Monday, December 2, 2013

And Away They Go!

The wines have been released! Less than two weeks ago I went to pick up my labels at the printers office in Beaverton, then that Saturday I labelled 15 cases using the Kramers labeling machine. Becky invited me to pour at Urban Decanter that night, a most casual setting. It marked the unofficial release of Random Wine Companys wines.

Officially, last Friday was the first time my wines had been poured for the general public. The Kramers invited me to pour at their winery over Thanksgiving weekend and that's what I did for three days. All told, I believe I sold several cases of each wine, a very pleasant surprise. The split was nearly down the middle too, which is even more surprising as I've long felt that my Tempranillo is more mainstream than my Petit Verdot.

So there you have it, the wines are now released! This week brings the fun new challenge of shipping them out to thirsty people across the country. It was only after I added up how many boxes I had to ship did I get a grasp of how much wine will be left afterwards. Not a whole lot! That's good though, because it means my idea of working with tiny amounts of fruit has some merit.

This week I also hope to take my wines out to retailers and restaurants around Portland in the hopes of securing some placements on menus or store shelves. Cross your fingers for me please!

To order either wine, please email me and I'll get everything taken care of.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Welcome to Random Wine Company!

I admit, it would be great to have a fully decked out, beautifully designed website to show everyone. But that just wouldn't be my way! Instead, I'll start Random Wine Company's website presence with a blog. Fitting, because I was a wine blogger before I was a winemaker.

Random Wine Company started out as a...wait..let's not make this some dumb cliche. I was working Harvest here in Oregon back in 2011. My then-girlfriend (now fiancee) Becky's parents own Kramer Vineyards, where I worked after moving up from San Diego. As Harvest progressed, Trudy Kramer suggested I make my own wine. I suspect this was after numerous Q&A sessions where I tried to learn as much about winemaking as as little time as possible.

That's not the way to learn though. Trudy suggested that I buy some grapes and make my own wines in 2012. She helped me get connected to a vineyard owner named Steve Elerding, who owned several parcels in the Horse Heaven Hills appellation of Washington. Located just south of the town of Prosser, HHH (as I call it) is a great place to grow Bordeaux and Rhone varieties. It is NOT pinot noir country.

Buying grapes was easier than I thought. A series of emails resulted in me agreeing to a contract for petit verdot and tempranillo. The former was a variety I have always wanted to work with, the latter a grape I have always loved drinking. Truth be told, my eyes were fixed on making wine with grenache, mourvedre, and other Rhone varieties. Those are in very high demand here, with established vintners having contracts for whatever comes out of Oregon and Washington.

The silver lining to this cloud is that I was able to secure some outstanding quality fruit and make what I think are two really fun, interesting wines. Both are in bottle already, awaiting labels. Those labels are almost finished, and then they go to the TTB for approval. Once they're approved, I can order up the real thing and apply them to all 48 cases of petit verdot and 77 cases of tempranillo.

I'll leave my first blog entry at that, and promise to post a lot more in the upcoming months. I also promise to include as many pictures as possible, so you can follow along as I finally put my money where my mouth is and try to create wines that I myself like to drink.

Beau Carufel