while they are drinking them, the next morning, and 40 years later.

5. How does your connection with nature influence Sapere Wines?

Wine is agriculture. We dress it up pretty, but we grow fruit in the dirt. And in that process, nature is your partner. [From] crushed rocks from billions of years ago and a cloud formation from last week, we are reliant on things much bigger than us. You have to respect it and carry that respect through the whole of the journey.

6. You’re also a surfer. Do you find any commonalities between surfing and winemaking?

I only surf when it’s warm and I’m on vacation, so these days that’s far and few! But being based in Venice, most of the crew are surfers. Both [surfing and making wine] are about harmony with nature, not being afraid to fall down and get back up, and ultimately being reminded by the earth that as much as you try, you are not in control! Shout out to Ebony Beach Club, Color the Water, Yoniswell Crew, and SoFly Surf School — all wonderful surf collectives that are all about bringing more diversity to the surfing community.

7. What is your goal for the future of Sapere?

We want to include a whole new generation of wine drinkers into world-class bubbles. There’s such a misplaced desire to copy Champagne and the Old-World euro luxury that goes with it, but that’s not us, that’s not the true story of bubbles. We want to expand the story.

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