The People Behind The Label

Founders: Phil & Collette Kaplan
Winemaker: Phil Kaplan
Mentors: Chris Bratcher & Joe Davis
Cellar Care: Julio Espinosa
Label Design: Eric Kass
Design Concept: Collette Kaplan

Founders Collette and Phil

How We Got Started 

We associate wine with the pleasures of life—good company, great food and the fun of sharing special finds with friends. Velvet Bee Wine was born from these ideas. It started with a small backyard vineyard we acquired in 2009. In 2012, the project took a quantum leap.

With guidance from very talented winemakers, we purchased grapes from select local vineyards and began producing commercially, focusing on the varietals best suited to these vineyards. We have worked hard to produce wines that we would be excited to share with friends.

We hope you enjoy the results! 

Our Goal 

We came to this venture partial to French wines and particularly, the success of those wines in pairing with food. For Velvet Bee, we wanted our wines to show off the extraordinary vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley by making wines that express the nuances of flavor possible from these sites. We are looking to make wines of finesse and interest, without overpowering. That is part of the secret to the word “velvet” in our name.

About Our Label

Farming, even on a small scale, brings you face-to- face with all of nature’s wonders and challenges. To grow anything well requires a respect for everything nature provides and the realization that it is all designed to work together. We grow lavender, vegetables, apples and grapes on our property. Every blossoming brings birds and insects of every variety, all with a part to play.

We especially love the bees in our garden and wanted to incorporate their importance in our name and label design. The farm implements—hoe and shovel—represent the physical labor that goes into farming. Our grape vines represent life.

My wife Collette and artist Eric Kass from Funnel Studio worked on the design for two years and I feel that they captured the essence of what Velvet Bee is all about.