Welcome to Cru, a wine industry podcast.
Every Monday, we feature in-depth interviews with the legends and disruptors in the wine industry.
Whether you're a seasoned sommelier, a brand new business owner, winemaker with many vintages under your belt, or just starting your journey in the industry, you won't want to miss a single episode. Have the best minds in the wine business whispering their secrets and insights directly into your ear holes. Guests include Raj Parr, Steve Matthiasson, Esther Mobley, Francoise Peschon, Andre Mack, Marissa Ross, Bob Cabral, Brian McClintic, and many more.
Hosted by founder of Monday Wine, Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker, award-winning sommelier, and wine marketer, Chappy Cottrell.
Explore the show notes at CruPodcast.com
An Upsidedown Journey into Washington State Wine with Seth & Audrey Kitzke
Seth & Audrey Kitzke (@UsDoingWine) grow and make Upsidedown Wines, Kitzke Cellars, and The Devil is a Liar based in Richland, Washington.
About The Podcast Episode
To kick us off with the first episode of the relaunch of the Cru wine industry podcast, I sat down with Washington State’s dynamic duo behind Upsidedown Wine, Kitzke Cellars, and The Devil is a Liar, Seth and Audrey Kitzke.
I’m so excited to be back with the first podcast episode in a few years. I’m looking forward to sharing some wonderful conversations with the legends and disruptors of the wine industry in the coming weeks and months. So you’ll want to be sure to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcasting app and leave a review!
You can find full show notes at CruPodcast.com
About Seth & Audrey Kitzke
Seth and Audrey reside in Richland, Washington where they grow and make wine for Upsidedown Wine, The Devil is a Liar, and their family label, Kitzke Cellars. Seth grew up planting the vineyard with his dad, not knowing that one day he would be making the wine. He had a career shift in 2014 and went back to school to study Enology at the Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle.
He then went on to work with Charles Smith, Brennon Leighton, Brian Carter, and Charlie Hoppes before moving back to Eastern Washington to take over winemaking for Kitzke Cellars and starting their labels. Seth & Audrey have immense respect for the land and the grapes that they grow. Striving to produce the very best fruit while staying true to the region’s unique terroir.
They have a two-year-old daughter, Sage, whose curiosity usually leads her into the vineyard and winery with Mom and Dad.
Our Podcast Partner
Before we get into the episode, I would be remiss to tell you about our presenting podcast partner, Monday Wine.
Monday Wine helps wineries grow their direct-to-consumer sales with digital marketing strategies and tactics that actually work. They'll save you time, headaches, and money while growing your mailing list, wine club, and DTC revenue. If you own or are responsible for the sales and marketing of a winery and growing your DTC sales has been a struggle, click the link in the show description or visit their website at Monday.Wine to apply for their services.
Our Affiliate Partner
This episode of Cru is also brought to you in affiliation with Notion.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have anywhere from 15-20 different browser tabs open at one time, too many Excel sheets, and multiple projects you’re trying to manage. To keep your head above water you’re probably using too many tools. And things are a little, maybe a lot, chaotic, I would venture to guess. You can silently nod your head in agreement.
With Notion, all your work can be done in one place. You can easily collaborate with team members at the same time or across various teams and time zones. I use Notion for managing and publishing this entire podcast. I also use it in my marketing agency to manage my daily operations and everything for my clients. It’s a seamless experience between desktop and mobile. From managing a social media content calendar to planning and forecasting an entire wine release, I use Notion to manage it all. Get started with Notion for free today!
Welcome to Cru!
Welcome to Cru! I'm your host, Chappy Cottrell, and I'm here to take you on an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of wine. As an award-winning wine marketer, podcaster, sommelier, and wine director, I've dedicated my life to uncovering the hidden gems of the industry.
Episodes can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or CruPodcast.com
Every Monday, we dive deep into the essence of wine, bringing you exclusive interviews with the true legends and fearless disruptors who are shaping the future of this remarkable industry. Get ready for a weekly rendezvous with the most intriguing minds in the wine business, as they unveil their profound thoughts, share their incredible experiences, and provide invaluable insights.
Whether you're a seasoned sommelier, an aspiring business owner, a master winemaker with years of expertise, or someone embarking on their very first steps in the industry, this podcast is an absolute must-listen. I guarantee that you won't want to miss a single episode!
Imagine having the brightest stars in the wine cosmos whispering their secrets and wisdom directly into your eager ears. With Cru, you'll gain unparalleled access to the minds behind the labels and business, their stories interlaced with passion, ambition, and a sheer love for wine.
But let me share a little secret about Cru's humble beginnings. Back in 2016, Cru started as my personal quest to learn from the industry's most revered figures, asking them the burning questions that fueled my curiosity about starting and operating a wine business. After a brief hiatus, Cru has returned with a renewed purpose: to continue seeking answers to those questions, exploring every facet of growing, making, marketing, and selling wine.
My mission is simple: I want each and every episode to arm you with strategic and tactical insights that you can apply directly to your own journey in the industry. I’m here to empower you, to fuel your aspirations, and to make your path in the wine world that much brighter.
You can find Cru on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Simply search for Cru Wine Podcast, and our exhilarating episodes will be right at your fingertips.
If you find value in our show - and I’m certain you will - I kindly ask you to consider subscribing and leaving a glowing review. Your support goes a long way in helping remarkable industry professionals like yourself discover the wealth of knowledge Cru has to offer.
And speaking of support, I'm thrilled to announce that Cru is proudly presented by Monday Wine!
Monday Wine is a pioneering digital marketing agency dedicated to empowering wineries and growing their direct-to-consumer sales. If you're a winery looking to enhance your direct-to-consumer revenue, expand your mailing list, or attract more passionate wine club members, head over to Monday.Wine to apply for their exceptional services. That’s Monday.Wine to apply.
Thank you for joining me on this exhilarating journey through the world of wine. I’m just getting started, and I couldn't be more excited to share these captivating episodes with you. Stay tuned and subscribe!
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.
• Later App
• Plan That
Find Heather On...
JOIN THE CRU
SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST
SEE THE SHOW NOTES
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…
SUBSCRIBE TO THEIR PODCAST
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.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST
LEAVE A REVIEW
JOIN THE CRU
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.
SEE THE SHOW NOTES HERE:
GET 10% OFF FROM EPISODE SPONSOR, BRICK & MORTAR AND DELTA WINES WHEN YOU SHOP NOW! ENTRE CODE CRU AT CHECKOUT.
LEAVE A REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS
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
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!
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).