Fender is not a name that you would usually associate with wine but the world famous brand responsible for the iconic guitars Telecaster and Stratocaster has just released its first couple of vintages.
Fender teamed up with Armida Winery of Sonoma County, California, to create the range: Fender 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Pinor Noir, 2012 Chardonnay and 2011 Zinfandel.
Armida has been owned by the brothers Steve and Bruce Cousins since 1994. They focus on artisan, single-vineyard wines from the top growers in Sonoma County, .hand-crafting over ten different wines and featuring some of the best vineyards in California.
Fender say that:
“The wines are produced with the same attentiveness and consistency as each of its historic instruments. Grown on hillsides throughout the Sonoma region of California, this 2012 and 2011 vintage produced a collection of ripe, juicy wines that speak to the level of quality, prestige and character for which Fender instruments are known.
Like its classic guitars and the sonic formulas from which they are born, each of these distinguished wines prove that some things truly get better with age.
Fender’s selection of robust red wines exudes the same opulence and bold character for which Fender guitars are known . . . Like Fender’s master builders, who craft and shape their instruments with meticulous skill, vintners produce each varietal with impeccable detail for a lasting flavor that resonates on the palate . . .
Fender white wine varietal touts a character that embodies the enduring reputation, quality and dependability of each of its instruments. These seedless white grapes can persevere in the most stringent of conditions — a true testament to the quality and consistency behind Fender’s legendary guitars . . .”
Fender’s guitars have touched and transformed music worldwide and in nearly every genre: rock ‘n’ roll, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues etc. Back in the 1940s inventor Leo Fender realized that he could improve on the amplified hollow-body instruments of the day by using an innovative and rather simple solid-body electric guitar design.
Further, he realized that he could streamline the process of building them. In 1951 he introduced a prototype solid-body instrument that would eventually be called the Telecaster guitar – this was the first solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar to be commercially mass-produced.
The Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, incorporating many design innovations based on feedback from professional musicians, Fender staff and Leo Fender himself. In 1965 Leo Fender sold the company to CBS and when CBS shed its non-broadcast media businesses in the 1980s, a group of employees and investors led by Schultz bought Fender in 1985. The sale put the Fender name back into the hands of a small group of dedicated people committed to creating the world’s best guitars and amplifiers. Today Fender is currently owned mainly by the private equity firm of Western Presidio and the Japanese distributors Yamano Music and Kanda Shokai.