As you all know by now, I am asking for your help (relentlessly). Yes, make your little jokes, ha ha ha. This time though, there is wine on the line…and that’s not funny.
For those of you who don’t already know of Crushpad, they are a state of the art custom wine making facility. They secure grapes through the vineyard contracts they have with many of the top vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Bordeaux (France), and more.
Beyond sourcing top quality grapes, they will also hold your hand through the entire process if you are a newbie, or let you run if you are an experienced winemaker. Crushpad will also help you to age, bottle, design a label, and even sell/distribute your wine if you so choose. They can literally make your winemaking dreams come true for those lucky enough to have an extra $10-15K lying around.
Sadly, I don’t.
I have had the awesome experience of blending my own wine, via Crushpad’s home blending kit that they call ‘Fusebox‘. I did this ~ 2 years ago, and I was hooked.
Fusebox gives you six 1/2 bottles of wine, each a different varietal – Cabernet Sauvignon (x2), Cabernet Franc, Merlot,Petite Verdot. These are the 5 traditional grapes of a Bordeaux (also called a ‘Meritage’ blend in the US). The 6th bottle is what they call a ‘Mystery Wine’, but is a pre-blended version of each these wines in what Crushpad feels (and I agree) is the correct blending.
Also included in the kit are various other lab equipment items and wine blending tools, allowing you easily and quickly experiment and find YOUR perfect blend.
Once all said and done, you can even send your blend ratio back to Crushpad, and they will bottle you up a case of your own custom wine blend. Pretty frickin’ sweet.
So when I caught wind of the new contest that Crushpad was running, I couldn’t help but to enter. I’ve enclosed the full application that I submitted below if you are interested, but the important part is HOW TO WIN – which is getting as many people to vote for OneFortyWines as possible.
Unsure exactly why…but the folks at Crushpad didn’t make it EASY to get votes. There are a couple steps that you need to walk thru to successfully vote, but I will genuinely be indebted to you for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. You will hopefully know a (soon to be) unfamous wine maker, and you will always drink for free when you visit my winery.
Here’s how to vote:
- STEP 1: Visit Crushpad’s Facebook Contest Page here: https://www.facebook.com/crushpad?sk=app_301784786521549
- STEP 2: ‘LIKE’ the Crushpad page.
- STEP 3: Click the ‘Browse/Vote’ tab on the contest app (sort by ‘most votes’)
- STEP 4: Find ‘ONEFORTYWINES’ and click VOTE!
- STEP 5: Repeat tomorrow and the next day and the next day….
I like to think of this as the first step on a long, awesome journey into wine-making, and I plan to share every step of the way with anyone interested thru this blog. I want to work with anyone who is interested and wants to provide feedback, and genuinely make this something that people can all be a part of in some way.
I know I’m a wiseass, but this time I am seriously asking for help for this opportunity to follow my dream. I am also accepting $15K donations to shortcut the contest process as well. Whichever ya’ll prefer.
Thanks again, and any/all help is appreciated!
HERE’S THE APPLICATION:
What type of person would most enjoy your wine?
My goal is to educate people about what they like in a wine, THRU WINE, so that they have the skills to identify what they love, make better buying decisions, and pass along their passion/interest to others.
- This wine should appeal to the range of people who:
- …know they like wine & want to learn more but don’t know how to go about it
- …to true wine lovers who understand the true elements of a wine that make it enjoyable
- Wine lovers especially will immediately identify the key elements of this wine that they will be looking for: vineyard, style, blend, oak – and know that the QPR is 150%+, and would be willing to pay more than $12-15 dollars a bottle to do so.
- This wine is designed to be a ‘go to’ bottle when found. One of those bottles you see in the store and think – “I gotta have that. I KNOW that wine will be awesome…”
- This wine that should make you feel like you have identified a small, up and coming producer BEFORE the wine is a breakout success.
What will your wine be called?
OneFortyWines is the ‘winemaker’. This is the brand I have created thru my personal wine review blog (www.onefortywines.com) and via Social Media such as Twitter & Facebook.
Working names for this bottling are:
- ‘Watch What You Wish For’
- ‘Fueled by Grapeness’
- ‘Liquid Cope’
What Vineyard Area would you harvest from? (the crush pad locations)
- I would like this wine to ideally be a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Cabernet Franc blend (60%, 30%, 10%).
Vineyards that I would love to source from are:
- Neal3 Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa – I love Neal wines, and having the opportunity to source their beautiful, fruit forward fruit to join with the Syrah would be an amazing combination.
- Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa – I love anything from Stagecoach. They are consistent, the perfect blend of fruit/tannin blend, and an overall lucious wine-making vineyard used by some of the best in the business.
