One decision you have to make in starting a business is figuring out what kind of product you want to make. If you don't have a connection to get quality fruit, then you will have a tough time making good wine. Then, you have to take those good grapes and decide what style of wine you want to make, and hope it works.
Aaron and I, after working with our uncle, and having him take us under his wing, decided to make wine in a style similar to his. When we are not working on the production side of things, we are on the business side. Because we've seen his wines (Pinot especially) get rave reviews we figured this was a good formula. We, of course, have a completely different fruit source, which begets a completely different wine. It is amazing how a few miles, a few degrees, different soil, etc. can change a grape so dramatically. We have found that the clonal differences are incredibly dramatic as well.
For example, we use 3 different clones: 113, Pommard, and Beringer; each expresses itself differently in the finished product. Each one filling gaps that the others may leave unfilled. The Pommard is a punch in the face, the Beringer adds a terrific finish, and the 113 adds a smoothness and a fruitiness that brings the wine's parts all together. If you ferment the clones independent of one another it gives you more play in tweaking the final blend (a nice option). The whole process is pretty amazing, so, if you ever have the chance to come by the winery when we have the Pintos in the barrel, give us a call and we will see what we can work out by way of barrel tasting. Just promise not to drink it ALL?!