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Fidelitas Wines


 

Bryce Appleby
 
July 10, 2020 | Bryce Appleby

The New Normal on Red Mountain

Hello to all of you amazing, Fidelitas wine loving folk out there! My name is Bryce and I have been a part of the Red Mountain Management team for over a year now. Which means that if you have been to the tasting room here in Benton City, that we have likely crossed paths, I've told you jokes, poured you wine and likely shook your hand or given you a hug. Nothing brings me more joy than to share these amazing wines with new friends. These past few months have been interesting to say the least. We closed our doors to the public due to a pandemic, despite this and due to the continued support from our amazing guests, we were able to keep the thumb twiddling to a minimum. We shipped out so much wine to you folks that I personally went down a pant size! (ok not really but it was a ton of wine) 

After about 4 months of packing boxes, typing on computers and making phone calls, we have been given the opportunity to move to phase 1.5 which means that we are now able to host small groups on our patio! TASTINGS! YAY! I can honestly say that I haven't been this excited about anything for a long time! Sunshine, tunes, patio hangs, amazing views and even better wines are definitely in our near future! With that being said, we take the safety of our Team and Guests very seriously and will be following very strict guidelines to ensure that everyone stays healthy. You know, so we can drink more wine together! 

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Reservations required.

We are able to host groups of 5 or less and will be staggering reservations to meet social distancing requirements. In our current phase, we are able to welcome guests on the patio. Reservations are for one hour and there is no indoor seating or bar service. Book online or call 509.588.3469.

We are wearing masks…and ask that you do too.

Per Washington State guidelines, guests are asked to wear a mask any time that they are not seated at their designated table. Fidelitas Team Members will be wearing masks at all times.

Social Distancing is in effect.

Tables have been laid out to ensure 6’ distancing between parties. Please limit movement on the property.

Select wines are available.

During the early reopening phases, we are offering a 3-wine flight that is complimentary for Club or $15 for guests, along with glass pours and bottle sales. Curbside pick-up remains available and you can book in advance HERE.

Sanitize, clean, sanitize, repeat.

Please sanitize your hands upon entry. Fidelitas has adopted increased cleaning and sanitization practices between all visitors.

Please leave food and pets at home.

At this time, we are unable to accommodate outside food and picnicking.

 

Honestly, the hardest part about the stay at home order was not chatting with all of my Fidelitas friends! I am so excited to spend some time and share these amazing wines and views with you! 

See you soon,

Bryce Appleby

Time Posted: Jul 10, 2020 at 12:38 PM
Jess Zander
 
July 1, 2020 | Jess Zander

Summer Virtual Tastings

While are starting to be able to host some visitors in Woodinville – and perhaps Red Mountain in the near future – we have found that our virtual tastings are such a fun way to connect with Fidelitas fans, near and far. None of us are going on any big trips anytime soon, so we thought it’d be fun to bring Red Mountain to you! See below for details on upcoming virtual tastings, excursions, and videos from Team Fidelitas.

July 9: Virtual Tasting Room with Bryce. We all miss tasting on Red Mountain and Bryce misses you. Let him host you for a virtual wine tasting on the Red Mountain patio, complete with a trip through the vines. On Instagram Live at 5pm.

July 16: Red Mountain vs. Napa. It's one of Charlie's favorite places to visit. We're putting Napa Cabs against Fidelitas Red Mountain Cabs to find out where they are different...and the same. To be hosted via Zoom webinar at 5pm. To register, EMAIL US.

July 24: Fireside Chat with Charlie and Will. Gather (distantly) around the Fidelitas firepit to hear Charlie chat about how Fidelitas came to be on Red Mountain and what may lie ahead in the future. On Instagram and Facebook at 5pm. Send us your questions in advance!

