This LA sommelier recommends bottles and delivers wine to your doorstep

The Angelenos’ level of access to natural wine has increased dramatically over the past two years. Natural wine bars and shops continue to proliferate in Los Angeles, with recent openings such as Only the Wild Ones, Voodoo Vin, and Vinovore Eagle Rock joining the city’s ever-growing list, while places like Lolo and Melody are emerged from the pandemic as popular hangouts centered around playful wine menus. In October, Governor Gavin Newsom enacted Senate Bill 389, allowing restaurants to serve wine, beer, and cocktails on the go with food until 2026.

An obvious advantage of wine delivery is that instead of having to go out to buy a bottle, the wine can come to you, as in the case of Little Lands, a natural wine delivery service that operates from a white european style transport van. decorated with hand painted vintage stamps. Its owner is Brion Brionson, an industry veteran who draws on his 20 years of wine experience at restaurants like Barbrix, Botanica and All Time to deliver sommelier-like service in street edge.

“Because there is only me, there is no filter. It’s just about the most unlimited access to my psyche and the way I interact with the world and with wine, ”says Brionson. Brionson has long, dark curly hair and a knack for colorful Japanese streetwear; her fiery energy contributes to her accessible nature. Instead of looking like a tailored beverage manager in a fine dining restaurant, he’s got more of a quirky wine nerd vibe with a stash of bottles in his backseat he’s happy to tell you about.

Wines from the Little Lands wine truck.
Small lands

Brionson holds a specific license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, known as the Limited Off-Sale Wine License, which allows him to sell wine directly to consumers online and over the phone, as opposed to an open retail outlet. to the public. Customers of Little Lands – which launched in December 2020 – can place orders for specific bottles to be delivered via SMS, DM, and through the website, or they can simply request the presence of Brionson and his van. “And then I’ll review, they’ll meet me in the van and review what’s on board,” he explains. All of her stuff has come by word of mouth or Instagram, and many of her customers have found Little Lands after spotting the van.

Little Lands takes its name from the ephemeral commune that existed in Tujunga, where Brionson lived with his family, in the early 1900s. He was also known by his Spanish name, Los Terrenitos. When he first came up with the idea several months after the start of the pandemic, the original plan was to serve those in his immediate vicinity in the Crescenta Valley. The area is more of a bedroom community with chain restaurants and fast food restaurants, but there aren’t many natural wine stores. In order to generate enough volume to sustain itself, it expanded its service throughout Northeast LA and beyond. Most of Little Lands’ patrons live in Altadena, Pasadena, Eagle Rock, and Glassell Park, and Brionson has also found his way into other neighborhoods where there is no dedicated natural wine source, such as Laurel Canyon.

For people who live in the Eastside of LA, orders placed before 12:30 p.m. can be delivered the same day, while people at the Westside are serviced once a week on Little Land’s “Town Day”. One of the perks of being a one-man roving operation is the flexibility, and Brionson has traveled all the way to Malibu to deliver wine. It can also ship. So if someone in Venice wanted just one bottle they would probably send it in the mail, but if they wanted the van experience and were looking to buy wine for a party, they would figure out how to make it work. .

Backlit white wine bottle to make it sparkle.

Bottle of Litrozzo wine at sunset from Little Lands.
Small lands

A bottle of red wine on a table.

Bottle of Pommard Les Petits Noizons 2018.
Small lands

Little Lands primarily sells white, red, rosé, skin contact and sparkling European wines. Due to the modest and personal nature of the business, Brionson’s ever-evolving offering is a representation of the wines he loves, the producers he trusts and the bottles he can get his hands on in the market. competitive Los Angeles. Marlet. He stocks a few bottles of Californian and Australian winemakers, but says he has always been drawn to France because it was French wine that fascinated him early in his career. Everything it carries is considered natural, or in its own words, made “without chemical additives, sugars or additional yeast”, due to its interest in preserving the history of wine made on a small scale by winegrowers with a background. agriculture.

Brionson argues that prior to the 1980s, when the use of additives in wine became more popular, all wine was natural wine. (“Due to the growing demand for natural wine, much of what is available is faulty or bad wine that would never have been marketed before,” he says.) Little Lands is a way for him to put showcasing the wines he likes and feels good to drink.

What Little Lands has to offer in the vast sea of ​​wine-buying experiences in Los Angeles is a miniature boutique on wheels. Calling on Brionson is a simple and intimate way to buy and experience wine without leaving home. One of his regulars, Ryan James, says Little Lands helped give him and his wife a sense of normalcy as they went through their first year of parenthood in a pandemic: “When we started to train us to sleep, Little Lands was there to help us. through a brutal weekend with a bottle of 2018 La Grange de I’Oncle Charles Alsace and 2018 Athenais De Beru Bourgogne Pinot Gris Rose. Then it was our birthday, then my birthday, my wife’s birthday, our son’s first birthday, etc.

“I end up delivering mostly to people with young children who are sort of homebound or people who work from home. There are a lot of young families for whom it is a big ordeal to get in the car and drive to Lou or Psychic, ”says Brionson, adding that people also really like the personal touch that comes with buying. his wine. “I’m able to send someone a DM and say, ‘Hey, I have Alsatian Riesling and I know you’ve enjoyed it in the past.’ Most of the time people are like, “Yeah, bring it. “

Find small lands on Instagram or by calling (323) 538-2618.

About Michael Brafford

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