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Meet Your Maker - Joanna Wells of Model Farm & Kutch Wines

  • Midfield Wine Bar 1434 Dundas Street West Toronto, ON, M6J 1Y7 Canada (map)
Joanna showing off her “guns”, hard at work at Model Farm.

Joanna showing off her “guns”, hard at work at Model Farm.

Our next Meet Your Maker guest is going to be serving up some seriously amazing wines from California. Winemaker Joanna Wells of Model Farm and Associate Winemaker of Kutch Wines will be hanging out with us and pouring flights of stunning wine from both wineries. These are innovative and boundary pushing wines that will make you think twice about what California has to offer. Joanna’s Syrah alone will turn your head simply because of its transparency and freshness! She’ll be pouring Model Farm Chardonnay and Syrah, and flights of Kutch Chardonnay and verticals of Pinot Noir. Don’t miss this!!! We along with our co-host Barrel Select are really excited about having you meet this up & coming California rockstar! Meet Your Maker is a non-ticketed event. Simply drop in if you’re coming for the wine but if you’re coming for dinner we recommend making a reservation. The Model Farm wines will be limited so don’t be late!!


Originally a native of Atlanta, Georgia, my interest in wine began in an even more unlikely place - Denver, Colorado. While there to pursue a traditional academic path, I found myself spending more time frequenting the aisles of my local small wine shop than in class. I got to know the wine merchants well and they guided me as I began exploring and learning about wines from all over the world. After a night of “exploring” Syrah from the little region of Walla Walla, Washington, I decided to call the phone number printed on the cork to ask for advice on how I might learn how to make wine. Luckily, the voicemail I left was somewhat coherent because I got a call back! That was all it took to convince me to pack my things and move to Walla Walla in 2008 to start my first harvest. I worked alongside the Winemaker at Zerba Cellars, a boutique grower/producer, and got a crash course in viticulture, winemaking, dragging hoses, driving a forklift, and scrubbing floors. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. With some experience under my belt, my next stop was Napa, California. I landed at Robert Sinskey Vineyards and was introduced to classically styled wines, organic/biodynamic farming, and my husband, Sean! Sean was on hiatus from doing viticulture research at UC Davis and together we conspired to start a wine project of our own. We sought to emulate our heroes of the Northern Rhone, organically hand-farming vines and producing wines of minimal intervention, and Model Farm was born. As we continue to grow and evolve Model Farm, we also keep a foot (literally!) in the Pinot world with Sean spending his days as the Assistant Winemaker for Rhys Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains and me as Associate Winemaker for Kutch Wines in Sonoma. 


We’ve marked-down our pricing significantly for this rare opportunity to allow you to try these beautiful wines from both producers. Try one, try them all!

2016 P&M Staiger Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains , Model Farm
2016 Model Farm Estate Syrah, Petaluma Gap, Model Farm
2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, Kutch Wine (2.5 oz $15)
2015 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Kutch Wine (2.5 oz $14)
2016 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Kutch Wine (2.5 oz $14)
2017 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Kutch Wine (2.5 oz $14)

Model Farm Duo 2 x 2.5 oz, $29 (not available as single pours)
Kutch Full Flight 4 x 2.5 oz, $55
Kutch Pinot Flight 3 x 2.5oz, $41
FULL FLIGHT 6 x 2.5oz, $80 (best deal…as they say)

WINE NOTES (click here)


“Model Farm is a small vigneron project and our labor of love. We strive to craft honest, soulful wines that speak to their unique time and place. We have chosen to take on the ambitious task of farming our vineyards ourselves in order to better understand the intimate, complicated relationship between vineyard and wine. All of our vineyard practices are organic, and we farm by hand, without the use of a tractor.  This attentive, hands on farming style allows us to be hands off in the cellar.  To preserve the integrity of terroir and our hard work we use minimalist, old world winemaking techniques.  Our wines are all fermented with native yeasts, many are whole cluster, and none see new oak.“


“In the pursuit of trying to create the highest quality balanced wines possible, the old saying goes, “wine is made in the vineyard.” Following that philosophy, we strive to use well positioned, cold climate sites, having appropriate soils.

It has been a challenge to locate and secure such sites, causing our production to grow at a slow but steady pace. Once the fruit is harvested, it is handled with the utmost care, sorted meticulously and moved only by gravity. We attempt to pursue a minimalist philosophy, trying to provide the purest expression of Pinot Noir from a particular place and time, taking great care not to over-manipulate our wines in the cellar. This minimal interventionalist style of wine-making is reflected in our use of indigenous yeast, minimal acid adjustments, with absence of adding any color enhancing agents.

All punch-downs are literally done by the bare hand or by feet. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine is gravity flowed into French oak barrels, where they remain unmoved while aging sur lie (on the fine lees). The wines are never racked until we are ready to bottle, nearly 16 months after harvest. At Kutch, our wines are encouraged to express all of the natural greatness of their vineyard origins.”


Meet Your Maker is a continuing series of evenings spent with some of our favourite winemakers. Designed to buck the trend of formal winemaker dinners, MYM is a way to provide our customers with a casual and fun way to meet the winemaker while they themselves hang out at Midfield, eating and drinking, pouring their wines and chatting with anyone who cares to chat with them. MYM is a non-ticketed event; come for dinner, come for a snack or just drop by for a drink. While this is a non-ticketed event, space is usually limited so we recommend making reservations if you are coming in for dinner. Cheers!