The energy the founders of Studio Null bring to the table is undeniable, so we at Boisson were so excited to add their wines to our stores. As we are always looking to curate the best of the best, we felt so aligned with their vision to shake up the wine world—from diversification of varietals to actually letting consumers know what exactly is in their bottle of wine (I mean, isn't it weird that standard wine doesn't have nutrition and ingredient labels?!). Read on to learn how Catherine Diao and Dorothy Munholland are innovating in the nonalcoholic wine industry.
First off, how did you two meet and what inspired you to create this brand together?
We’re friends from college and we met in our freshman dorm. We‘re both fans of wine, but found that there wasn’t a great option for times when we didn’t want to be drinking alcohol. We wanted something elevated, that paired well with food, friends, and whatever we wanted to do tomorrow.
A lot of our American founders of wine businesses source their grapes from California. What made you turn to Europe and how did you go about finding your vineyards?
Sourcing from Europe, with great partners across winemaking and de-alcoholization, has given our wines distinctive tastes and profiles. We’re partnering with friends and then friends of friends! We’re lucky to be working with people who have a love and passion for wine, and also see how much potential there is in making great nonalcoholic options.
We love the unique grape varietals you chose for your first bottles. Tell us more about how you chose those, instead of going with "safe" or more familiar grapes.
There are so many great, interesting varietals out there for people to discover. We think the varietals in our first release wines— Silvaner, Portugieser, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, Syrah— offer a unique range of styles and were selected in part because they lent themselves well to the de-alcoholization process. We’ve had somms blind taste our wines and be able to pick out the varietals and regions in the wines. We’re excited for Studio Null wines to be delivering that level of expression, and we think fellow wine-drinkers appreciate it, too.
Your brand talks a lot about transparency and being able to trace a bottle back to the vine. Why is that important to you?
Personally, we like to know where our food comes from. We enjoy that farm-to-table meal, and knowing who is growing our food. With beverages, we think it should be the same way rather than consuming something opaque, chemical-laden, or mass-produced. All of our wines start as premium, full-alcohol wines from small, family-run vineyards, and generally we’ve found that to make quality non-alc wine, you need to start with quality wine. Being able to back that up and let folks trace what they’re drinking back to the source is important.
What's been your experience as two women in the wine industry?
People in the industry have generally been pretty supportive, though sometimes skeptical at first. We're of the view that more diversity, more representation of backgrounds, regions, traditions, approaches and views, and more options for people at the dining table or at the bar across the ABV spectrum is where we want to get to. We’re excited to be part of the drive forward.
You both also drink alcoholic wine, correct? How do you normally incorporate or choose between drinking alcoholic and NA wines?
Cin cin yes we do. We think the choice of if and when to drink alcohol is personal, and there is no one-size-fits all policy. We created Studio Null because we wanted to help people live life on their own terms— ourselves included. So we drink wine whenever we want—sometimes it has alcohol in it, and sometimes it doesn’t. That said, we’re pretty big fans of the time and health gains that choosing nonalcoholic wine affords.
What has made you most proud on this journey of bringing Studio Null into the world?
Having a net-positive impact on people’s day-to-day. We’ve had a lot of people tell us they’ve been waiting for nonalcoholic wines like ours for years, or that Studio Null wines have changed their lives. We’re happy to be delivering products that people feel have a real place in their lives.
Our motto at Boisson is seeing the Glass Half-Full. How do you think alcohol-free wines like Studio Null allow people to see the glass half-full?
We’re all about a glass half-full mentality and think that more great nonalcoholic options at every table can help many people live positively and on their own terms.