For San Francisco native Adam Spiegel, bountiful Sonoma County was always an inspiring place. Through regular visits to the area with his parents, he explored the pristine coastline, enjoyed attending concerts, and gained a youthful appreciation for the wine scene - playing among the vines and in the tasting rooms as he tagged along on wine tastings.
Spiegel tried his hand at a financial sales job in New York City after college, but found himself drawn back to the Bay Area, where he ended up at a firm managing money for foundations and endowments. In 2008, Spiegel realized he was craving more creativity in his life. He was 24 and was fortunate enough not only to have options, but also the moral support and encouragement of family and friends. It was a certain place he had grown to love as a child – and often visited with his parents growing up - that actually helped him discover his passion for creating spirits. While assisting a distiller friend in Santa Rosa, he found himself captivated by the complexity, history, and tradition of whiskey. Inspired by the exceptional flavor of what he and his friend had been creating, the idea for Sonoma Distilling Company was born. For Adam, technique would be a point of differentiation, a focus on handcrafting small batch-produced whiskey, from grain-to-glass using old-school style stills, that was authentic and unpretentious. He wanted to craft a product steeped in traditional values, but fueled by the evolved needs of the modern palate.
Spiegel constantly pushes himself and his team to never stop learning, and to continuously strive to raise the quality of their whiskey. The fruition of his fervor, Sonoma Distilling Company, was founded in 2010. It is of the first 200 distilleries in the country, is a pioneer producer in California and is one of the very first in Sonoma wine country.
“While working with great Master Distillers and Blenders over the years, I’ve honed my skills to continually raise the bar with each new product and batch. There are no ‘Masters’ here per se; we’re just passionate, talented, hard-working people striving every day to better ourselves and our craft. I like to say that we’re making whiskeys in a small way, for a big world."
—Adam Spiegel, Founder & Whiskeymaker, Sonoma Distilling Company