June 30, 2020
New HHV Wine Club
As I studied for my CSW and learned even more about the wines of the world, the winemaker in me was inspired. Could I make something inspired by the rosé’s of Loire? Or by the semillon blends of Entre deux Mers in Bordeaux? Or by the tannats from Uruguay or SW France? Or the… well you get the picture. With all this inspiration, I knew I wanted to take my experimentation to the next level in the winery.
I began with a traditional rosé inspired primarily by wines from Loire’s Cabernet d’Anjou AOC. (More on this rosé in the next blog.) With this first experiment, I came to two realizations. One, I needed some “small batch” tanks for these experiments. Second, I needed a way to support my science lab!
Last year, excited by the rosé’s progress, I invested in three 300 liter tanks (~80 gallons) with the idea of crafting more of these inspired wines using juice I can purchase from suppliers. This would give me the ability to do small batches and have something “new” to offer. Not too different from what the craft breweries are able to do. Did I mention that these little tanks are pretty cute and I can easily see inside them! I know, it is the little things.
I had my small batch tanks. Now, how do I market these small batches to support my experimentation? Small batches are hard to simply add to the regular wine list. The very nature of small batches makes it uneconomical to add to the wine list and pour everyday during a busy summer here at Smith Mountain Lake. I wouldn’t have much left to sell! Further, after 20 years, our regular wine list of 3 whites, 3 reds, and 3 on the sweet side have devout followers. Removing one and replacing it with an experimental wine would not go over well. Now, that brings us to the title of this blog post- the new Hickory Hill Wine Club. What I do have are genuine wine lovers of not just Hickory Hill wines. Several of these wine lovers had been encouraging me to start a wine club and with the pandemic seeing DTC wine sales increasing, I felt I had found the perfect solution!
With understanding and knowledge gained while studying for the CSW certification and the small batch tanks to craft my inspiration, I invite you to join me on this journey of experimentation and discovery. Details on our brand new wine club can be found here. And that rosé? It will be included in the first Hickory Hill Wine Club release scheduled for August 2021. Initially, it will only be available to Hickory Hill Wine Club members.