A little news from the wine business division of elevage...
You know I've started my Vincent Wine Company label. Now I'm happy to announce my part in a new co-op wine project called Guild Winemakers. After months of planning and work behind the scenes, we're finally going live. Guild is a partnership of John Grochau of Grochau Cellars, Anne Hubatch of Helioterra Wines, me and a fourth "mystery" winemaker who needs to remain nameless for now. Our project is about many things, but foremost we are friends who all live in the city of Portland and enjoy the creative process of working together making, blending and selling wine. Our goal is to produce high quality wines of exceptional value, focusing on reds from Rhone varieties (for now) and crisp, food friendly whites.
What's different here is that we're not just bottling wines. We're also offering wines in kegs and, soon, in bag-in-box format. People are already doing this of course. But there needs to be more people packaging wine in new and different ways, reducing materials usage and keeping costs and prices down. Kegs allow restaurants to offer fresher wines by the glass without lots of waste if bottles aren't finished before going bad, and worse if the restaurant keeps pouring that stale wine. Bag-in-box format allows individuals to do the same. Of course there is lots of Guild wine available in bottles, but we want to do more and more in alternative formats. Stay tuned on that.
For me, Guild Winemakers is a great opportunity to keep growing in my wine making and wine business knowledge, and do things collectively with the group that would be more difficult if not impossible to be doing on my own. So I'm really excited to be part of it and to contribute to it.
Yesterday, we launched the first Guild wines at the joint open house for Helioterra Wines and my Vincent Wine Company label. Along with our own Pinots, we poured the Guild White Lot 1 and Guild Red Lot 1. The White is a 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, crisp and flavory, easy with or without food. The Red is a 2008 Columbia Valley blend of 67% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre and 8% Counoise. The syrah gives deep fruit and spice tones, the mourvedre and counoise adding lift and peppery notes that, when we were doing blending trials, really made a more interesting and unique wine than the syrah alone.
These Guild wines are hitting the market in the next week. We're already at work on white and red Lots 2.