I happened to meet Neeta at a wedding of a mutual friend. I was taken aback by her beauty and wit. I had to try her wines. I already read some information about her vineyard being planted. Her vineyard is in the Willow Creek AVA and will be using the “James Berry Vineyard” farming method. She is also using regenerative farming methods—all the more reason to get to the tasting room and encounter the LXV experience. The name of her vineyard is Armaa.n (which means “Dream”.
My friend and I made our reservations and proceeded to our reserved table. Our friendly wine connoisseur checked in with us after each tasting to see our thoughts as we enjoyed each wine. I must say…I had my little wine book out taking notes about two of the wine, but I had such a phenomenal experience I put down my notebook. This was enjoying the moment as it was. We were laughing and talking with people at other tables. I just wanted to enjoy the flow of the evening.
The spices with the wines are divine. No one else in United States pairs wines with spices. I needed to talk to Neeta herself to find out more about her winery. The first question I asked of her was about what she would want people to know about her winery. She said that the deconstruction of each wine and pairing of the cheese and spices is a team effort. Everyone plays with spices in the spice lab looking for balance between the wines and the spices.
Neeta wanted it to be clear that she was not the first Indian winery owner but one of the first. Hospitality, storytelling highlight who we are. As soon as one walks in the door, they are our guests, and we show how much we care through our hospitality. The wine, the spices, the company of the other guests at LXV is a testament to the fact. It was an outstanding experience!
The answer to what obstacles she had to overcome was great…she said, “go with your gut.” There were many naysayers when she told people of her vision, but she believed in the dream! She knew it was something that people were going to love.
Neeta loves education, and for a while before Covid, club members had wine tastings. Once Covid began closing places, the tastings moved to Zoom. They also allow private vineyard tours to members. I asked her how Covid affected her business. She said that it made her think deeper about what is essential, what is valuable, and it made her pivot. It showed her that the foundation of the business was and is strong. She did not have to give up any of her team because the community believed in what she was doing. Covid showed her how solid the relationships are between the employees and the members, how everyone went out of the way to help and made the connections with everyone that much stronger! I also asked her about BLM and how it has changed her business. She says that she was happy to see that it has brought more attention to minorities in business. She wishes the conversations about race were more respectful, and the quality of the discussions was better. I believe we all could do better by being better listeners. One of Neeta’s favorite aspects about owning a winery is the conversations she has with people all over the world about wine and terror. Wine is a language that brings people together no matter what their native tongue is. To learn more about Neeta, her vineyard and winery please visit the website at http://www.lxvwine.com/