Friday, August 21, 2015

Be A Part of The Wine Making Process!

**I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Columbia Crest. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation." 

Hi friends! I'm sure it has been very obvious around here the last several months, but I absolutely love wine. I love having a glass of wine at night, whether it is with myself and my husband, or a whole group of friends. No matter the occasion, I'm always excited to enjoy a delicious glass! One of the coolest experiences I've had of my life thus far was going to Napa Valley, and visiting iconic vineyards and getting to learn all about wine, how it is made, and interview winemakers and producers themselves. Just one of the small bits of information I learned while on this trip was how extreme weather conditions, such as the drought in California, can actually be good for a wine because it makes the grape vines work harder. Who would have ever thought this?! On top of this, while I was in Napa I got to try wine straight from the barrel, and picture how it was going to grow and develop. I really felt like I was a part of the wine-making process, and it made me that much more of a fan of each of the vineyards I visited.

These little bits of information that I gained while visiting Napa were absolutely priceless, and made me appreciate wine that much more. I already can't wait for my next trip back to continue learning more about wine. However, let's be honest: traveling to vineyards every day is not a realistic goal at this point in my life, and I think a lot of people can agree with that. Having a part of the wine-making process was such a great feeling, and I'd love to be a part of that every day. Fortunately, I am super excited to introduce you to this awesome new program by Columbia Crest called their Crowd-Sourced Cabernet.

Crowd-sourced cabernet, you ask? Personally, I had heard of crowd-sourced funding and things like that before being approached with this program. I'd never heard of a crowd-sourced wine...and the more I learned, the better it sounded. Crowd-sourced funding is essentially getting funding online from a group of people for a certain project/idea/business. In my experience, it is smaller businesses- nonetheless, I digress. I was super excited to hear about this crowd-sourced wine, especially since it was from Columbia Crest, one of the terrific wineries from the U.S. nestled right along the Columbia River in Washington.

Anyways, with this crowdsourcing thing... thus far, any wine lover (or drinker!) familiar with Columbia Crest has been able to participate in the making of this wine, from the production, treatment, and harvesting of the grapes. Participants were able to knowledgeably vote each week as they had access to important items regarding the production of the wine, including weather patterns, seasonal data, and actual pictures of the grapes, along with advice from Columbia Crest's head winemaker, Juan Muńoz-Oca. For this crowd-sourced cabernet, Columbia Crest set aside an entire acre of reserve grapes from the estate vineyard, which is exactly what produced the 2005 Reserve Cabernet that was voted number one wine in the world from Wine Spectator in 2009. Sound like something you are interested in? Now let me tell you about the next best part about this program...

Right now, the 2014 vintage is aging in barrels, and voting has begun for the Executive Crowdsourcing Officer (ECO)- and you can vote right here from August 10 until August 24! The ECO will be an ambassador for the crowdsourcing community, and even get to travel to the winery in Paterson, WA to work with the head winemaker to create the 2015 vintage. The winner of the voting will be named the ECO and receive an all-expenses paid trip to the winery in September, a $2,500 prize, and more incentives. Everything about their trip will be filmed in order for the crowdsourcing community to follow along and view the rare, behind-the-scenes look at how wine is made.

On my recent trip to Napa Valley, visiting various vineyards and getting a behind-the-scenes feel made me appreciate and love wine even more. If you have the chance, I would definitely recommend checking out this program and voting for the best winemaker. In a short period of time, you will be able to buy this wine and tell your friends the story of how you helped to create it- what an experience that many people would love to be a part of. I know I voted, and will continue to do so! How awesome is it that now Columbia Crest is allowing you to be a part of their wine-making process, right from the comfort of your own home?!

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