A short intro to R2 Wine Company, but more importantly: I hope the beginning of your holiday season is going well.
Hey guys, Mark Aselstine from Uncorked Ventures.
First, I hope everyone’s holiday shopping season is going well. Since today is small business Saturday, I do hope you find some time to go out in your neighborhood, and find some great, local small businesses. I think a lot of us have them. I know that’s one of the reasons why we love living in the San Francisco Bay Area because we do have so many small, little, local shops. I hope you take adavantage. I hope when Cyber Monday rolls around on Monday, and then throughout the rest of the holiday season, you’ll think of us and think about ordering a wine club, either for yourself or a wine club as a gift for a family or loved one. In any case, hope everyone’s shopping season’s going well. We braved some of the crowds yesterday at Target and Toys ‘R’ Us for my little guy and it was an adventure as always.
I did want to take a couple of minutes and talk about you see two bottles in front of me, this is the standard 750mL bottle. Then the Black Pine sitting next to it is the magnum. R Squared, people refer to it as R2 wine company. It’s owned by two brothers, the Roessler brothers, who come from a tradition of making wine up in Sonoma. They started Roessler vineyards back in 2000, or a little bit before. It was Wells Gunthrie at Copain was the consulting wine maker. If you’re not familiar with Wells, we talked about him in this space. Copain was one of our first meeting, when we started Uncorked Ventures. There reason for that was simple, Wells started the label and he made these fruit forward, heavy driven, stereotypical California wines. The story goes that he sat down with some of his peers from France and he was frankly, embarrassed to open what he had made. Then over time, he as shifted into being this low alcohol driven, Copain is a ventable name within the wine industry, because they do make these low alcohol, higher acidity wines. They make them at fair price points. They do something that’s French in style and there’s ..a set of single vineyard offerings of Pinot and, then they make a line that’s more entry level in the $20 to $30 price point. That’s a blend of multiple vineyards throughout the state of California or thought a single AVA, like Sonoma or Santa Barbara and the Central Coast. Roessler Vineyards started with Wells Gunthrie as the consulting wine maker and they … Things went well for them to eventually be acquired and they’ve turned into Walt Wines, after being sold.
As you might expect, the Roessler brothers didn’t want to get out of the industry. They started a different brand that’s called R Squared. I’m sure you can come to the conclusion where that name came from. A few months back, I had the ability to sit down with their new wine maker, whose name is Drew Huffine. Drew and I share one thing in common, that we both went to Santa Barbara for a while. Drew was actually a PHD student in Poetry, before he caught the wine making bug and left in the middle of his poetry program to start making wine down in Santa Barbara.You can really see … He has a poetry background, before he worked at the winery for a while. He’s had some other jobs at places that you’d recognize that I won’t name off here. The Roessler, the R Squared website does a good enough job with that. Drew’s also the high acidity or higher acidity driven … There’s plenty of fruit in these bottles, and acidity driven wine.
The Vin Blancs is actually, 80% Viognier, we had the conversation … Frankly, I love this wine. I’m actually a little sad that this is the last bottle that we have sitting around. It’s one of my favorite whites that we’ve found all year. Viognier doesn’t sell, that’s just a fact. First, consumers don’t know how to pronounce it so they’re scared to order it in restaurants. They’re scared to ask wine shops employees about it, because they don’t know how to say the name. THey’re not really sure about the grade. They don’t see it very often. Vin Blancs, you can see, the nice four black label. Calling it something that’s not a proprietary name for the grape I think makes a lot of sense and I think, probably helps their sales. Black Pine, [inaudible 00:04:11], the story about this and I will actually say that this is autographed by the wine maker, which we thought was fun for Thanksgiving. Black Pine’s the biggest production of all the wines. It takes about half of the R squared production. It’s a Pinot blend from the Central Coast. It does a really good job of expressing what’s going on down there. While some of the cooler climate and not in vineyard sites throughout Santa Barbara County and the wider Central Coast AVA.
R Squared does much of what Copain does. There’s a bunch of smaller production, single vineyard wines that are really, really incredible and a higher price point, around $150 for Pinot. Then they have more entry level price points, including this Viognier, which runs in the low 20’s. We actually shipped the Vin Blancs in our explorations wine club, which is the cheapest of our three wine clubs. We did a red wine blend that’s Syrah based in our special collections club, which is the cheapest of our red wine clubs. In any case, Mark Aselstine, with Uncorked Ventures. Hope you guys are having a nice holiday, I hope travel was well for everyone and I hope that family, in laws and out laws all treated you well, as well. Thanks again.