July 30: Red Mountain and Bordeaux-style Wine with Karen MacNeil. Auction of Washington Wines Honorary Chair and The Wine Bible Author, Karen MacNeil, is hosting a series of Virtual Tastings across the Washington Wine Industry. On July 30, join Charlie, along with Darel Allwine (Col Solare) and Chris Sparkman (Sparkman Cellars) to chat with Karen about Red Mountain and its coveted Bordeaux-style wines. Hosted at 4pm. Learn more and register on the Auction of Washington Wines site.

August 6: The Canyons Vineyard Malbec. This is perhaps one of our most coveted releases each year and is limited to just 98 cases, so doesn’t last long. Hear from Charlie on why he continues to be drawn to this unique block of Malbec on Red Mountain and how it stands apart from our other Red Mountain Malbecs. Don’t forget to grab a bottle (or a case!) in advance. The 2017 Canyons Vineyard Malbec goes on sales July 29. Hosted at 5pm on Instagram Live.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 11:42 AM
Jess Zander
 
June 11, 2020 | Jess Zander

OPEN in Woodinville!

 

 

We're open! But things are a little different. Here is what you need to know prior to visiting:

Reservations required.

We are able to host groups of 5 or less and will be staggering reservations to meet social distancing requirements. In our current phase, we can host a total of 10 guests indoors and 4 guests on the patio in Woodinville, and appointments are for 1 hour. Book online or call 425.558.9001

We are wearing masks…and ask that you do too.

Per Washington State guidelines, guests are asked to wear a mask any time that they are not seated at their designated table. Fidelitas Team Members will be wearing masks at all times.

Social Distancing is in effect.

Tables have been laid out to ensure 6’ distancing between parties. Please limit movement throughout the building.

Select wines are available.

During the early reopening phases, we are offering a 3-wine flight that is complimentary for Club or $15 for guests, along with glass pours and bottle sales. Curbside pick-up remains available and you can book in advance HERE.

Sanitize, clean, sanitize, repeat.

Please sanitize your hands upon entry. Fidelitas has adopted increased cleaning and sanitization practices between all visitors.

Please leave food and pets at home.

At this time, we are unable to accommodate outside food and picnicking.


Fidelitas Woodinville - 11am to 5pm, daily

14467 Woodinville Redmond Road NE | Woodinville, WA | 98072

425.558.9001 | woodinville@fidelitaswines.com

Time Posted: Jun 11, 2020 at 9:08 AM
Jess Zander
 
May 5, 2020 | Jess Zander

Fidelitas is OPEN...just not as usual

Fidelitas is OPEN…just not as usual.

At Fidelitas, we are faithful, loyal, and true, and this means prioritizing the health and safety of our Team, our fans, and our greater communities on both sides of the state. In the era of “Stay Home, Stay Safe”, wineries have been lucky enough to be deemed an essential business, with several safety precautions taken. And while we are so fortunate as a small business to keep our doors open in a modified fashion, to keep many staff members employed, and to be able to continue sharing wine (because, we all need a glass right about now!), we are doing so with safety as a top priority.

In addition to increasing our established cleaning regimen, and limiting contact between staff and customers, we are asking that all team members self-certify their own health before coming to work. All Team Fidelitas members have confirmed that they are healthy (no fever or symptoms of any type of illness), they have not had contact with anyone who is ill, and they have not traveled to areas deemed high-risk. We are asking that all visitors do the same.

With these precautions in place, we pleased to offer contactless delivery in both locations. We may place an order ONLINE for tasting room pick up or just give us a call.

RED MOUNTAIN: 11am to 5pm, daily

  • Please call ahead (509.588.3469) to arrange your pick-up date and time. We’ll confirm any outstanding Club allocations and add-on orders at that time.
  • Once you arrive, call us (509.588.3469) to let us know you are in the parking lot. No need to come in! We’ll grab your wines with freshly cleaned hands and bring them directly to your car.

WOODINVILLE: 11am to 5pm, daily

  • Please call ahead (425.558.9001) to arrange your pick-up date and time. We’ll confirm any outstanding Club allocations and add-on orders at that time.
  • Once you arrive, come to the roll-up door or main door. Your wines will be packed and labeled with your name for you to pick-up. If you’d rather not come to the door, just give us a call.

