The wine club is called "Uncorked Ventures" and is a newly formed, family run outfit, that focuses on bringing high quality, small production, and hard to find selections to their patrons.
Here is a run down of the short interview I had with founder and co-owner of Uncorked Ventures, Matt Krause:
Is this your first venture into the wine business?
Yes, prior to this I was a human resources professional for 14+ years working primarily within biotech companies. The last position I held was a Head of HR position at a 200+ employee biotech company.
My brother-in-law, Mark, worked in real estate development in San Diego prior to starting Uncorked Ventures.
What types of wine do your club memberships offer?
Wine Exploration Club members receive a bottle of red and white with each of their shipments. We source wines for this club both locally (West Coast) and from across the globe. Participating in this club is like going on a wine adventure. Whether a shipment includes a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley or a Cabernet from Napa, members are treated to exciting and interesting wines that they will enjoy.
Special Selection Club members typically receive two bottles of red with each shipment. From time to time we will include a great bottle of white wine. Occasionally, a shipment may include a third bottle of wine to ensure our customers are receiving good value. Wines for this club are limited in production and are exclusively sourced from top quality and emerging wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Reserve Selection Club members are treated to the best wines our partner wineries have to offer. While these wines are approachable now, they also offer good cellaring potential. Most members consider these wines to be the prized bottles in their collections. Typical shipments include two to three bottles, but from time to time we may ship large format bottles. These wonderful and rarer bottles are sourced from California, Oregon, and Washington wineries.
What makes Uncorked Ventures a unique wine club?
We ship what we want to drink, not what makes us the most money.
Our focus is on identifying and sourcing top quality wines for our club members and customers. To do this, we personally spend a significant amount of time visiting wineries, tasting their offerings, and speaking with winemakers. By building personal relations we are able to track down the limited quantity, high quality wines that aren't available at every local wine store.
What is your idea of great wine and do you make the decisions about what wines go into the clubs by what will sell best or by what you enjoy?
My definition of great wine is fairly straight forward. It should be delicious and memorable. That being said, there is such a thing as "great for the price". Not everyone can or should spend $100 or more on a bottle of wine. In my house, we drink wine most nights of the week. Therefore, I focus on the meal and what would go well with it. I probably spend more money on wine than needed, but hey, why not?
With regards to the wines in our club shipments, both Mark and I work together to choose which wines go out. Fortunately, we have found that our tastes have broad appeal. I have been picking out wines for my friends for 10+ years and their feedback has been universally positive. In fact, the positive feedback is probably what gave me the confidence to even consider starting Uncorked Ventures.
What will ultimately define success for you with this project?
Success has three components for me.
First, Uncorked Ventures builds solid partnerships with the best and most exciting wineries and winemakers. Second, by developing a loyal base of customers Uncorked Ventures acts as a bridge connecting wine consumers with incredible wines that are often not available in their community or which they might not have even heard of. And finally third, that along the journey I meet some good people whom I become friends with.
Do you have a personal wine collection? If so what are some of your gems?
Yes, I have been collecting for about 16 years now. I keep my wines stored at an offsite wine storage facility. One day I would like to build a small cellar in my home.
There are a number of wines I look forward to consuming in the future. Some of these bottles include 1994 Ridge Monte Bello, 1998 Chateau Pavie Macquin, 2007 Saxum James Berry Proprietary Red, and several Roar pinots.
For more information on the club, visit their website: http://www.uncorkedventures.com