At Hamel Family Wines, we strive to make great wine and to have fun doing so. We value quality over quantity, enjoyment over tedium and fostering long-term recurring relationships with our guests.
A simple rationale for the badger in Hamel Family Wines’ (HFW) logo would be that the Hamels have three generations of alums from the University of Wisconsin. It would also be an oversimplification. Another explanation might be destiny.
While trying to envision the ideal image to brand the family business, the Hamels encountered the same problem many businesses do in trying to find something distinctive. They had several different opinions, found many good ideas taken, had their share of brain-freeze, etc. During this time, while badger signs began to reveal themselves, no one saw them as such.
For example, while in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day in 2010 with son John, Pam happened upon a rock store and went in. Oddly, in addition to rocks, it also sold taxidermy. Pam noticed a familiar animal posed regally on a shelf. Confirming it was for sale, she purchased the badger to surprise George, Jr. Once home, she placed it in the master bathroom closing the door, figuring he was bound to discover it that evening. The surprise almost backfired when Pam heard a scream as George discovered it.
Ultimately, that badger became the muse that inspired the image that today adorns the HFW brand. But that is still jumping ahead in the story, as it had yet to dawn on the Hamels that a badger might make an ideal image.
The family continued to experience dead ends trying to agree. Even so, what might be considered omens/signs continued to randomly appear. One day, George, Jr. noticed this article in the San Francisco Chronicle with an interesting subject matter. He found it a tad ironic that badgers are native in Sonoma County, yet not so in Wisconsin where his affinity for badgers first began.
Then, a YouTube sensation of a day in the life of a honey badger became all the rage. Still, even with the strange coincidence of the clip’s narrator being named Randall (the UW Badgers play football at Camp Randall), the family had not yet realized its ultimate brand destiny.
George, Jr.’s affinity for newspapers yielded yet another random badger sign. While in Telluride, Colorado for a wine festival, he noted this story in the local paper about badgers being relocated to the Telluride valley floor.
In addition, Pam added to the family’s growing collection of stuffed badgers with two more, including one in an “action” pose.
By this point, it probably seems obvious how this story ends. But it had still yet to dawn on the family. Finally, after months of disagreement and with deadlines looming, John noted that the one thing the family seems to share is an affinity for badgers. He suggested that the noble badger become the image to adorn our brand. The Hamels finally coalesced and embraced their badger destiny.
A male badger is a boar (but never boring), a female is a sow (yet rarely seen sewing), and a young badger is a cub (definitely not a scout). Badger colonies or communities are often called clans. With that in mind, we created our own wine community called the Badger Clan Wine Club. It’s a way to remain connected to Hamel Family Wines, fellow HFW devotees, and to ensure continued access to the latest releases of our wines.
A Badger Clan membership is an ideal way to ensure continued access to HFW’s latest releases while remaining connected to the Badger Clan community. Through signature wine club-only events, including Camp Hamel and Badger Grab, the desirability, intimacy, and sense of community multiplies each year. These events feature a medley of HFW favorites like great wine, scrumptious food, distinctive music and creative entertainment. Members also have priority access to Lighting of the Vines, HFW’s annual community holiday gathering featuring a vineyard lighting orchestrated to holiday music.
Each Experience is privately led by an Estate Ambassador, includes a tour, and wine tasting, and can include food pairings. In addition, a “dry” tasting is offered for non-wine drinkers who are enjoying the Experience with others.
All tours are appointment only, and are available Thursday through Monday at 10am, 1pm and 3pm.
Hamel Family Wines
15401 Sonoma Highway
Sonoma, CA 95476
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