August 22, 2015

Sponsored: Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Columbia Crest. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have to say, I love how the internet brings niche communities together. I have seen so many neat ideas on IndieGogo and Kickstarter that are happening because tons of people thought they were worth it – rather than it being up to the say of some corporate executive who might not truly understand a niche audience. I mean, I do enjoy watching Shark Tank – but sometimes there are ideas that are off-the-wall to the execs (and me), but you know that someone out there would love it. Recently, I heard about another neat way to use crowdsourcing: to develop a unique commercially-produced wine.

Last year, Columbia Crest became the first winery to begin the process of crowdsourcing a wine. Using weekly votes on, anyone could weigh in on how the grapes were tendered, irrigated, harvested, and blended. It was basically the group’s chance to play winemaker, since they were also provided with weather analytics, season-by-season data, and time-lapse camera shots of individual grapes. Even though I know a good bit about the winemaking process, I honestly would have no idea what to do with all that detailed information, but Columbia Crest’s head winemaker also weighed in with advice that helped steer the group.

Fun fact: Adam has a vertical of the Columbia Crest Merlot, from 2001-2007. How fun will that be to someday try them all together and compare the vintages??

The wine isn’t quite ready to drink yet – it’s aging in barrels. Columbia Crest used an entire acre of their estate vineyard for this experiment, so there should be plenty of the crowdsourced wine to go around. However, the 2014 crowdsourced vintage was so popular that Columbia Crest is running the crowdsourcing again with a 2015 vintage – which they’ve expanded to five acres of grapes. How cool is that?!

To help with the 2015 vintage, Columbia Crest is hosting another crowdsourcing event. This time, it’s a contest to select an “Executive Crowdsourcing Officer”. The ECO will serve as an ambassador for the online crowdsourcing community, and get to travel to Columbia Crest Winery to work alongside head winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca in creating the 2015 vintage. (Plus, they get a $2,500 prize!) The ECO’s experience will be filmed so that the rest of the crowdsourcing community can follow along with the behind-the-scenes look at production – kind of like reality TV for wine.

I heard about this a little late, as the contest ends on Tuesday, so don’t miss your chance to weigh in on picking the new ECO. You can go to to vote, and then check back to see who the winner is and their videos of production. Who knows – maybe this will become a trend and we’ll start getting a say in the production of more food and drinks? It’s definitely an interesting way to find out what customers really want instead of what companies think they want.

Disclaimer: Columbia Crest is compensating me for publicizing their ECO contest; however, Adam has been a fan of Columbia Crest long before they reached out to me, and I truly think the idea of crowdsourced wine is a neat one!


4 thoughts on “Sponsored: Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet”

  1. This is really interesting! I’m obviously a huge fan of wine but have no idea where to begin when it comes to growing grapes, the harvesting method, etc. hopefully I’m not too late to click over and check it out!

  2. When ARE we doing to open all of that Columbia Crest wine that I have? most of it is WELL past it’s “best by” time period. I would think that those are only good for 5-7 years which means that even the newest ones are pushing “too old” territory!!!

    Something to discuss while relaxing in Sonoma with a wine glass in our hands.

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