Happy Birthday Bruliam!
It's hard to believe that it's been a full year since we launched this site and announced our plans to create our very own wine. And what a year it has been!
To celebrate we're going to take a couple weeks off from our regular publishing schedule. While we're gone, make sure to vote in our month-end Brigade picture contest and look for new posts starting the week of July 13th.
Before we go, we wanted to reminisce about some of the highlights of this past year. If you're a newer member of the family, this will catch you up on our shenanigans. And if you've been following us since the beginning, hopefully this will be a fun walk down memory lane.
First up, some of our favorite posts from the past year:
Behind the Bruliam Curtain - we reveal for the first time how we plan to pull this off.
How Proper is Your Pinot - one of our most popular posts, generating a ton of Google traffic for the site. I guess we're not the only ones confused on whether to capitalize wine varietals.
Salmon with Pinot Sauce and Pocket Pinot Chicken. Kerith put up a number of great cooking videos this year, but the Salmon with Pinot Sauce and the Pocket Pinot Chicken recipes were the most widely read and used by readers.
It's A Small World (After All) - we recount how we were charmed by a dunce-wearing Italian gnome twice in one weekend.
Slow Down and Wait For Me! - Kerith magically ties together toddler tantrums and fermentation.
If You Smell Smoke, It Must Be a Campfire - few posts elicited as much response as Kerith's post about her hatred of camping (specifically the "sh*t in a box" part) and how it reminded her of our smoke-tainted grapes.
Take The Cannoli - your unimpeachable hosts make lemonade out of lemons by "recycling" a cast-out case of wine.
Get A Job - Kerith confronts a career crisis brought about by our 5-year old.
Under My Uccelliera, -era, -era - we recount our adventures in Italy that led to a 97-point Wine Spectator score and an unusual baby name.
Next, a shout out to the Brigade:
If you haven't checked out the line-up of Brigade pictures lately, click here for a refresher.
In the past year we've had submissions from all over North America as well as pictures from Asia (Thailand and Vietnam), South America (Brazil), Europe (Germany, Italy, and even underwater in Spain), Africa (Zambia), and Australia.
But, we're greedy and we still need more! If you have a Bruliam shirt, snap a picture and send it in. If you haven't gotten your shirt yet, complete the form here and we'll get you one ASAP.
A word on the charitable aspects of Bruliam Wines:
We decided early on to donate 100% of the profits from this venture to charity. You can see some of the charities we already support through our foundation here.
As we've waited for wine to sell to generate those profits, we've been giving away $250 monthly charity prizes to winners of our Brigade picture contests. By the end of June we'll have given away a total of $2,500 to a number of great charities picked by our Brigade members. You can see them those charities by scrolling through the Brigade page. We're thrilled to have partnered with you to support such great causes over the past year and we encourage you to continue sending in pictures for more chances to win money for your favorite charity.
So, what's next?
We'll be bottling our 2008 Doctor's Vineyard Pinot Noir in August and our 2008 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir in October.
You may have noticed that we made some changes to our website by adding the Our Wines tab to highlight our two 2008 pinots. We plan to overhaul that page over the summer so that we can actually start accepting pre-orders for the wines (we'll firm up the dates after bottling, but the deliveries will roughly be scheduled for late 2009 / early 2010).
Our 2009 growing season is already in full swing. When we hit September, it's going to be even busier than last year with grapes from three vineyards to sort, ferment, and press. Should be a lot of fun - and, just like last year, we'll be extending an open invitation to all Brigade members to come join us at the winery for some messy manual labor (and wine tasting).
A parting favor:
With wine sales looming on the horizon, we need your help spreading the word about Bruliam Wines. If you've enjoyed following our story so far, why not share us with friends? Forward this e-mail to anyone you know who you think may want to join in the fun or simply send them the link below so that they can sign up to start receiving our e-mail updates:
Kerith and I want to thank you all for your support an encouragement over the past year. We're looking forward to sharing the next stage of our adventure with you.