Biography

Two Shepherds: Shepherd of the Palate, Shepherd of the Grape

Two Shepherds is the labor of passion by William Allen, well known Rhône enthusiast and former wine writer, blogger.  William was a garagiste for years before moving into commercial production in 2010.

 

Two Shepherds represents “shepherd of the palate” as his palate and recommendations are still widely followed on social media, despite no longer writing, and “shepherd of the grape” incorporating his minimal intervention, winemaking philosophy, which requires careful oversight, from vineyard to bottle.

 

Two Shepherds is a one man micro winery, committed to making old world style wines that express vintage and place.  William often jokes there aren’t two shepherds, but actually half shepherd, as in addition to making  a multitude of small lots, doing all production, sales, marketing work, he has a full time “day job” that funds the winery and its growth.

 

Two Shepherds specializes in Rhone varieties (e.g. Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre, Roussanne,) from cool climate vineyards and unique plantings, made with minimal intervention.  Use of native yeast, no additions other than minimal S02, neutral barrel and concrete fermentation and aging, whole cluster, and unfined, unfiltered production are core philosophies of Two Shepherds. Production has grown from 175 cases in 2010, to 1000 in 2013.

 

Ninety percent of the wines are sold direct to list, with a handful of selected restaurant and retail partners in California, and a tiny distribution in New York, Minnesota, and Washington DC.

 

His wines have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, Wine & Spirits Magazine, 7×7 Magazine, Edible, Terroirist, Vinography, and numerous online publications.  Two Shepherds was named as a Top Ten Hot Brand by Wine Business Monthly in 2012. Recently, Two Shepherds was one of the 125 wineries profiled in Jon Bonné’s new book, “The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste.”

 

William is an active leader and proponent for Rhone wines, serving as a Board Member of the Rhone Rangers and their North Coast Chapter President. He organizes numerous, intimate Rhone Rangers tastings throughout the Bay Area.

 

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