Make : Raen Wine
Film : Vita Brevis Films
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham
A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping by Robert Litt and Hannah Litt
The Way to Make Wine: How to Craft Superb Table Wines at Home by Sheridan Warrick
Making Trousers for Men & Women by David Page Coffin
previously mentioned books :
Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings by Aldren A. Watson
The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
How To Make Whiskey: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Whiskey by Bryan A Davis
A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith, Linda Smiley
Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction by Marc-Andre R. Chimonas
The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally by Michael Bush
Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims
How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith
Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart
The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley
From the Neck Up: An Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking by Denise Dreher
The Art of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stohlman
Leathercraft Tools by Al Stohlman
Smart Soapmaking by Anne L. Watson
How to Brew by John J. Palmer
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking by Gianaclis Caldwell
Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by Jonathan Natelson, William Cumpiano
Watchmaking by George Daniels
The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt
Canoecraft : An Illustrated Guide to Fine Woodstrip Construction by Ted Moores
Shirtmaking: Developing Skills For Fine Sewing by David Page Coffin
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight
The Unplugged Woodshop by Tom Fidgen
In 25 words or less describe who you are, where you’re located and what you make.
I am Kent Fortner; originally from Kansas. I now craft an annual batch of Road 31 Pinot Noir in Napa, CA. I’m a one man band.
What made you want to be a maker?
My grandparents were Kansas farmers. My dad makes frames. My mother paints. My sister is a woodworker. I like to work with my hands. Science, math, and storytelling were very much a part of my upbringing. I suffer from extreme wanderlust. Wine is an awesome intersection of culture, adventure, story, science, craft, my heritage, and driving a tractor. It’s a dream to make a living this way.
Why should people support your business/products?
The beauty of wine, particularly Pinot Noir, is that it tells a story. It speaks of soil, climate, vintage, fermentation, cellar and barrel. But, it also tells the story of farmer and winemaker. In a world trending towards increased industrial production, I spend time confirming there is an artist behind the art, and I hope others do the same.
Favorite product that you make?
For a guy who only makes one wine a year, the answer is pretty obvious. I guess each vintage is different, but the wines are alive and change over the years, so I have shifting favorites depending on how any one vintage is developing. If I had to pick one vintage experience, it would be 2011, which was such a tough harvest that it was basically the Judgement Day (but I feel like the wine I made got invited to the pearly gates).
List five of your favorite tools.
1. My Green ‘66 F100 Twin I-Beam Ford Truck : it was willed to me by my grandparents, who lived on Road 31 in Kansas. It’s on the label, and it is indispensable to my work and identity.
2. Refractometer : pulling it out of the drawer, cleaning it, calibrating it, and putting it on the dash of my truck signals the beginning of the excitement of harvest….
3. Bulldog’s Pup : an ingenious way to gently and quietly move wine out of a barrel. It requires a calm hand to monitor and takes about 4 minutes per barrel, which is very zen.
4. Leatherman Wingman Multitool : 90% of life’s problems can be solved with it and a roll of duct tape.
5. A Kadar Oak Barrel from the Tokaj Forest of Hungary : not only is it very important for the flavor of my Pinot Noir, but it’s inspiring to craft using a “tool” that is itself an incredible work of craftsmanship and heritage.
(photographs from Kent Fortner)