Dry Farm Wines Founder Todd White on Supporting the Arts, One Glass at a Time

The longtime wine and art aficionado tells us about his company's commitments to art institutions, their plans for 2024, and the art he had his eye on this year.

Todd White, the founder of Dry Farm Wines. Courtesy of Dry Farm Wines.

Art and artisan winemaking have been part of the human saga for millennia. Today, the two enterprises are linked like never before, sharing a unique relationship focused on celebrating taste and creative excellence. At the forefront of this association is Dry Farm Wines, one of the leading purveyors of artisan wines.

Founded by Todd White in 2015, Dry Farm Wines is committed to sourcing from organic, biodiverse family farms that use techniques including “dry farming” (irrigation-free agriculture relying on rainwater) to produce the highest quality wines that complement a healthy lifestyle. A key component is their increasing art world profile.

Recently, it was announced that Dry Farm Wines is the official wine for the New Museum in New York, the latest in a string of art world partnerships. Dry Farms Wines is already the official wine of New York’s Whitney Museum, as well as the Rubell Museum in both Miami and Washington, D.C., and the ICA and Bass Museums in Miami. Like the brand’s dedication to better wines, it also maintains a mission to foster and promote a diverse range of art and artists.

We chatted with the founder Todd White to learn more about Dry Farm Wines’ commitment to supporting art institutions, what’s in store for 2024, and the art that’s caught his eye lately.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and the founding of Dry Farm Wines?

I have been obsessed with taste since I was a child, and I have been a wine aficionado for 45 years. As I aged, I noticed wine had changed, and how it made me feel had changed. Over the years, the wine industry had consolidated—(the top 25 U.S. wine companies make nearly 90% of all wines in the US), profits and scale became the primary focus, not quality. Toxic farming (only around 5% of wines in the world are organic), chemical additives (there are 76 approved in the U.S.), and rising alcohol levels made wine increasingly unhealthy. I began looking for a better way to enjoy wine that supported my goal of vibrance, wellness, and longevity.

Dry Farm Wines has been described as striving to become “the official wine of the arts.” What inspires this mission?

For my entire career, I’ve felt like an artist trapped in a businessman’s body. My existence is defined by everything design and taste in all mediums. I have also been a collector for 50 years. As I immersed myself deeper in the art world, I continued to meet more people who cared about what I cared about: living a thoughtful life and living well. Our European organic artisan wines are such a natural fit for thoughtful tastemakers.

Dry Farm Wines is the official wine of several art institutions around the United States, including the New Museum in New York and the Bass Museum in Miami. Courtesy of Dry Farm Wines.

Dry Farm Wines is the official wine of several art institutions around the United States, including the New Museum in New York and the Bass Museum in Miami. Courtesy of Dry Farm Wines.

What do you hope to achieve by connecting Dry Farm Wines with art?

Making the world a better place. Helping educate thoughtful people about why what they drink matters to how they feel. I am obsessed with taste, in everything, including wine. I am thrilled to educate tastemakers about why these organic artisan wines matter in both exceptional taste and how they cause you to feel.

It was recently announced that Dry Farms Wines is emerging as the wine of many museums. What led to these partnerships?

It was really quite simple, I was a patron of all of these wonderful institutions.  I live in NYC and Miami Beach. Both locations are very cultural and museums are an important part of the fabric of life. Art is an important part of the foundation of a life lived well. We have always believed in support of the arts, as we believe art promotes a more civilized life, and opens the world to greater possibilities and imagination. Art is love. We were also already friends and active participants with all these amazing institutions.

What goes into partnerships with the art world? Is there a process of wine curation or selection, or specific thought given to things like exhibition openings or events?

Wine is art. We have many programs that marry art and wine. We just produced a commemorative bottling in partnership with the artist Hernan Bas to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, where I am a Trustee. We also pair wines in coordination with various chefs for museum galas and artist/collector dinners. In 2024, we are working with a number of artists to create special wine collections featuring the artist’s work to release at the opening of exhibits, in very limited quantities,  that we donate to the museum and they will auction them to support the institution. So there are many ways we partner to benefit the museums. All of our wines are gifts to the museums. We consider the expansion of the arts a lifetime commitment.

The perfect pairing for art: fine wine. Courtesy of Dry Farms Wine.

Can you talk about other types of relationships Dry Farm Wines has cultivated within the art world?

There are so many. Galleries, seasonal pop-up support, events at private residences…anything that supports the expansion of the arts. And I should mention, when we provide wine and our staff to create an enhanced experience, it comes  at no charge to these organizations.

On a personal level, what interests you about visual art? Do you have a favorite artist? Have you recently seen an exhibition you particularly liked?

My collections are wide-ranging. In recent years, my primary interest has been Japanese ceramics, with a particular focus on those that are wood fired. I also collect large-scale abstract paintings. I thought the Henry Taylor show at the Whitney was stunning, and Sasha Gordon’s premiere at the ICA in Miami was very keen. Another extraordinary treat is the curation at the Peter Marino Art Foundation in Southampton. There are so many artists I admire, I am not sure where to start, but my interest in large-scale abstract paintings certainly make Anselm Kiefer a standout obsession of the moment.

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