Founder / Winemaker
Raised in Oakland, California, John showed an early aptitude for science and math, but from a very young age his real love was music, with a particularly deep appreciation of jazz and 60's rock. As a child, he loved recording sounds with a cassette recorder and playing tuba in the school band. From then on, his life has been a progression of science and music related endeavors.
In college, he embarked on an electronics engineering degree but then moved to Los Angeles to pursue sound engineering instead. While there, he took an unexpected detour to help establish a start-up software market research company with his family. Concurrently, he managed his girlfriend's band – later his wife – whom he met while in Los Angeles, where they had their first wine epiphany with a bottle of 1986 Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino and later with a bottle of 1999 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
When her career in the wine business took her to Sebastopol, he was happy to move back to Northern California and to land in wine country. His interest in wine became a full immersion, and after stints at Paul Hobbs Winery and Dry Creek Vineyards, he pursued and received a degree in Enology and Viticulture from UC Davis. Winemaking seemed like the right mix of sensory and science to keep him out of trouble.
After several years in the vineyards, cellars and labs at Sonoma Coast wineries, he landed as Enologist at Chalk Hill, and later as Associate Winemaker at Sebastiani Vineyards, where he served a concurrent role as Production Winemaker for the Chalk Hill Sonoma Coast program. Sebastiani was a great training ground for achieving high quality and value in a variety of styles, from a diverse array of varietals and appellations. John was then asked to take his winemaking experience to the picturesque winery and caves of Roth Estate, to make rich, bold wines that bring out the best expression of the vineyards and appellation.
When not working in wine, John is a passionate Warriors fan, who enjoys smoking meat in his ceramic smoker, writing songs on guitar/bass, camping, hiking and of course listening to music.
Founder / Barker
Originally from Los Angeles, I've spent my life composing, recording and performing music, while being mentored by top sommeliers over the course of many years in restaurant service and management, before joining the winery side of the wine business.
I am a published composer, singer, musician and bandleader. Music inspires me beyond anything I can express in words - though I will keep trying as long as I am able. Music is my ride. My musical life is an embarrassment of riches, having had the good fortune of playing and composing with more admired musicians and great humans than I could ever have imagined. You can learn more about that at jeniferfreebairn.com.
As listeners, we regularly devour music from many centuries and all corners of the world.
My wine business roles include Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Paul Hobbs Wines, Kosta Browne, and Lasseter Family Winery, as well as Grgich Hills and others as a consultant.
We are incredibly grateful to Rod Freebairn-Smith for sketching away at label designs before inviting his friend Thomas Ingmire into the mix. Thomas is "fascinated by the pictorial possibilities of language, the word(s) as image, the immersion of language in an exhilarating atmosphere of visual invention." In our case, he took our vague idea of musical pastoral imagery and created something that felt to us like 'us,' and we couldn't be happier with our label design.
The name: Wow and Flutter is an imperfection in an analog recording, that contributes to its character. It resonates with us as a way of describing Mother Nature's role in winemaking, the x factor that remains always just beyond our control.