By Kimberly Horg-Webb
Most wines are made with different varieties of grapes but twin brothers from the Central Valley decided to try something new by making wine made with pomegranates. Twin Pomegranates owners and founders, Nick and Brian Davis grew up in Madera, Calif. surrounded by family who were involved in agriculture. The two are the fourth generation in a family that grows almonds, wine grapes, and of course pomegranates.
Their grandfather, Elvin Davis, grows 130 acres of “Wonderful” variety pomegranates. The Wonderful variety is known for its sweet taste and health benefits, so Twin Pomegranates Wine has the best of both worlds.
The wine produced by Twin Pomegranates has not been pasteurized and does not have artificial ingredients added to change the flavor or color so, according to them, it is even better for your health than red wine. It is said to help fight heart disease, high blood pressure, get rid of free radicals, and it may help with premature aging and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. This wine is packed with nutrients.
“Our 100 percent pure pomegranate wine is not a sweet wine contrary to what most consumers think,” Nick Davis said. “Since the wine is made from fermented pomegranate juice, it tastes and smells like pomegranate!”
It has a sufficient amount of residual sugar to balance the large quantities of citric acid in pomegranate juice. The wine tastes slightly tart, which is a characteristic of pomegranate juice.
There are a couple of other pomegranate wines on the market, but nothing like Twin Pomegranates. Nick says other competitors’ pomegranate wines are sweet; similar to a dessert wine but theirs is on the dryer side.
“Brian and I don’t drink too many sweet wines, therefore we wanted to produce wine we like and would buy,” Nick said. “All our wines are first of their kind. You won’t be able to find wine like them on the market.”
Twin Pomegranates has three varieties; the regular Pomegranate Wine, a Sparkling Pomegranate Wine, and Pomegranate/White Wine Blend. They produced their 100 percent pomegranate wine first in 2009. Ten months later they introduced the pomegranate/chardonnay blend and six months ago, the sparkling pomegranate wine was created.
“They are all my favorites but if I had to choose one, it would be the 100 percent pomegranate wine. It has an incredible amount of pomegranate character and I can’t get enough of it,” Nick said.
It is a “virtual wine company,” so they don’t own a winery facility as of now. Their wine is made by a winemaker at a custom crush facility in San Luis Obispo. They harvest their grandfather’s pomegranates in Madera, then transport them to San Luis Obispo to process.
Once the wine is produced, bottled and labeled, the Davis’s then sell and market it in the Central Valley. After making their first batch of wine they approached Save Mart Supermarkets and are now sold in 22 Save Mart stores.
“After one year, our wine sold so well, Save Mart told us they want to expand distribution into all their Save Mart stores and since it owns Lucky’s grocery too, they wanted to place it in all of Lucky’s as well,” Nick said. “After selling wine for 16 months, we now have distribution in 243 stores.”
Nick says in the past couple years many consumers are spending less on wine because of hard economic times so they’re able to cut out the middleman and sell it at wholesale prices in the $10-12 range.
Nick Davis has a degree in Oenology/Viticulture and Brian Davis’s degree is in Marketing, both from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, so the two make a great team to sell and produce wine. After graduation the two expected to revisit the family farming operations but the twins got turned on to wine tasting while attending college.
The two came up with the idea in the summer of 2008 while thinking of how to get involved in the wine industry. After much thought, both decide to make pomegranate wine since the grape wine industry was already competitive and difficult to get into.
Having family in agriculture gives them an understanding of the industry as well. The brothers know first hand how crops grow, the issues battling agriculture (political and regulatory), the challenges in the future, and how it has evolved in the past 20 years.
“We know what it takes to get agricultural products to the store shelf where most people unfortunately, have no clue,” he said. “All this helps us connect with our fans on a deeper level.”
According to Nick, Pomegranate wine is nothing like grape wine, but people compare it to grape wine all the time because many people do not know wine can be made from pomegranates. He says many people often ask what it tastes like and are pleasantly surprised by its flavor after trying it. The overall feedback has been excellent.
Fresno resident Kellie Ellis says she first heard about Twin Pomegranates from a friend and decided to give it a try. She instantly “loved it” and now uses it to make mixed drinks including martinis.
“Twin Pomegranates has that pomegranate flavor that makes it unique and delicious. My favorite wine is the sparkling wine; it is bubbly and fresh like champagne, but the pomegranate flavor puts it above champagne in my book,” she said.
The future looks bright for Twin Pomegranates. They will have a tasting room ready in the next six months, as long as construction continues as planned.
“We are really excited and know it’ll be a huge stepping stone and addition for Twin Pomegranates Wine,” Nick said. “This will give fans a place to visit and taste our wines as well as purchase our wines and other items and apparel.”
The tasting room will be located in Madera. It is also producing a slightly sweeter wine for those consumers who like their wine sweet. This wine will be released towards the end of 2011. For more information visit twinpomegranates.com.