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Archive for the ‘Winemaking Adventures’ Category

Last week, I figured out that my wine had not yet been moved to Napa and that I could therefore go pick it up much earlier than expected and save myself the tremendous schlep to wine country. Thanks to my darling friend Rachel, who donated her time, an extra vehicle, and some much needed arm muscle, we were able to move my entire stock from San Francisco, over the Bay Bridge, up my tiny little street, into my tinier little driveway and down into the basement all in under two hours. Done, and done. (P.S. Let me know if you have anything you’d like to trade for some great wine.)

As I piled the boxes into the musty cellar, I couldn’t help imagining myself stocking some fabulous sort of speakeasy, complete with hidden doorbells and secret passwords. Wouldn’t that be super cool? I was telling this to another friend yesterday and he suggested calling the bar (which would have to be wedged in under the floorboards—my basement is not very big) Crawlspace. I love it. I’ve often thought about opening some sort of pub & pastry establishment. Wouldn’t that be fun? Maybe for my next project…

Anyway, as the Je Suis Wine comes officially to a close, I want to thank everyone who’s been a loyal or once-in-a-while reader of this blog. All 16 1/2 of you are very special to me. I plan to move First Crush over to my Menuing blog as soon as I figure out how to do that, so keep tuning in for delicious news and feasts for your hungry eyes. Not in the Dirty Dancing sense, but, oh never mind.

Ok, so, the end. Anticlimactic? Nah, I’ve got 397 bottles of wine under my apartment. I’m happy as a Syrah-drinking clam.

Cheers.

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This is it, folks. Crushpad has moved to Napa, taking with it my 300+ remaining bottles of wine (bon voyage, ladies) and my last vestige of hope for a successful wine business. Well that was dramatic, Sarah. It’s not so much the move that’s the problem, but Crushpad’s accompanying re-evaluation of its own business model. In particular, they’ve discovered that they are not making enough money to cover costs and therefore need to begin charging non-producing wineries (i.e., moi) $200 a month to remain in the partnership. I would need to sell 100 cases of wine per year to counteract that cost, so let’s just say, nuh uh.

New fees go into effect September 1, 2010, so I’m outta there before then. What exactly am I saying? After this summer, Je Suis Wine, the online retail store and world’s smallest winery becomes—not entirely unfortunately—the best thing ever to reside in my basement. Maybe it’s time to think about one of these guys again. It’s rather poetic: I will have started the business (and this blog) almost exactly three years before it all disappeared in a whiff of ripe berries. And how much I’ve learned since then!

Moral of the story: Buy wine now or forever hold your peas.

First I need to figure out the logistics of closing down and moving my cases 50 miles in a hybrid sedan, but then I’ll let you know all the important dates and such. Sigh. More reminiscing and thoughtful pondering to come, I’m sure…

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OK, maybe an overstatement, but a great deal it is.

STATUS: 20 days left. 7 people are in. 33 more people needed before June 14, or that 30% off will vanish like a keg of Bud Light at a frat party.

Get in on our Groupon-style wine event by emailing info@jesuiswine.com.

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Oh, come on.

Ugh, I hate sales. Serious question: Does anyone know someone who might be interested in buying 10-15 cases of wine at a good discount?

I don’t think I reported on this earlier, but Crushpad has moved from San Francisco to Napa. For the first time, they will have a public tasting room for Crushpad wineries, which is wonderful, but the guys like me who do not continue to make wine every year are not allowed to use the tasting room.

They’re also talking about charging us—the one-vintage wineries—more for storage and fulfillment because we don’t actually make the company any money.

And, I just learned that the storage and order fulfillment facility is moving up to Napa, as well. They’re outsourcing to a larger company, which is tremendous news, as it will make things much smoother on the ordering side. And goodness knows I’ve had more than a few bumps with fulfillment in the past. So that’s great.

Except that 1.) all my wine is moving to Napa (hello, long drive to pick up my own wine and goodbye local pickup for y’all) and 2.) it looks like costs will be going up all around, including shipping (which may be unrelated to the fulfillment company but pretty much sucks for my customers in any case).

So maybe it’s not such a big deal in le grand scheme, but I’m feeling pretty shat-upon right now, like I’m being penalized because I can’t sell my little batch of wine to make enough money to buy more batches of wine… and they’re not helping.

