1000 Stories: The Story of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wine

Photo credit: V. Sheree Williams

When winemaker Bob Blue set out to make wine in 1983, wine barrels were not widely available.  So what did he do? He purchased and neutralized used bourbon barrels and the rest is history.  

Today, you can say that the once necessity is now part of the brand’s winemaking process. And instead of neutralizing the barrels, they are used to give the wine its final personality and complexity that has championed its story over the years.

The name 1000 Stories is inspired by the pioneering spirits and quest for discovery that is celebrated in America. “I don’t know if I’ve always been a storyteller, but 30 years of winemaking have given me a lot of material for terrific stories! The story of this wine is really fun to share; experimenting, revisiting techniques from my early days as a winemaker, and every batch really tells its own story,” says the winemaker.

Pictured: Winemaker Bob Blue | Photo credit: V. Sheree Williams

For all of our red wine lovers out there looking to deepen your appreciation of wines that are layered with bold fruit, herb and spicy notes, 1000 Stories is worth occupying your top 5 or 10 list of new labels to try.

This year’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Collection continues to pay homage to the earlier days by starting the aging process in wine barrels before finishing batches in new and used bourbon barrels which add unique characteristics to each offering.

At just 18.99 a bottle, this year’s collection includes:

Photo credit: V. Sheree Williams


Made with grapes from throughout California including Mendocino, this zin begins in wine barrels before transferred to bourbon barrels to finish with notes of charred vanilla and dried herbs.


The grapes for this blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and zinfandel come primarily from Mendocino County, the Central Coast and Sonoma County. The aging process is finished in select old and new bourbon barrels that give the final flavors of rich cherry, leather, spices and a kiss of dried herbs, smoke and burnt vanilla.


Mendocino County and San Luis Obispo County provide the cabernet sauvignon grapes for this rich and bold wine. Beginning its aging process in traditional French and American oak, a small portion is finished in new bourbon barrels and the end result is a wine with hints of burnt sugar, vanilla and dried herbs.


Coming from two old vineyards in Mendocino County with vines that are 55 – 88 years old, if you love carignan, then you certainly taste it in your glass. The final aging in a barrel bottle gives its distinct white smoke note.

Wines from the collection are available online at www.1000storieswine.com as well as at online retailers such as Total Wine & More and Wine.com. You can also follow them on Instagram for upcoming releases, pairings and more.

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