Model and vintner, Michèle Lorenza Oullett, shares our credo: Eat Well, Travel Often. Michèle also happens to make the most charming rosé we've discovered. Flying between fashion shows and Napa Valley for harvesting grapes, Michèle epitomizes some of the values upon which TRUFFL was founded.
TRUFFL: Let us know a little about your career and why you love it.
Michèle: I am a model and vintner. Two very different worlds that work together very well! Working in the fashion industry changes with the seasons and brings me around the world. My schedule is very last minute and I never know when I'm going to have to jump on a plane. Being able to work with my mom on our wine together brings a business and marketing perspective and keeps me connected to the changing seasons of nature and to my roots in Napa no matter where I may be!
TRUFFL: Tell us a bit about how your started this now booming winery.
Michèle: We founded Lorenza five years ago when we noticed a gap in the marketplace for dry, delicious true rosé made in California. We were fortunate to find some great VERY old vineyards in Lodi where we found the varietals we desired!
TRUFFL: What inspires you about winemaking and what inspires you about fashion?
Michèle: Freshness all around. There is an expectation in both wine and fashion that one must maintain freshness in perspective, technique, point of view, and presentation.
TRUFFL: Do you think winemaking is more of an art or a science?
Michèle: Both! It's very scientific in execution but the entire process is creative and inspired.
TRUFFL: What made you passionate about rosé and what makes your rosé unique?
Michèle: Rosé brings you to a beautiful, sunny, fun place whenever and wherever you drink it! We are dedicated to making true rosé, meaning we harvest our grapes early and exclusively for rosé. In America, rosé tends to be a bit of an afterthought and we are dedicated to give rosé the attention and care it deserves!
TRUFFL: What are your favorite foods to pair with rosé?
Michèle: I love rosé with lobster rolls and fries, charcuterie, crab cakes, gazpacho, spicy foods, etc. Dry rosé, like Lorenza, is very versatile and pairs wonderfully with so many cuisines. We drink it year round and especially love some Lorenza at Thanksgiving.
TRUFFL: Tell us about growing up in Napa's food and wine culture.
Michèle: I literally grew up in paradise. Fine food and drink are #1 in my family so no wonder my parents chose Napa Valley to raise a family!
TRUFFL: What do you love most about Napa?
Michèle: I love that it’s home and so quaint! It feels like everyone is either friends or family. There is such a great contrast to the hustle and anonymity of NYC. I find the landscape and scenery mind blowing every time.
TRUFFL: Describe an ideal day in Napa. Any recommendations?
Michèle: Breakfast at Ciccio in Yountville, then a hike or bike ride, wine tasting at Frog's Leap and Realm, lunch, spa and swim at Indian Springs or Solage, naptime then dinner on the roof at The Thomas!
TRUFFL: Name your 5 essential items.
Michèle: Sparkling water, avocados, hats, leather jacket and rosé!