Biography

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

Two Shepherds is the labor of passion founded 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 the minimal intervention, wine making philosophy, which requires careful oversight, from vineyard to bottle.

 

Two Shepherds started as a one person micro winery in 2010. In 2015 William was joined by his partner Karen Daenen, a wine industry veteran, and head of consumer research for a multi-brand winery, as they moved into their own production facility in Windsor.

 

William focuses on day to day wine making while Karen, the Chief Shepherdess, runs foot stomping, blending trials, marketing, accounting, design and other key elements to the business.

 

Two Shepherds specializes (primarily) in Rhone varieties  from cool climate or old vine vineyards and unique plantings, made with minimal intervention.  Use of native yeast, no additions other than minimal S02, neutral barrel fermentation and aging, whole cluster, and unfined, unfiltered production are core philosophies of Two Shepherds. Production has grown from 175 cases in 2010, to 1500+ cases, still all 25-200 case small lots, thus William’s nickname – “insane master of small lots.”

 

The winery has grown a substantial following since its launch, with accolades in the San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, Wine & Spirits Magazine, 7×7 Magazine, Vinography, and numerous other publications,  featured in Jon Bonné’s book, “The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution”  and was recently named as one of “The 52 Wineries you need to visit in 2018” by the San Francisco Chronicle.”

 

William is an active leader and proponent for Rhone wines, serving as a Board Member of the Rhone Rangers, Vice President, and their North Coast Chapter President. He organizes intimate Rhone Rangers tastings throughout the Bay Area.  Two Shepherds was also an inaugural member of the esteemed 7% Solution Tasting, Califermentation natural wine, and RAW Natural Wine Fair, NY, LA.

 

Press Examples:

San Francisco Chronicle: A bright moment for the Rhone-minded