Who Wants to be a Winemaker?

Crushpad, a pioneer in small-lot, custom crush facilities, has launched a new contest that allows wine lovers the chance to make their own wine, create their own brand and win one barrel (25 cases) of extraordinary, artisanal wine. If you don’t know about them, custom crush facilities allowΒ wine enthusiasts, individuals, groups and small wine companies to produce hand-made, luxury-class wine from highly-acclaimed vineyards of California and Bordeaux.

Crushpad is in large part the reason behind the stellar Bay AreaΒ urban wine movement as many of our great urban wineries use or have used Crushpad.

Says Crushpad CEO Peter Ekman, “Since 2004, we have offered wine enthusiasts the opportunity to make their own handmade, high-end wine from some of the world’s most exclusive vineyards. A number of our clients have even taken the next step and now sell their wines to many of the top restaurants and retailers around the country. We created the Crushpad Club Challenge to introduce our winemaking and wine marketing services to a wider audience of wine lovers all across the country.”

Interested participants can click on the contest link at www.facebook.com/crushpad. Fill out a simple form that asks for the basic details of your wine project including brand name, wine style (region, varieties, type of oak), target audience and how you will market and sell your wine.

Participants will be able to choose from a range of red wine varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah. They can also designate fruit sourcing from the company’s amazing portfolio of California’s most celebrated vineyards including Doctor’s (Santa Lucia Highlands), Stagecoach (Napa), Konrad (Mt. Veeder), White Hawk (Santa Barbara), Teldeschi (Dry Creek), Eaglepoint Ranch (Mendocino), Durell (Sonoma Valley) and Saralee’s (Russian River).

After filling out the simple forms, you then have to have your network of peers, associates, friends and family vote for your wine brand plan on Facebook. The voting closes on March 31, 2012. The top 10 vote getters will move on to the final round where they will be interviewed by phone and Skype by a panel of industry experts who will select the grand prize winner based on originality, creativity and chance of success for the brand. The award will be announced on April 25, 2012.

The winner will work with Crushpad’s top-flight winemaking and graphic design teams to ensure the wine is being made to their specifications and packaged to meet their criteria. After the wine is aged and bottled the winner can either keep the 25 cases or work with Crushpad to market and sell the wine.

Written by Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan writes about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for Insteading (and EatDrinkBetter.com before the two sites merged) and is the author of Greening Your Small Business. She is an Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone and was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster, an MFA and an MBA – follow her on Twitter.

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