I hate sales. Did I mention this before? I am not a salesperson. I do not like selling things. I like making things and making people happy with those things and having parties with great wine, but I do not like selling wine. You can tell how upset I am because my syntax is getting really bad. And because this whole post is a little knotted ball of negativity whereas I normally really do believe in the power of positive thought and wasn’t positivity the whole freaking point of starting a winery in the first place?!

Help.

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Announcing a huge opportunity for all of those wine-loving bargain-hunters and bargain-hunting wine-lovers:

In case you’ve been living on a time-traveling tropical island for three years fighting off the others and running away from smoke monsters, Groupon is a terribly cool site that opens up incredible discounts on local services only once the pre-determined number of people have promised to purchase.

This is essentially the same deal, except that you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Just send me an email to let me know you’re in.  (There’s no reason to be shy folks; it’s just me on the other side of the email.) You can say “I’m in,” or “Count me in,” or “I can’t resist Je Suis,” or whatever you want. I don’t care.  As long as it’s clear that you’re interested in saving some big moolah on a great bottle of wine. By the by, you need only commit to one bottle, but there’s no maximum (unless we sell out), and our 10% case discount will still apply if you want to stock up.

You have until 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 13 to opt in. That’s four weeks from now, but don’t doddle. If we’ve reached 40 people by then (or sooner), the deal is on! I’ll send you an email letting you know. I’ll be announcing where we stand every couple of days, so you can check in and get excited about all the wine you’re about to get for a great price.

Tell all your friends!

*Dear Groupon, I love you and think you offer a valuable and totally awesome service. I’m a tiny company trying to bring great wine into the world. Please do not sue me for Trademark infringement.

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I’m happy to report that Je Suis Wine was feeling the love (the drunken, drunken love) at the SF Vintners Market this weekend. We received tons of praise for our gorgeous labels, sweet name, and adorable little business cards/wine charms. Wine-wise, Petite Sirah stole the show and was declared by several tasters to be the best Petite in the hall. Some of the other descriptors we heard: really smooth; I could drink the whole bottle; it tastes feminine; great balance; oh my God, this is good.

To tell the truth, I started feeling sort of badly for Syrah, but she did get her fair share of compliments and has, I do believe, single handedly (single glassedly) converted at least five sworn Syrah non-believers.

Most frequently asked question: What’s the difference between Syrah and Petite Sirah? (Glad you asked! We love to explain.)

Despite all the raucous imbibing, sales were very slow, so I’d especially like to thank everyone who purchased a bottle of Je Suis Wine; your support really makes a difference to this, the tiniest winery in the world. I’d also like to thank all of those attendees who noticed that we are not, in fact, called Jesus wine.

And if I may get up on my high horse for a moment (I may, because that’s what blogs are for)… To all those who attended to get totally smashed and spill wine on the tablecloth and drop your glass into the spit bucket and spit into the water pitcher and waste time pretending to be interested in buying while blocking the table from people who are actually interested: Please, next time, do keep in mind that this wine is someone’s passion and livelihood and we’re not just there to be your personal bartenders. OK? But really nice meeting you.

And now for some pics:

Je Suis decor

So pretty!

The winemakerette herself

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SAN FRANCISCO VINTNERS MARKET - APRIL 10TH-11TH 2010

I am beyond excited—literally wiggling in my chair—to announced that Je Suis Wine will be participating in the SF Vintners Market at the Fort Mason Center on April 10 and 11. This is, and I quote, “the first and only wine tasting and buying event in the Bay Area.” (This has something to do with the Fort being on federal property, so state laws don’t apply. Pretty cool loophole, actually.) Picture this: 200+ premier California wineries pouring their best in the mother of all tasting rooms (getting thirsty, aren’t you?) and then SELLING you the wines you love right then and there. Many at a discount. It’s vinphoria. It’s vintastic. It’s heavin.

All you locals who haven’t had a chance to try our gorgeous Syrah or Petite yet, this is the perfect opportunity. And a bargain, if you ask me. Check out the site, buy your tix, and then stop by the Je Suis Wine table. We’ll be the ones with purple teeth jumping up and down like lunatics. I mean, we’ll be jumping, not our teeth. Whatever, schmisplaced schmodifiers. Anyway, come find us.

How does a discount sound? I’ll post some special offers and goodies on the blog if I hear any interest…

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