We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Frances Pooley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin Frances, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Thankfully, I didn’t put too much thought process into starting. I was young, and naive. I saw other people with tiny wine projects around me – most of them with less experience than I had. How hard could it be? I believed in myself and I jumped right in. Both feet forward and learning as I go.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The wines I make are ephemeral. They’re brief moments in time, captured. They can never be repeated and they are finite.
Wine viewed in this way encourages us to live in the moment and take nothing for granted.
There is an underlying foundation of science in making wine but it’s heavily influenced by creative expression. Hand two winemakers the same grapes from the same site, let them do their work and you will get two different wines. The impact of personality, life experience and empathy into the wines I make, and those of my peers, is what drives me each year to create again.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned over time is to trust my gut decision. My advise to others is trust your palate, know your mind and hold firm against the creep of self-doubt (or conventional wisdom). Your art is beautiful and unique because it is an expression of you and that is why people are drawn to it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love LA. It’s delicious and so diverse. I like staying downtown if I can. We’d start our morning at the Central Market. It’s best to get a coffee from G&B then do a lap – decide what you feel like eating. Maybe it’s the best ever melted cheese from DTLA Cheese, maybe it’s an Eggslut burger, maybe it’s a green juice, tacos or noodles. Everything here is incredible – you won’t leave hungry. After that – a quick trip to the Broad. Striking building and a fun collection of contemporary works.
I’m from Sydney originally – so love to stop in at Paramount Coffee Project in West Hollywood. Their coffee menu changes all the time, so there’s always a new roast to discover. While you’re on Melrose, get a bite at Jon & Vinny’s. Head over to LACMA in the afternoon. Walk off your lunch experiencing the iconic Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer.
I’d poke around Domaine LA and Lou’s Wine Shop to pick up new and interesting wines. They’re always ahead of the curve and great with recommendations.
No trip to LA is complete without fitting in as many taco trucks as possible and my last stop is always grabbing a sandwich for the road from Gjusta for the road (get some biales too!).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a single female trying to operate a business (while working full time to fund it) I want to list dozens and dozens of people who’ve given me help along the way. I owe the biggest thanks to Kenny Likitprakong and Lynn Wheeler at Hobo Wine Company in Santa Rosa. They gave Little Frances its first home and have supported me through all the life rollercoasters. More than just supporting my business – they’ve been a guiding light in business and life. They are diligently working hard at making great wines and leaving the world a better place. I hope I can grow up to be more like Kenny and Lynn.
There is an endless list of other incredible human beings across the US and Australia who’ve been in my corner. I am grateful every single day.