Natural Winemaker Marreya Bailey is returning to traditional ways of winemaking in hopes of providing a wellness element to the industry.
by Candace Keeton
Winemaker Marreya Bailey knows a thing or two about bootstrapping. She took a leap of faith in 2020, and quit her corporate job in Ohio to head to Sonoma County to immerse herself in the natural wine industry. With incredible persistence, she is now the “founding mother” of natural wine brand Mad Marvlus Wine and lifestyle experience company, The Bathing Collective—which focuses on BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and WomXn within the beverage industry.
Marreya’s Natural Wine Experience
She got her experience in natural wine through harvest internships, namely natural winemaker Martha Stoumen. Bailey also worked a Vermont harvest that introduced her to positions at Pax Wines, Mondavi, and Emme Wines. Bailey gleaned something from each experience, which allowed her to produce natural wines and ciders that enhance its drinkers’ health.
Mad Marvlus Wines’ production brings a revival of traditional cider making.
“When it comes to cider, I wanted to help revive ancient practices and also pay homage to the indigenous and enslaved black people who were some of the pioneers and integral contributors to American cider cultivation,” Bailey explains.
The final results are natural wine and ciders, unlike anything on the market.
Mad Marvlus Wines
In her wines, you will find hybrid, climate-friendly grapes in each bottle, like Muscat, Syrah, and Barbera. You will also find underrepresented varieties of apples like Gravenstein, Arkansas Black, Black Twig, and Sierra Beauty. Botanicals like chamomile, lemon verbena, and even honey are also staples in the wines. Bailey’s aspiration to create more wellness beverages pays tribute to her ancestry. That includes ancient Egyptians and Ethiopian tej, a honey-fermented wine similar to mead. Bailey describes her wines and ciders as “medicinal.” Not in the literal sense of medicine, but the idea of feeling better once you partake and reap the benefits of all that has gone into its production.
When Bailey is not producing her natural wine and ciders, she works with other like-minded producers and individuals. In particular, she works within the beverage industry, through her company, The Bathing Collective.
“The Bathing Collective is a lifestyle company focused on helping enhance and elevate people in the community, specializing in natural wine, beverage, food, and wellness,” Bailey explains.
In time, The Bathing Collective hopes to provide a winery co-shared space and a culinary commercial kitchen network for chefs.
Ultimately, Bailey wants to help her community, the environment, and the economy thrive through her natural wine. Bailey is not the first to jump from corporate America to the vineyard. However, she sure is paving her path and hopes to lead the way for others who wish to join.