       

 

We so value your support as Fidelitas fans. As a small business who relies on visitors coming through the doors - especially during the spring and summer - we appreciate all of you who are supporting us during the months of closures.

Time Posted: May 5, 2020 at 8:33 AM
Jess Zander
 
April 21, 2020 | Jess Zander

Virtual Tasting Series

As the spring of 2020 wears on, we seem to be getting into a bit of a routine: wake up, drink coffee, do some work, drink some wine, go to bed. The added bonus is that on Thursdays, we get to do virtual tastings, which are really just a good excuse to learn something will drinking wine.

So many kudos to Will for really spearheading these tastings. We’ve been learning and making adjustments and trying new things along the way. In all honesty, none of us know when we won’t be at home, searching for fun activities to pass the days. But what we do know is that these tastings are a great way to connect with Fidelitas fans all over the country, and we’re having a lot of fun hosting them. So, here is a summary of our next 4 Thursdays:

Thursday, April 23: a discussion of barrel selection and aging with Charlie and Mitch. This is a great opportunity to open a special wine from the cellar. Maybe go for a big Cabernet and see if you can get any of the oak treatment notes that they’ll be talking about. I think I’ll try to find a Red Mountain Cabernet from either 2009 or 2012 and pair it with pasta puttanesca, since I have all of that stuff in the cupboards, and no intention of going to the store this week. On Fidelitas Facebook and Instagram at 5pm.

Thursday, April 30: Will is chatting about unusual BBQ wine pairings, featuring the Optu White Wine, Red Mountain Merlot, and Ciel du Cheval Merlot. If you have a trip to the store planned, do it this week and see if you can grab some extra fun groceries. Call it a splurge away from rice and beans. Here is what I’m thinking of:

  • Optu White Wine with Grilled Herb Shrimp. This Barefoot Contessa recipe is such an oldie but a goodie. I make it at least once per summer. With the mango salsa, it honestly might be a perfect pairing for the Optu White.
  • Red Mountain Merlot with Grilled Sausages and Veggies. In my house, these ingredients are pantry staples. The Red Mountain Merlot is fairly bright, making it a great companion to those zesty veggies.
  • Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Merlot with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms. In contrast to the Red Mountain Merlot, Ciel du Cheval gives us lovely soft and earthy tones, complimented by the earthy mushrooms and rosemary. Use the mushroom in place of a burger, on top of a burger, on top of polenta, or by itself.

This event is happening on the Red Mountain AVA’s Facebook Live at 5pm.

Thursday, May 7: Charlie and Will chat varietal and vineyard blending with Optu Red Mountain and 4040 Red Wine. I’m not going to lie, you can definitely pick whatever vintage you have of either of these wines for the tasting. It’s all about blending, so vintage won’t matter. However, the 2017 vintage of Optu Red Mountain is close to one of the best I’ve ever had. I’m thinking that Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri is going to be awesome to enjoy with the rest of that bottle after the tasting is done. Fidelitas Instagram Live at 5pm.

Thursday, May 14: We're focusing on single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. Again – and I might be biased – I feel like this 2017 vintage is just amazing. Talking blends is fun, but there is something so intriguing and focused about single vineyard and single varietal wines. It might be a good excuse to try Charlie’s favorite: Ribeye Steaks and Broccolini. Fidelitas Instagram Live at 5pm.

 

Stay safe, everyone! We cannot wait to see you at one of these tastings in the near future, and in person not long after.

 

Time Posted: Apr 21, 2020 at 11:21 AM
Jess Zander
 
April 8, 2020 | Jess Zander

#SipGlocal: Taking a Moment to Reflect

It’s been a bit since we last posted. Sometimes it’s hard to know the right words to say. However, our friends in the Washington Wine Industry kickstarted “SipGlocal”, which encourages us all to sit down and spend some time reflecting and writing with a bottle of wine. Once the letter is done, roll it up, place it in the bottle, and save it for another day.

