The California Field Winery ..A girl from Sweden traveled over the Atlantic in the 1960s.
Arriving in the land of opportunities she started her own wine company together with her son and named the wine after herself. Today, Katarina wines are being served at fine restaurants all over California and are about to take the same trip the owner did almost 50 years ago, but in reverse: back to Sweden.
If you are traveling to three states in one week, controlling three businesses and preparing to launch a California-produced wine for the first time at Systembolaget in Sweden, you better be organized and able to handle all the stress. One man who is currently living this lifestyle is Patrick Field. He divides his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles where his three companies are based. Field is one of the happiest and nicest guys I have ever met. His sharp and focused mind makes me confident he can pull this off.
Field and his mother Katarina recently launched their traditional and exclusive Katarina wine to Systembolaget. It is a cabernet sauvignon, made from grapes grown exclusively in their own backyard. It offers a delicious taste of rich plum flavors, powerful blackberries and a hint of oak which should be served together with a Friday night dinner with friends or during a relaxing evening at home.
The Fields are also planning on launching a second wine which has a young and fresh taste with low alcohol content and calories. It is the choice for the healthy and conscious consumer. The name of the wine, Candid, was chosen because, as Patrick describes it, “What you see is what you get; it is honest and open.” Despite the low alcohol and calorie count, the wine still has the flavor and taste of those with more alcohol, an important part of the production process.
Field Winery made it all the way to Systembolaget in Sweden primarily because Katarina was born and raised in Stockholm. In an earlier meeting, Katarina told me she had been a young, hip woman with a lot of energy, yearning to try her wings. Working at Skansen in Stockholm, she made enough money to buy her own ticket to cross the Atlantic. She waved goodbye to her friends and family, sailed over the big blue ocean and docked in New York in 1963.
Aside from this story, Patrick tells me he was contacted by Systembolaget due to the demand on the Swedish market, a demand that their Candid wine could fulfill.
Patrick also owns another successful business, which was the first company on the North American market to manufacture commercialized plastic wine bottles. He was traveling on an airplane when the idea came to life—he was eating his food with a plastic fork and knife, enjoying it with a bottle of wine served in a glass bottle. Although silverware was prohibited on airplanes, wine served in glass bottles was not. He considered it was logical that wine should be served in plastic bottles, too. Two other reasons to switch from glass to plastic: Plastic is more environmentally friendly and recyclable, and plastic bottles weigh six times less than glass.
Patrick's experience in the wine business joined by the plastic industry has given him an advantage over his competitors. By expanding his wine to an international market, he meets new challenges and continues his aim to be in the top of both of these businesses. Katarina wine has launched at Systembolaget while Candid is anticipated to be launched after it makes its initial debut in the U.S. this summer.
I will definitely try the wine myself when I go home to Sweden this summer.
By: Louise Lindberg