Collabs are an everyday part of the music world, and with a heightened interest in the natural wine world, it only seems logical that crossovers between musicians and winemakers are becoming more coveted. The latest in this mix of grapes and beats is the upcoming wine release from Berkeley’s Broc Cellars, which teamed up with DJ Muggs of Soul Assassins and Egon, nee Eothen Alapatt, the founder of Now Again Records, and the Sun Ra estate. Together, they created Notes and Tones, a private wine label and album pairing that is being released on Thursday, March 9.
Broc Cellars founder Chris Brockway worked with DJ Muggs and Egon to create this special blend of tocai friulano and trebbiano grapes from Mendocino’s Fox Hill Vineyards, which has worked with Broc Cellars in the past. The wine was fermented in sandstone jarres, which are made of sandstone clay, before being pressed and returned to the jarres to age for six months. The wine has notes of oranges and lychee, with aromas of mandarin, jackfruit, and white jasmine. Per a press release, jazz drummer Art Taylor's book Notes and Tones served as inspiration, and DJ Muggs created music sourced from musician Sun Ra’s catalog by Egon and using samples cleared by Sun Ra’s estate, as a collaboration between Soul Assassins and Now Again Records.
This isn’t DJ Muggs’ first foray into natural wine: He paired a petillant naturel rose with a vinyl record dubbed “Holy Ghost” in 2021 that was limited to 90 copies, never to be repressed. The vinyl featured songs “inspired by the mysteries of wine and its ever-evolving life” with tracks like “Grape Skin” and “Have Another Glass.” Egon, meanwhile, is also a wine enthusiast, with his Instagram tracking previous trips to Europe to visit various vineyards, including a visit to Champagne La Closerie in France. DJ Muggs and Egon were heavily involved with the wine process for Notes and Tones, visiting Broc Cellars for the final bottling process in Berkeley.