 

Wine is a different kind of industry. It’s not a ‘make today, sell tomorrow’ kind of product.

At Fidelitas, we are just starting to release our red wines from the 2017 vintage. Three years ago, in the spring of 2017, I was 6 months pregnant with my second child. Charlie and I were working together to determine which grapes he’d source later that year and he then worked with growers to secure blocks of the perfect fruit. By that fall, my daughter was a few months old, and Charlie was deep into harvest, bringing in fruit and working long, long days in the cellar. For weeks on end, he cared for these wines before nestling them in their perfectly matched barrels where they’d hang out for the next couple of years.

In the winter of 2018, my daughter was going from walking to running, and Charlie was starting to put the blends together for his 2017 reds. We carefully charted out the exact number of cases to make of each product, knowing that we got to share them with our members later on. The following months, I was ordering glass, working with screen printers, and sourcing our corks. In the summer of 2019, about the same time that Charlie was bottling, we were celebrating my daughter’s second birthday. Finally, this spring, just after she was settling in at preschool, we are ready to share the 2017 reds with our members – passing them from our house to yours.

For three years, we’ve been working towards the point of sharing these wines, but suddenly, we’re doing so at such an uncertain time. Do we all want the wine on days like this? Of course! But as an individual, a mom, and someone who runs a small business, I know everyone is thinking about their priorities right now.

In writing this, I’ve learned that it is an emotional exercise to ponder all that has happened in the past three years. Even more emotional, is pondering what is coming in the next three.

What I do know is that we are more than fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing base of fans and customers. Life may look pretty different for a while, and that is okay. It’s a great time to get to the bottom of our to do list and to open a few awesome bottles from the cellar. And when we are able to leave our houses, go back to the tasting rooms, share wine with friends, we get to shape those interactions to be intentional and meaningful. Who knew that being so distanced from one another would be the thing that actually connects us and brings us closer than ever?

Time Posted: Apr 8, 2020 at 8:47 AM
Will Hoppes
 
March 3, 2020 | Will Hoppes

Gaining a Better Understanding for the Fidelitas Estate

Last week we met up with Dick Boushey to taste through samples of all the vineyard blocks in the Estate from Harvest 2019 to see how things are coming along.  Blocks 1-3A, our 2008 planting, were tasting just as good as ever and there were a few surprises from the newer plantings, blocks 3B-12.  A couple blocks in particular that stood out for their complexity and concentration were Cabernets from blocks 7 & 8 (clones 2 and 169).  Now that these 2015 plantings are more mature and we're able to conduct a better comparison to the 2008 plantings, it got me thinking that we talk about the subtle differences of different vineyard partners all the time but haven't looked more deeply into the differences of the blocks within our own Estate vineyard.

The very peak of Red Mountain is around 1,400 ft and slopes down to about 600 ft as the bottom of the AVA boundary approaches the Yakima River.  Our Estate, which is at the center of the AVA, sits at around 720 feet from the vantage point of our back patio (looking towards the SW at the Horse Heaven Hills):

Now onto the subtle differences - here's some elevation readings from different points around the Estate:

As you can see the Estate follows the gradual South-Western facing slope, with a slight dip in the middle at blocks 2 through 3B, similar to the main part of Red Mountain and is steeper on the Southern blocks, 7-12.

(http://www.everyvine.com/org/Fidelitas/vineyard/Fidelitas_Estate_Vineyard/

In fact in some areas the slope is more true Southern facing like we see in some of our favorite blocks on Red Mountain that go into our Quintessence Cabernet and offer some of the most concentration of flavor and color of any wines we make.

View from the middle of the vineyard looking back at the tasting room:

View from the Merlot block looking back at gentle SW slope towards the tasting room:

View from the back of Block 7 (Cab Sauv, Clone 2) looking South:

Looking South at Block 8 (Cab Sauv, Clone 169), note the gradual slope which gets steeper as you get further South.  Both blocks 7 & 8 stood out in our Estate tasting for their depth and concentration.  We're excited to see how these wines mature for blending later this year and the future harvests off these blocks!

