108 episodes

Cru, a weekly long-form wine industry podcast where we chat with the legends & disruptors behind your favorite wine brands. Hosted by Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker, sommelier & marketer, Chappy Cottrell. Guests include Raj Parr, Steve Matthiasson, Esther Mobley, Francoise Peschon, Andre Mack, Marissa Ross, Brian McClintic, and many more.

Learn more at cru.fm

Cru | A Wine Industry Podcast Cru.FM

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 65 Ratings

Cru, a weekly long-form wine industry podcast where we chat with the legends & disruptors behind your favorite wine brands. Hosted by Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker, sommelier & marketer, Chappy Cottrell. Guests include Raj Parr, Steve Matthiasson, Esther Mobley, Francoise Peschon, Andre Mack, Marissa Ross, Brian McClintic, and many more.

Learn more at cru.fm

    How to Visually Tell Your Story with Heather Daenitz

    How to Visually Tell Your Story with Heather Daenitz

    Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a photography and social media consulting company focusing on brands in the wine and beer industries!
    It was while working for a vineyard management company in Santa Barbara County that Heather rediscovered her love of photography and found a previously unknown interest in social media management. She was asked to start an Instagram account to showcase the practices of the company and decided that if she was going to do this social media thing, she was going to do it right; opting to only post high quality, original images that told a story.
    After almost two years of photographing, upgrading her camera equipment, and learning everything she could about social media management for the company she worked for, she decided it was time to create her own business. She wanted to help wineries and breweries create beautiful imagery that would tell the stories behind their brands. Thus, Craft & Cluster was born!
    In this episode we dig into the years of learnings, practices, experimenting, and trial and error that Heather has gone through to now being a sough after wine industry photographer. There are only a handful of incredible photographers in the California wine industry that I consider to be top notch, and Heather is one of them. She’s going to give us some very useful strategies and tactics when it comes to visually telling our stories in an authentic manner, how to take your own gorgeous photos when you can’t hire pros like her, and some fantastic resources to use as a constant reference. We previously recorded this chat via Instagram Live, so there are a few times were we take audience questions from Instagram and the interview lends itself to being more of a natural conversation.

    Some resources
    • StoryBrand
    • Later App
    • Plan That
    Find Heather On...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Chatting All Things Chillable Red Wines with Kathryn and Tug Coker

    Chatting All Things Chillable Red Wines with Kathryn and Tug Coker

    As you know, I generally interview amazing wine folks to learn about their stories and coax out a bit of knowledge and advice. Today’s podcast is a little bit of a different format however. Here’s what’s up. The other day I reached out to an incredible power couple of the wine world, Kathryn and Tug Coker who together are married with two tiny humans running around the house, operate all things Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica, and have recently launched a new wine podcast called The Long Finish where they take time to unwind, recap the week, what’s inspiring them in this time, and of course pop a bottle to enjoy and discuss. So we hoped on an ever so handy Zoom call and spent a while hanging out to record a collaborative podcast episode chatting about chillable red wines and life to co-publish it on both of our podcasts. Fun, right?
    The question that led to The Long Finish starting is, “What are we drinking tonight?” So, what did we drink? 2019 Las Jaras Glou Glou from Mendocino. A super gulpable, hence the name, refreshing chill able red wine blend of mainly Carignan and Zinfandel that I very quickly consumed the entire bottle of. You should definitely snag a few bottles of this guy either from Esters, the winery itself, or your local wine shop. I grabbed mine from Miracle Plum, a cute little boutique market & goods shop here in Sonoma County. 
    Towards the end our chat we’re talking about work and inspiration an I mention a new project I’m launching called SommTable. It’s a new kind of online wine shop where you can shop my entire wine list from Barndiva made up of a lot of very well priced Burgundy & Champagne, join our wine club that’s not really a club more just fun way to discover delicious wines for $75 per month for three killer bottles of vino, and my favorite part, a daily wine deal texted to you. Simply, you text me to signup, I text you a wine at an insane value everyday. The prices on these wines are well below any other retail prices that I see and they all have a sustainable focus. It doesn’t cost anything until you actually buy wine too. To jump on that list text SOMMTABLE to 31996. You should also go follow my new instagram handle for the shop @sommtablehealdsburg. 

    Follow The Long Finish On…

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Sculpting a Truly Coastal Wine with Rachel Martin & Marbue Mark

    Sculpting a Truly Coastal Wine with Rachel Martin & Marbue Mark

    A Virginia native, Martin was present at the inception of what is now considered one of that state’s premier wine producers, Boxwood Estate Winery, in 2005. As Executive Vice President of Winery Operations, Martin’s job was to oversee all facets of production, sales and marketing of Boxwood’s award-winning whites, rosés and Bordeaux-style red blends.
    Martin’s forward thinking led directly to Middleburg having its own wine identity separate from the more generic Virginia designation, making her well suited to again start from scratch with Oceano Wines. Jancis Robinson noted Martin’s marketing savvy in her book “American Wine.”
    Marbue Marke earned his enology degree from Davis and, subsequently, added to his academic resume with an MBA from Sonoma State University. His practical experience began at J Winery in Sonoma, followed by a series of moves, each adding another piece to the puzzle that is winemaking. At Cosentino Winery, he learned about the rarefied world of high-end Napa wines. He was then a barrel enologist at R.H. Philips. For two years, Marke was charged with cooperage studies, an offshoot field that many winemakers are not experienced in. During a stint at Benziger, he was immersed in that family’s heightened concern for soil and winemaking purity.
    From there, Marke made a seemingly counterintuitive jump to Gallo. He reasoned that it’s always a good idea to revisit the basics of one’s craft, and given Gallo’s depth and breadth of resources, it was the perfect place for him to hone all of the skills associated with the production process.
    But perhaps the most pivotal move he made, at least in terms of his future connection to Oceano, was his decision to sign on as John Caldwell’s winemaker. That Marke began working with Caldwell turned out to be prophetic for Rachel  . She met Marke by way of her very own connection to Caldwell. She sourced the plant material for Boxwood Estate Winery’s first vineyard block from him. Marke has since taken over as the Director of Winegrowing at Italics Winegrowers in Coombsville, one of Napa Valley’s cooler climes and another serendipitous similarity with Spanish Springs Vineyard.


