Behind the Bruliam Curtain
Yes, we felt the bewilderment in your posted comments and heard the gasps through your text. And, to answer the $6 million question, no we did not buy a vineyard or winery. But, our wine isn't a bottle of generic house red with a "Bruliam" label slapped on it either. In fact, the production of many wines today, especially small yield, highly exalted, hard-to-get "cult" wines, is partially or fully outsourced.
Either: i) a grape grower borrows/leases wine making equipment from a production facility (a winery) to turn his grapes into wine; ii) a wine producer (a vintner) buys grapes from a grower and uses his own equipment to make wine; or iii) a third party both buys grapes from a grower and borrows/leases equipment from a winery to make wine. From 2 Buck Chuck up the ladder of wine evolution to the most acclaimed Bordeaux style blend, this is how much of the wine you buy and drink is made.
Bruliam falls into the third category. We are both buying grapes and leasing production facilities. Even with this mostly outsourced approach, the feasibility of our business plan would be impossible without a San Francisco company called CrushPad. CrushPad enables both individuals and business to produce wine for either personal consumption or commercial sale. In addition to helping source grapes and overseeing wine production, they handle all of the legal and commercial nuts and bolts (licensing, fulfillment, storage, etc.). This includes mundane things like storing all of our 600 bottles in a temperature controlled facility and more technical ones like ensuring the "warning" edict and sulfite verbage on our label is to standard.
You can see a short video of our production facilities here:
OK, so I'm no Scorsese.
But the question remains - if all of the grunt work is outsourced, what do we do? We have a two-tiered role in this process. Our first and most fundamental job is to envision the pinot of our dreams and ensure that all of the 40+ wine-making steps/decisions work in harmony to deliver that perfect libation. Our secondary job (which is probably the most important job of any winemaker) is to market, market, market and sell, sell, sell!
In future entries look for us to wax poetic about our desired wine style and why we think pinot is da bomb (yeah, I said it). But we'll also try to show you how we'll get from dreamy, poetic yearnings to actual juice in the bottle.
As for our second role, you're reading this aren't you?