 

 

Time Posted: Mar 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Alexandra Hager
 
February 20, 2020 | Alexandra Hager

Importance of the Blend

While we begin to pour the 2017 vintage, Charlie is gearing up for the upcoming 2020 harvest, letting the 2019’s receives some much-needed beauty sleep, and considering blends for the 2018 vintage.  I sat down with Charlie earlier this week and picked his mind about the importance of blending, the newest releases, and the process. 

"A blend is the truest form of the best wine you can make." Charlie always looks for what he likes. “I don’t necessarily make blends for an end consumer; I make blends that appeal to my palate and hope others like it- apparently, they do. In Bordeaux, it’s always a blend and you’re not asking what it's a blend of. But if there’s any artistry in winemaking, it’s blending. Another winemaker could take the exact same fruit and create a completly different wine."

The 2017 ‘Blends’

The only wine made in 2000, and every year since- the Optu Red Mountain. This is the 17thvintage, and the 18threlease of this wine. What started out as the Meritage, eventually became Optu. "There is no recipe, but it’s always Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, with a few vintage exceptions." Charlie shoots for 75% Cabernet. He adds "Merlot for depth and length, Petit Verdot for concentration and structure, and Cabernet Franc for finesse and softening." 

Charlie tries to differentiate our Cabernets by not only vineyards, but clones. The 2017 Red Mountain Cabernet is a blend of vineyards (62% Quintessence Vineyard + 38% Estate Vineyard) but a singular clone. With his favorite varietal, Merlot, he experiments with different vineyard sites, including Blackwood Canyon’s newer plantings to the north of the tasting room. He also blends fruit from Red Mountain Vineyard, Kiona's Estate, and Quintessence for this wine. 

The Blending Process

Blending begins over Christmas break, when the cellar is empty. Every single barrel is then laid out across the entire cellar floor, two barrels high. Then Charlie, Mitch, and Will taste everything, and Charlie starts piecing the blends together in his head. Charlie admits that although they can have different perspectives and opinions on some of the wines, someone has to make the final call and that's him. 

Over about three days, Charlie and the team spends hours tasting through everything. In about 2 hours, they’ll taste through 20-30 wines before their palates become fatigued. Because the cellar crew isn’t around, they aren’t shy about spitting in the drain that runs the length of the cellar floor. 

Everything is separated not only by varietal and vineyard site, but by fermentation vessel used, and oak treatment. There are a lot of variables, but everything is accounted for. With this, Charlie and the team can tinker with what juice they prefer in each. For example, the team has learned that Clone 169 Cabernet in a roller barrel leads to over extraction. This is because the ‘cap’ of the wine is constantly submerged. The fermentation kinetics lead to the wine being overly tannic. Even when a wine that is being poured in the tasting room is labeled as a single varietal, single vineyard, there is still a ‘blend’ of fermentation styles and oaks that needs to be determined. He works at refining the fermentation and barrel program while also determining the blends that will come to life. 

Charlie is constantly improving the production of Fidelitas wines. This continuous improvement, always leads us and Charlie to the affirmation that our best vintage is yet to come. 

Time Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 1:16 PM
Therese Hering
 
February 12, 2020 | Therese Hering

The Optimal Blend: Charlie Hoppes + Red Mountain

There are many beautiful wines being made here in Washington state – the compilation of so many talented wine makers using fruit from various Washington AVA’s.  But in my opinion, the combination of Charlie Hoppes, our winemaker, and Red Mountain is a union that simply can’t be beat.  Here’s why. 

Charlie has been making wine in Washington state for over 33 years but his passion for Red Mountain all started in 1989, the very same day his first daughter was born.  He was pouring wines at Kiona’s Lemberger days for Langguth Winery.  There he tasted his first Red Mountain Cabernet from Kiona – the structure, that intense fruit and distinctive minerality!  It was extraordinary and that started his love affair with Red Mountain.  In those early days there simply was not enough fruit grown on Red Mountain to start a winery sourced solely on that fruit.  But that didn’t stop Charlie from ultimately pursuing that dream.  It took him a few years, but Fidelitas now sources ALL it’s fruit from Red Mountain vineyard partners, and most notably, our Estate vineyard that yields more and more fruit for our lineup of wines. 

