The Society of Smuggler’s

Barrel Program

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Barrel Program

What’s In A Barrel?

A barrel is approximately 24 cases or 288 bottles, just enough for you, your friends, and your personal causes. If 24 cases seems like too much wine, (especially if you want to make this an annual thing), you can collaborate on a barrel with up to two other partners. You can bring a group of friends to share in the fun, or we can see about connecting you with another Barrel Blender interested in sharing. When you share, you’ll have to agree on the blend (we can’t physically split the barrel) but each of you will still get to create your own unique label and package (for a minimum of 8 cases each).

Barrel Program

Winemaking & Vintner

After the new vintage of wines are resting in the cave, you’ll join us, along with a small cohort of aficionados at the winery for the Barrel Program Weekend. Vintner, John Caldwell and Winemaker, Marc Gagnon will guide you through a tasting of the entire vintage, while sharing insider details about the art of blending wine. Once you’re thoroughly sated, we’ll put you to work – beaker in hand – to start crafting your own custom blend. Once you’ve got your blend dialed in, we’ll walk you through your packaging options to create your own wine brand. It’s a shit-ton of fun.

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Barrel Program

What’s It Cost?

Most folks want to make Cabernet Sauvignon (though we’ve got all sorts of red blend options for your pleasure). A barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon, custom blended from various clones, blocks and lots, with the option of up to 15% of Merlot, Syrah or Cabernet Franc is a $32,000 commitment, which works out to about $110 per bottle.

This is the cost for the wine, Caldwell Cooperage custom French oak barrels and the winemaking (by a guy who used to make wines at Screaming Eagle and Bryant Family). You’ll need to budget for additional costs of your custom packaging, including glass bottles, cork, capsules and the cost to have your own label designed and printed. Ballpark pricing for this stuff starts around $3,500 for 24 cases, and goes up from there depending on how fancy you wanna get. We’ll provide you with various options and vendor contacts during the Barrel Blending Weekend, but you’ll work with and pay all your other suppliers and vendors directly.

Barrel Program

Next Steps

If being a vintner sounds like something you’d like to try, and you’ve got the inclination to have a cellar of your own wine to drink, share and brag about, we’ll need a 50% deposit within 30 days of your confirmation email to hold your spot. The balance will need to be paid before you come out for the Barrel Blending Weekend – usually held in August.

Please note that you’ll be able to gift any of the bottles you make but by law, you won’t be able to sell them because you’re not a licensed wine producer.

Reach out to reserve a space.

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Wine Label Inspiration?