Friday, July 4, 2014
A month-long exploration of South America with his wife and children in 2006 turned Charleston restaurateur and businessman Nigel Cooper's fascination for wine into a new venture. Following this trip through Chile and Argentina, Cooper set his sights on an untouched piece of land from The Vines of Mendoza, a pristine and private wine-making development in Valle de Uco, just southwest of Mendoza, Argentina.
In 2007, Cooper, joined by five business partners – Tony Bakker, Gary Thornhill, Tim Smith, Anthony McAlister and Kevin Riker – purchased 10 acres of land in Valle de Uco. The group named their stake SignoSeis Vineyards, Spanish for “sign of six.” The wine yielded here would be boutique reds, whites and rosés for patrons of their fine dining restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, Husk and McCrady's.
Cooper soon moved his family to Buenos Aires, an ideal location for frequent travel to Mendoza, where he would oversee the construction and development of SignoSeis Vineyards. After a laborious three years, the vines had reached optimal maturity to yield excellent fruit and fine wines. To create and blend SignoSeis Vineyards' first wines in 2010, Cooper worked closely with winemaker Pablo Martorell, sommelier Mariana Onofri and consultant winemaker, Santiago Achaval of legendary Achaval-Ferrer fame. His vision soon grew beyond Husk and McCrady's. These boutique wines would become the first offerings from the group's own private label – aptly named The Angel Oak, for Charleston's ancient live oak tree.
These wines will make a mid-to-late June debut in Charleston. Simultaneously, Cooper plans to introduce The Angel Oak to Nashville, Tennessee, starting first at Husk Nashville.
For more information on the production and availability of The Angel Oak wines, visit www.angeloakwines.com or contact Stephen Bates, International Wine Merchant distributor, at Stephen4Wine@gmail.com or 843-860-5911.