Today, Charlie takes his years of experience in the cellar and combines that with relationships he has built over these 33 years with people like Marshall Edwards (Quintessence Vineyard Manager), Dick Boushey (of Boushey Vineyards in Yakima and our Estate manager) and the Holmes family at iconic Ciel du Cheval Vineyard.  All those relationships are key to sourcing the BEST fruit on Red Mountain, which Charlie usually designates block by block and sometimes row by row.  Being a talented wine maker simply isn’t enough to make impeccable wine – it takes extraordinary fruit and knowing exactly where that is on Red Mountain and having the handshake relationships to source it. 

So that leads us to Red Mountain and what makes it a World Class AVA. Red Mountain is located NOT in Walla Walla, but about 15 miles west of Richland, WA.  Spread the word, Red Mountain is ON THE WAY TO Walla Walla, not IN Walla Walla and deserves a detour off I-82! 

Want to visit tasting rooms actually in the vineyards?  Google Maps to Fidelitas Red Mountain.  You can thank me later.  Red Mountain is getting worldwide attention for good reason.  It produces killer fruit showing wines with great depth, structure and ageability.  Here’s why:

  • The Missoula Floods Created Red Mountain – these are cataclysmic floods that occurred at the end of the Ice Age.  The repeated 400-foot torrents down the Clark Fork and Columbia River collected in eddies and valleys and dropped sediment.  Depositing everything from large boulders to microscopic silt and everything in between.  The deposits are deep, meaning low nutrients and well-drained soil.  For vineyards, THIS IS THE PERFECT TERROIR.   The vines grow very deep roots to collect nutrients and water.  And a vine that struggles to survive, gives EVERYTHING to the fruit not the leaf structure or canopy.
  • Hot, Hot Hot!  Eastern Washington is high desert and gets over 300 days of sun.  But Red Mountain’s heat accumulation is the highest in the state.  Meaning consistently, fully ripe fruit year to year.  Only 6”-8” of rainfall annually means the grower can control “starving” the vine with fine-tuned irrigation and that means the ability to achieve CONSISTENT quality from vintage to vintage.
  • Consistent Winds and Southwest Facing Slope – the prevailing winds come out of the SW and are notorious for their frequency and velocity.  Red Mountain is at the end of the wind tunnel of the Yakima Valley that causes the wind to constantly blow and in very strong gusts.  That creates an environment where the grape clusters stay quite small and have thicker skins to protect the seeds within.  A savvy winemaker knows that will mean concentrated flavors of the fruit, richness and intensity.  (Ok, now I’m dying for a glass. If you haven’t pulled the cork on that bottle of Fidelitas yet, then you must be a beer drinker.)
  • The Best of Old World Meets New World – it’s true.  Red Mountain fruit exemplifies the New World ripeness of flavor from wine regions like California and Australia yet combines that with an Old-World acid and tannin structure like France and Italy.  Who says you can’t have it all?

And that my friends is why Red Mountain is at the heart of Fidelitas.  It just doesn’t get any better than this.  So, stop in at either of our tasting rooms in Woodinville or on Red Mountain, and we’ll happily pour you some of the best wine in WA.  Not in our wine club family yet?  That’s a shame because many of the wines being released this year are from one of the very best vintages for Fidelitas and only available to our club members.  Come join us!

Time Posted: Feb 12, 2020 at 9:31 AM
Jess Zander
 
February 7, 2020 | Jess Zander

Top Reasons We Love Custom Clubs

Yesterday, I was interviewed on what we call custom clubs or user choice clubs. Basically, the style of the Fidelitas Wine Club, where we are encouraging our members to select the wines that will go into their allocations. Once I got off the call, I sat back and thought about why this is such a unique model and how it truly does benefit our members.

