MURPHYS, Calif. (KTXL) — The owner of a Calaveras County winery said people are attacking his business with angry phone calls, emails and social media posts — and it’s all a case of mistaken identity.
The name of the winery is Newsome Harlow Wines. Winery co-owner Scott Klann said he wants people to understand the name is a coincidence and has no connection to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“We’re just a small, hard-working family trying to do what we can to keep our business afloat in what for everybody is a challenging time,” Klann told FOX40.
Klann and his first business partner picked the name for their winery 20 years ago as a tribute to their mothers.
“Newsome is my mother’s maiden name. Harlow is my original partner’s grandmother’s maiden name,” explained Klann.
But he said in recent days the Newsome Harlow Winery has been the target of people angry at the governor.
“We just in the last two weeks started getting lots of crazy phone calls and angry emails and aggressive attacks on Facebook,” said Klann.
The governor did establish a winery in the Napa Valley in the 1990s that’s 130 miles away from the Newsome Harlow Winery in Murphys.
The two names are further distinguished by their spelling.
“We have an ‘e’ on the end of our name,” explained Klann.
Klann emphasized his winery has no political affiliations and is a place where people of all parties are welcome.
“A place where people can come together over a shared passion for wine and food and discussion and rock n’ roll music and fun,” said Klann.
The winery has been flexible during the COVID-19 closures, hosting online tastings and outdoor tastings by reservation.
Klann said he would like to be focusing on the business.
“Now, we have to start burning 10, 20, 30% of our time fielding these phone calls and emails and messages dealing with the vitriol that is out there,” said Klann. “It’s not us. We’re just trying to work hard, make wine and make people happy.”
The Newsome Harlow tasting room in Murphys is open Fridays through Sunday by reservation until COVID-19 restrictions loosen up again.