Laura Wright: From Vixen to Vintner

Most people know Laura Wright as GENERAL HOSPITAL’s fiery Carly Corinthos Jacks, but to a growing number of fans of Standing Sun Wines, she is Laura Wright, vintner. Wright and her husband, John, bottle their own wine, grown in their own vineyard in Santa Ynez, Calif.

Soap Opera Weekly: How did you get involved in making wine?

Laura Wright: We’re up in Santa Barbara County, in the wine country where the movie Sideways was shot. We have a little vineyard that we planted. My husband, John, has been working with another winemaker up here who’s been making wine for years, watching how it’s done.

Weekly: Have you always been interested in wine?

Wright: We’ve been up here for four years and almost all of our friends are winemakers, and we love wine. We really enjoy it. Wine-tasting is a hobby and passion. We wanted to plant a vineyard, and then we were like, “Why don’t we start making our own wine, just for fun?” Then our friends were like, “Put a label on it and sell it! You’re not going to become rich off of it, but you certainly can share what you’re doing.”
Weekly: What does Standing Sun produce?

Wright: This is our first vintage; we have an ’07 that we made the year before, but this is our first big one. We had five wines: an ’08 Grenache Blanc, which is my white; an ’07 Syrah; an ’08 Syrah/Grenache blend; and an ’08 Pinot Noir. We did 450 cases this year, and next year, we will do about 800.

Weekly: And it’s selling well?

Wright: We’re in quite a few stores and restaurants up around the Santa Barbara area. I catered the GENERAL HOSPITAL Christmas party with wine. I’m so happy, because it really is yummy. It’d be one thing if I didn’t like the taste and was just trying to peddle it, but I really do love how our wines taste. I can’t wait until next year to see how different it’s going to taste.

Weekly: How did your sideline make the crossover to soap fan events?

Wright: So many fans were asking about it, so I took it to a fan event. We’re 100 percent legal. I’ve been fingerprinted by the FBI — I’m a walking wine license. I’m allowed to sell wine legally. I went to the fan club luncheon, and I sold, like, five cases.

Weekly: And it grew from there.

Wright: We have a wine club that people can join: They’re guaranteed two shipments a year of three bottles each at a 50 percent discount. And no [worries] if we sell out — the people in the club are guaranteed to get theirs first.

Weekly: So this little hobby has grown…

Wright: It’s definitely a good time, and we enjoy it. We really, really love it.

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