Touting the benefits of custom clubs is nothing new on this blog. We wrote about it just last November and again back in 2018 when we brought our third Club with the most members over to this Club style. My apologies if it is getting redundant. We are JUST THAT EXCITED about giving our members the option to select their own allocations. Top reasons we love selling wine via Custom Club:

Our members get what they want.

We used to have members we would hand-customize their shipments because they didn’t want the Merlot (which is crazy because Charlie’s Merlots are out of this world) or even Cabernet (which might be even crazier). We’ll always release a variety of wines that are available to customize with so members can still get a variety, but only with the wines they really like.

The selections go beyond just varietals, though. I recently realized that this gives people the power to buy wines how they want to drink them. If you like to drink your wines sooner than later, and love a sampling of different things, grab one bottle of each new release. If you have an awesome cellar, go all in on your favorite one for your allocation and then round up to a case with a few more plus some daily drinkers for variety. Charlie and I both love to check in with one wine year after year just to see how it’s maturing in the bottle.

We also realize that what a lot of people want is to not make any choices at all, and we can totally do that. You know you like the wines, and we are more than happy to build an allocation for you.

We can design wines with the Club in mind.

This is one of my favorite things about Fidelitas. Many wineries may be scared of selling via Custom Club because it doesn’t fit with the wines that they are already making. However, we are making wines that we know our members are going to love, no matter the amount of cases produced, and allow these small lots to be sold via Club allocations because it is first come, first served. Once those 48 cases of Clone 191 are gone, they are gone but the members who really wanted them made sure to get them!

I’ve talked about this many times over the years. Charlie, like pretty much any winemaker I’ve ever met, is a sort of mad scientist. And he looooves making wines. Like, wants to make little tiny lots of everything and has an amazing knack for knowing what people are going to want in three years. This is how we end up with 48, 96, 142, 244 case lots. Allowing members to put these tiny production wines in their Club allocations guarantees that Charlie gets to make those amazing wines and members don’t necessarily have to buy above and beyond their allocation to enjoy them (although, as stated above, you should get more because once they are gone, they’re gone).

Further, “Club-exclusive” is a common thing to see at wineries.  However, I realized that it is so much more than that at Fidelitas.  One of part of my job is to work with Charlie and design how our releases will look up to 3 years in advance.  Already, we are talking about which wines we want to make from grapes that will be harvested this upcoming fall.  That means, we are having discussions about how much fruit to buy 5 months from now to make a wine that won’t be released until 3 years from now.  We are looking at spreadsheets, and forecasts, and weather patterns, just to determine what wines we’ll make for just our Club members.  This isn’t an after the fact decision.  The wines available in your Club selections are truly chosen by Charlie 3+ years before you will take it home.  Over the course of those 3 years, Charlie is ensuring that wine in your allocation is “one of the best we’ve ever made” (one of our favorite Charlie-isms).

Custom Clubs allow us to interact with our members in all new ways.

This is kind of a unique topic that I’ve been exploring. However, in 2019 we sold 75% of all wine to members and roughly 14 products never made it beyond the Club to even the tasting rooms. So – if a wine isn’t being poured in the tasting room, how do we know if people will like it?

Running Custom clubs for a few years now means that our team has really gotten to know our Club: their likes and dislikes, and how much they are wanting to take in each offering. Skye spends hours a day on the phone chatting with members to hear how past vintages are tasting now and helping them to select the wines that they’ll be taking home. In the tasting rooms, Team Fidelitas is sitting down with members to chat through each release to ensure that members are securing the want, and then diligently getting those orders fulfilled and sent home weeks later. It’s a little different than the traditional tasting room model, but gives our members a much more personal experience.

 

I can’t wait to release these new wines and will be spending next week on Red Mountain making sure that the exact right selections are making their way to their forever home. Enjoy them once they arrive!

 

Time Posted: Feb 7, 2020 at 9:20 AM