LAURA LOTT, VITNER, RESCUE DOG WINES
Laura Lott was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, and she grew up all across the U.S. as part of an Air Force family. In the summers she visited her grandparents and extended family in Brittany, on the northwest coast of France. Her grandfather was a pastry chef in St. Malo and Laura has fond memories of spending time in the bakery watching her family make bread. She would also visit cousins who were farmers; she remembers dinners being interrupted by having to run outside to take care of squealing pigs. She would go out every morning to get that day’s pains au chocolat or croissants; she remembers how the milk would be delivered, still warm, in tin cans. She’d garden with her grandmother, where one of their specialties was making jam from the raspberries they grew.
Growing up Laura had always wanted to have a dog, but because of being a military family, frequently on the move, only in high school did the family get its first dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As a young adult Laura adopted her first rescue dog, a boxer, Daisy, from an animal rescue operation in Atlanta. The experience of visiting the animal shelter made an enormous impression on Laura; she determined after that visit to make rescue dogs a cause in her life.
Laura graduated from Trinity University with a degree in French literature and also completed a master’s degree from Thunderbird Graduate School.
Laura became an HR specialist, working for Motorola, Los Alamos National Lab and Sears. She then left the corporate world and took a journey of exploration, investigating her creative side.
She and Blair traveled to wine regions regularly and one of the markers along the way which preceding founding the winery was a trip Laura and Blair took to France for a landmark birthday: they spent three weeks traveling through vineyards in France and Spain. She and Blair began with the idea of their own vineyards, which then came to include the idea of making wine from those grapes. Thanks to the delicious memories of her childhood and her travels with Blair, she is a believer in farm to table food and wine.
Why found a winery in Lodi? Laura and Blair explored many wine areas in California and felt that Lodi made the most sense. In Lodi, they felt that the great wines being produced there were farm-driven. The Lotts use primarily grapes grown according to Lodi Rules, a set of sustainability protocols established in 2005. “We so enjoy having people taste our wines and be (so pleasantly) surprised that the grapes are from Lodi,” Laura says.
Why found a winery dedicated to the cause of rescuing dogs? From her experience of adopting a boxer, Laura became very intrigued with how rescue dogs are, literally, rescued and fostered. On parallel tracks Laura and Blair followed their passion to grow grapes and make wine and support the world of rescue dogs. The Lotts’ goal is to share 50% of the profits with rescue dog organizations.
“For me, our mission is as important as the quality of the grapes and the wines,” Laura explains. “We are committing 50% of our profits to help rescue dogs, and it’s important that we have a product that represents these creatures well. Another aspect of our project is that we’d like to take away a little bit of the snobbery around wine; maybe because I’m half-French I have a bit more credibility,” she says with a smile. “It’s not about being pretentious, it’s about making something that tastes really good and while you’re enjoying it, you’re doing something good,” she adds.
Rescue Dog Wines’ first release was Beloved Mixed Red Blend, a non-vintage red, which was released in the summer of 2018.