    • 1 hr 17 min
    Re-imagining the Path from Grapes to Glass with Brian Smith

    Re-imagining the Path from Grapes to Glass with Brian Smith

    Winc is a unique winery in that they make over 100 individual SKUs of wine from around the country at a range of price points. On top of that, their direct-to-consumer first model and mass utilization of Digital marketing mixed with a heavy dose of customer feedback has enabled them to continue to craft wines that their audience is looking for. With a 684% increase in new member sign ups between March 15 2020 and March 28 2020 and an 80% increase in revenue in March over February, the company is seeing some incredible growth.
    Previous to founding and growing Winc with his partners, Brian founded successful finance and fashion startups. Additionally, he created the wine program for the tech-enabled Clo Wine in New York and founded the millennial cult brand Jolie Folle rosé.



    • 1 hr 1 min
    Carey Vanderborg Interviews Cru Host, Chappy Cottrell

    Carey Vanderborg Interviews Cru Host, Chappy Cottrell

    This is a bonus episode of sorts. Recently I sat down with Carey Vanderborg @careydrewsomm on Instagram Live to turn the tables and interview me, Chappy! For those who don't know Carey he is a sommelier at Press Restaurant in St. Helena, California. In this down time he's started interviewing some of the top talent in Napa Valley Kellie White, Chris Phelps, Carlton McCoy, and many more. He's going live at 5pm each week day on Instagram. 

    • 56 min
    Exploring the Crossroads of Farming & Winemaking with Natalie Bath

    Exploring the Crossroads of Farming & Winemaking with Natalie Bath

    A native Californian, growing up in St. Helena, Natalie came back to the Napa Valley after graduating college and fell back in love with the beauty of the Napa Valley. Growing up with a Master Sommelier father, she knew if she wanted to change career paths to the wine industry she would need to do something different.
    Natalie did a harvest at Etude in 2010, embracing the long hours, manual labor, and comradery that comes with cleaning. She was hooked! Natalie spent the first part of the 2011 vintage in the Southern Hemisphere at Villa Maria in New Zealand and the second part of 2011 at Littorai in Sebastopol, getting her first experience with biodynamics working under Ted Lemon. Not knowing where to go next, a conversation with her longtime friend, Samantha Rudd, turned into an opportunity to work harvest at Rudd Oakville Estate in 2012.
    “It was like finally coming home”, Natalie says. “I grew up playing in the vineyards and running around the property as a kid. Something just felt right.” When harvest finished, Natalie began hosting guests who were visiting the Estate, hoping to continue working at Rudd in any area she could. In 2014, Natalie joined the Winemaking team fulltime as a cellar hand and became the oenologist in 2016. An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, allowing Natalie to travel overseas to work harvest at Château Pétrus in 2016. Coming back from her travels refreshed and rejuvenated, Natalie became the Assistant Winemaker in 2017 at Rudd Estate, and the following year the lead Winemaker for Crossroads.
    If you haven't already listened to the round table discussion on the Wine Business x COVID_19, listen to it here!


    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

Jlew512 ,

Great CA Wine Podcast!

I listen to this podcast regularly while working at a vineyard; Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County. The name drop in the latest episode prompted me to write a review. Chappy invokes unique perpesctives from mostly CA wine professionals. His and his guests perspectives and experiences provide a lot of value during the changing wine landscape of COVID 19 and even greater are helping shape my own perspective on approaching sustainability in the vineyard and cellar. Thanks Chappy and keep up the good work! -instagram @jlewsfood

Go For Michael ,

Top Wine Podcast!

This is by far one of my favorite wine podcasts! Chappy’s know-how of the wine industry and ability to get people to open up and share their stories and experiences is one of a kind. I can’t wait to hear each episode every Monday and learn from the Incredible Cru guests!

Rickdelux ,

Great insights into CA winemaking, viticulture, and branding

Chappie does a great job of focusing on the CA market and, I think, shows a youthful, millennial perspective on the wine industry that you will be unlikely to find in other podcasts. Chappie’s guests vary from winemaker to brand builder to nationwide distributor to everything else connected to the American drinks industry. The nearly hour long episodes are perfect for taking the dog for a long walk. He’s able to get some well known, highly respected guests on the show whom are able to provide great insights. If wine is your passion or business, this is another good podcast to add to your arsenal of knowledge.

There are some valid points about the audio quality (which, tbh, is every podcast not done in a sound studio) and the lack of international focus (again, Chappie is in CA focused on the US market).

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