Today marks the release of Columbia Crest’s 2014 Crowdsourced™ Cabernet, the first wine to be crowdsourced all the way from the vineyard to the bottle. In this unique project, Columbia Crest, invited the public to vote on key winemaking decisions that impacted the creation of the wine. The result is a wine that’s truly the product of the crowd.
In June 2014, Columbia Crest embarked on a journey to become the first winery to crowdsource a wine from vineyard to table through a unique interactive online experience on CrowdsourcedCabernet.com. Everything from bud break, harvest, fermentation, the final blend, and even the label was put in the hands of the online community for an educational, fun and trailblazing adventure in winemaking.
Over the last two years, the Crowdsourced Cabernet process empowered fans and wine enthusiasts to make decisions throughout every step of creating the wine and through their participation gain a deeper understanding and connection to the craft and skill of winemaking. Columbia Crest’s head winemaker, Juan Muñoz-Oca, played an integral role in the program by educating and guiding the crowd along the way, from how much water to apply to the vines, to how the temperature outside impacts harvest, to how different varietals shape the aromas and flavors in the blending process.
In a near perfect harvest, the crowd chose to harvest at night, create a wine with a lot of complexity yet soft tannins and age it 16 months in 30% new oak barrels. The result is a beautifully integrated and layered Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills. The 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvignon has a delicate nose of tobacco, dried herbs, bright cherries and anise. On the palate, the wine develops warm blueberry pie flavors and a silky texture with dark chocolate and toffee undertones. It finishes with a bright, elegant and refined texture.
“The 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet is definitively a Columbia Crest wine, yet a new take on our terroir based on the crowd’s decisions. To me, it’s a balance of ‘old world’ sensitivities with ‘new world’ fruit,” said Muñoz-Oca. “We loved the whole process and getting a chance to interact with and educate our fans over the past two years. I’m immensely proud of our virtual winemakers’ final product and I am excited for the rest of the world to taste our one-of-a-kind wine.”
Approximately 1,000 cases of the 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet are now available for purchase in the U.S., exclusively online at ColumbiaCrest.com/shop and in the Columbia Crest tasting room in Paterson, Washington, and retails for $30 per bottle.
It’s not over! The 2015 vintage of Crowdsourced Cabernet still has decisions left to be made. To place a vote and impact the next vintage, visit CrowdsourcedCabernet.com. For more information, follow Columbia Crest Winery on Facebook (@columbiacrestwinery), Twitter (@columbiacrest), and Instagram (@columbiacrest), or online at Columbia Crest.com. Join in the conversations online with #CrowdsourcedCab.
About Columbia Crest Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington State’s emergence as a world-class wine region. In 2009, Wine Spectator magazine named the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the No. 1 Wine in the World on its Top 100 list, the first time a wine from Washington State has received the ranking. More information about the winery can be found at columbiacrest.com.