- Reverence Vineyard, Coombsville – I think that Coombsville is the dark horse in the Napa Valley right now, and that some of the best wines in the valley are either being made there, or will be shortly once more people catch on. The are well rounded, ‘friendly’, and a pleasure to drink. This would blend perfectly with Syrah as well.
- White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara (Syrah) – In order to blend Syrah in…I need to source it from somewhere! I chose White Hawk over Parmalee b/c I (personally) think that Sonoma Syrahs are a little too tight due to the cooler climate. If it’s going to blend in with Cabernet and compliment it, the Syrah needs a backbone.
What oak barrel type would you use?
- French (70% New)
- I think that the subtleness of a nice French oak barrel is complimentary rather than an actual flavor component.
- I’d like the oak to add structure and toastiness to the wine, without overpowering or becoming a dominant flavor.
How would you present your brand, what is your wine’s story?
I love talking about wine – that’s why I started OneFortyWines.com. I’m genuinely passionate about it, and want to share this passion with the world.
The wine I want to make would blend my wine-appreciation roots that brings the ‘big friendly bear hug’ of Syrah together with the wines I have come to love the most – Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.
If I were to win, I recognize how lucky I would be to have the opportunity that others can only dream of. I plan to share every step of this journey with people thru my wine blog and social media outlets, so that they may feel close to the process of strategizing, growing, making, branding, bottling, and marketing this wine as well.
- I want to make a high-quality, luxurious,yet unpretentious wine that illustrates the best qualities of wine from this region…but with a slight non-conformist twist.
- This is *not* an everyday drinker, it is something to be appreciated – but not so much that you wouldn’t hesitate to open on a Tuesday after a bad day.
- This wine is meant to be shared, enjoyed, and appreciated. This means that it needs to encompass a few key elements that make a wine universally enjoyable, without being too overbearing. Easier said than done, but the right blend can accomplish this with class.
- I want people to understand that they can live vicariously thru my dream of becoming a winemaker in the 21st century.
- I want to document the process (in a positive light), use Social Media and a blog to document the decisions, and encourage engagement via Twitter hastags, FB comments, and more when they drink this wine.
- Mostly, I want people to understand that wine doesn’t have to be pretentious, elitist, or confusing to be enjoyable.
How would you sell or distribute your wine?
While I am strong at marketing (esp online and thru social media), and would use these resources to drive interest and ideally purchase of the wine. However, given that wine sales & distribution is something that I have no experience in, I would fully leverage the resources available thru Crushpad.
For marketing, I plan to use my social media presence (Twitter, FB, OneFortyWines.com Blog) to clearly lay out the elements of THIS wine that make it good – vineyard, viticulture, blend, etc.
These elements will also be encapsulated in a brief description of WHY on the actual bottle, with encouragement to visit the site for the full details and experience.
Each bottle will have an online ‘portfolio’ associated with it – containing detailed tasting notes, growing season information, production information (pictures, process, decisions), and everything else that goes in to the production of the wine up until the release of the wine.
Additionally, I will use many engagement features of the wine to drive traffic to the site(s) in order to further educate customers about the wine and establish a brand:
- Twitter hashtags for people to write their own Twitter comments or reviews.
- Interactive FB fan page
- QR codes
- Engage customers/fans so that they get involved in ‘crowd-sourcing’ next year’s vintage.
- Contests to win wine, or assist in the next vintage’s harvest, etc.
My name is David, and my goal is to break into this industry by leveraging my passion for great wine with CrushPad to ideally make some seriously awesome wine.
I am a dedicated husband and father to two beautiful young girls, and I’d love to use this opportunity to educate them about agriculture, the art & science of winemaking, and bonding experience of building something together.
I started OneFortyWines.com, and I am a wine blogger in my spare time. The name stems from my efforts to ‘learn’ twitter. I decided to see if I could ‘tweet’ 140 character wine reviews in order to gain a better understanding of how to use Twitter to gain followers and broadcast a brand. Quickly, I learned that as verbose as I am, that I would need FAR more than 140 characters to convey everything that I had hoped to, and OneFortyWines.com was born.
I try to take a different approach to writing about wine than more ‘wine review’ sites. My goal is to write about wines I love, and therefore I don’t cover anything that I don’t like. I also try to explain as much about the background of the wine, the winemaker, the location, the style, and the grape varietals as well. My goal is to educate those who are interested in learning more about wine in an interesting and non-threatening way.
By day I work for an amazing startup in San Francisco called CloudFlare. I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world, but making wine is a dream that I have had for many years, and now that I live within driving distance to CrushPad, I am closer to making this dream a reality than ever!