Our Wine. Our Brand. Our Rooster.
Eric Ross is a cozy little winery in the heart of Sonoma. We make great wine that reflects the passion of our winemaker and the soul of our great terroir.
The question is how did we land on a wacky Rooster as our brand ambassador? Quite by accident. Or was it?
There’s the old joke – Why did the Rooster cross the road? (Ok, so it was a chicken in the original joke.) Our wacky Rooster almost didn’t make it to the other side. But was it fate, or luck, or both?
Back in 1999, we were considering a label change and discussed it while dealing with harvest. I was driving in a load (1/2 ton bin) of fruit during our third week of harvest.
Long days, punchy moods…you get the picture. As I had done a dozen times – before driving a 1,000 lb load of fruit down the dirt side road with the forklift at our old barn winery and onto the concrete crush pad, there’s always a moment of traction relief; “pass to relax”. Just at that moment our beloved wacky Rooster decided to cross the road right in front of the forklift! I slammed on the brakes and the load went sliding – luckily I didn’t hit the Rooster or lose the load, but everyone at the crusher stopped to laugh at me wrestling with our Rooster, getting him out of harm’s way.
A couple hours later it finally hit me and I screamed out, “That Rooster is going on the label!” At that moment, I had no idea what the rest of the label would look like but the foundation was there.
Maybe it was the vulnerability of our wacky Rooster that inspired us, but he did make us think about what a folklore hero roosters have been overtime and the rich symbolism roosters have represented throughout history. The Chinese view the rooster as a symbol of good fortune, fidelity, and protection. The Ukrainians deem the rooster the symbol of masculinity and the coming of dawn. In Italy and France there are many folklore stories that have resulted in the rooster becoming a beloved motif for ceramics and linens bringing the tradition of good luck and good wishes for the home, just like the ones in my Mom’s kitchen.
Net, net, the rooster has been the symbol of many things for many cultures and whether it has been the symbol of luck, trust, or prosperity, its imagery makes us take notice. Like its voice, its look is constant and timeless.
At Eric Ross, our Rooster has always been part of our history – he is our trusted friend, getting us up early every morning so we can make great wine. As I think back, our Rooster has always been, for me, more of a romantic symbol for the home – creating a special place that is comfortable, sort of cozy, and inviting, just like my Grandma’s kitchen with its aroma of Rhubarb Pies.
For us, our Rooster has always been at our barn door, crowing for a day of good fortune. He is therefore, the essence of our brand – creating vineyard expressions of spectacular wines that invite you home.