WineInk: Winemaking is freedom |

WineInk: Winemaking is freedom

Go There Wines pairs with KAJX

Kelly J. Hayes
Sisters and winemakers Gvantsa and Baia Abuladze of the Republic of Georgia with Go There Wines Founders David Greene and Rose Previte.
Courtesy photo

One thing about this town: If you are looking to attend a fundraiser in the support of a good cause, you certainly have your choice of options.

But few events on the philanthropic calendar have as enlightening and compatible premise as that being offered at a fundraiser the night before the Food & Wine Classic to benefit our own Aspen Public Radio. Winemaking is Freedom is a special wine-tasting event and dinner that will welcome noted Washington, D.C., restaurateur Rose Previte and her husband, David Greene, formerly of NPR’s “Morning Edition.” They are the founders of Go There Wines, an organization intent on not just selling great wine, but also on disrupting and expanding the current paradigm of the wine world.

A perfect way to kick off the Classic, the fundraiser takes place on Thursday, June 15, starting with a wine tasting from 4-6 p.m. ($250/person), followed by an exclusive, limited-seat dinner at 7 p.m. ($500/person), hosted by Marsha and David Dowler on the grounds of their beautiful home in Aspen’s West End. You can purchase tickets by contacting Aspen Public Radio Membership Coordinator Lauri Jackson at 970-920-9000 or go to for more information.

As Aspen Public Radio takes us on a daily journey around the globe telling important stories through programs like “All things Considered” and “BBC World Service,” Go There Wines uses wine to convey equally important stories of talented winemakers who make wines in off-the-beaten-track places and often challenging regions. Rather than a traditional selection of wines from tried-and-true regions or producers, Go There Wines sources delicious wines from passionate winemakers with deeper stories to tell. Or, as they describe it, “bringing to market trailblazing wines made by women and other underrepresented winemakers from lesser-known wine-making regions around the world.”

Launched last year, the company is a passion project created by Previte, the owner of acclaimed restaurants in Washington, D.C. (including Compass Rose, the Michelin-starred Maydan, and the recently opened Kirby Club) and Greene, who we all used to wake up to when he hosted NPR’s “Morning Edition” for a decade before stepping away in 2021. A third partner, Chandler Arnold, is an innovator in social philanthropy.

The interior of Rose Previte’s Maydan restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy photo

Go There Wines introduces the world to winemakers who may have been marginalized or excluded in the past, especially women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other groups. Many of the wines hail from regions that, though historic, have also been marginalized by war, politics, and poverty. Previte and Greene hope they can expand the opportunities for these determined winemakers as well as the palates of discerning consumers who are looking for meaning — along with great taste — in their wines.

The company sells their wines online at, and the bottles are labeled with different social messages that come from direct quotes from winemakers.

“The winemakers are the stars of the show,” Previte said about the focus. Go There Wines have QR codes on the bottles that link to video messages from the winemakers. And the company has incorporated a unique business model that allows winemakers to name their own prices — equal or better than market rates — receive payments up front and participate in a profit-sharing program.

Breeze Richardson, executive director of Aspen Public Radio, is excited about the opportunity to host this event with Go There Wines.

“From the first conversation I had with Rose and David, I was really impressed with the passion and care they have for these wines and winemakers,” she said.

Included among the seven wines to be poured at the Winemaking is Freedom fundraising event are those made by sisters Gvantsa and Baia Abuladze in the Republic of Georgia (the “cradle of wine”), who use huge earthenware vessels called Qvevri in their production process. There is a wine from Lebanon made by a Syrian refugee, Abdullah Richi, who is living in exile due to the devastating war in his homeland. A Syrah from the renowned Santa Rita Hills appellation of California made by a Native American winemaker from the region’s indigenous Santa Ynez Band of the Chumash Indians and her wife, a native of Spain, will be on offer. And there is a Pinotage from Nondumiso Pikashe, a winemaker in the Paarl region of South Africa.

Rose Previte and David Greene with South African winemaker Nondumiso Pikashe.
Courtesy photo

Compelling stories indeed.

Previte and Greene bring incredible backstories of their own to the project, which is inspired by their world view that includes immersive experiences in the cuisines of dozens of countries and exposure to many of the most difficult geopolitical issues on the planet.

Prior to his stint on “Morning Edition,” Greene was NPR’s Moscow bureau chief. He was the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for his work in war torn Libya and spent much of last year in Ukraine covering the conflict and creating an audio podcast project called “Ukraine Stories” for his company, Fearless Media. Hardly the resume of your traditional wine entrepreneur.

For her part, Previte traveled to over 30 countries during her three years with Greene in Moscow and was captivated by the cuisines and wines of many diverse cultures. In 2014, returning to Washington, she opened Compass Rose. She followed that up in 2017 with Maydan, which earned a place on many “Best New Restaurants in America” lists, including Bon Appétit and Food & Wine, and was named a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best New Restaurant 2018. Maydan showcases the foods of the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Middle East, which had inspired Previte in her travels. The wine list includes wines produced in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, Bethlehem in Palestine, and the ancient winemaking country of Georgia.

Abdullah Ricci at work making wines in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.
Courtesy photo

Joining Previte and Greene in Aspen for the special fundraiser will be Eritrea Mehary, the Washington, D.C.-based owner and executive chef of the Solomunna Supper Club. She will prepare a collection of foods providing a taste of re-imagined Eritrean cuisine from her native East African nation. And pouring the seven wine selections will be Drew Hairston, Maydan’s knowledgeable wine and beverage director. “Drew has been to many of these vineyards and knows these wines well,” Previte said.

“Every wine has a story” is the refrain and guiding principle that informs the Go There Wines website, where beautiful videos and winemaker bios prove the premise. And a look at the wines that will be poured in Aspen during the fundraiser are rich in character and story. I have not had the opportunity to taste any of these wines, but from the reputation of the presenters and the reviews in previous stories, they should be as rewarding as the stories themselves.

Great wines. Inclusive and innovative philosophies. A beautiful location. An opportunity to support a local institution in Aspen Public Radio. See you there.


Open Range Horse Heaven Hills Barbera 2021

So here is something you don’t see or taste every day: An Italian grape (Barbera) grown in Washington (the Horse Heaven Hills appellation) and made in Colorado. We profiled Old Snowmass resident Mark Harvey’s Open Range wines last month but did not get a chance to taste this wine. Well, the Wine Enthusiast did and labeled it a “hidden gem,” awarding it a 94-point rating. In fact, four of Harvey’s Open Ranges received scores of 93 or 94 points including his Red Blend, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Well done!

Bottle shot: Open Range Wines Barbera.
Courtesy photo

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